Regional Brain & Spine
  In this issue…
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and TBI Symptoms
Dr. Kevin Vaught, MD, discusses O-Arm imaging on Heartland Business Break
Benefits of physician extenders (PA and NPs) working with RBS Neurosurgeons
   and pain physicians

RBS Supports Heartland Advanced Practice Nurses Network

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and TBI Symptoms

With or without concussion, injuries to the brain are serious and concerning. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can be either subtle or obvious, depending on the severity of the injury.

“Dr. Tolentino reviewed my symptoms, health history, X-rays and prior interventions. He and his PAs were so kind, knowledgeable and comforting. They answered all my questions and made me feel completely confident and comfortable with my decision to pursue surgical intervention."
Regional Brain and Spine Patient

A brain injury is a serious event and can be life-changing for many individuals. If your loved one has a serious fall or head injury and/or is experiencing the symptoms below, he or she should be seen by the neurosurgical experts at Regional Brain and Spine. We will provide you with a complete assessment along with a progressive, individualized plan for rehabilitation and the best possible return to a normal, productive, fulfilling life.

Some common signs and symptoms of a TBI include:

  1. Headaches or neck pain that do not go away
  2. Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
  3. Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
  4. Getting lost or easily confused
  5. Feeling tired all of the time, having no energy or motivation
  6. Mood changes (feeling sad or angry for no reason)
  7. Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping a lot more or having a hard time sleeping)
  8. Lightheadedness, dizziness, or loss of balance
  9. Urge to vomit (nausea)
  10. Increased sensitivity to lights, sounds, or distractions
  11. Blurred vision or eyes that tire easily
  12. Loss of sense of smell or taste

Any of the above symptoms should result in immediate attention by a neurosurgeon.


Dr. Kevin Vaught, MD, discusses O-Arm Imaging on Heartland Business Break

As a respected physician in our region, Dr. Kevin Vaught, MD brought the leading edge technology O-Arm imaging to the neurosurgical operating room at Southeast Hospital. This system provides high-resolution images in real time to the physician during complex spine surgeries. This breakthrough technology allows for safer surgeries for patients undergoing spine operations.


Benefits of physician extenders (PAs and NPs) working with RBS neurosurgeons and pain physicians

The RBS team includes the region’s most experienced and respected neurosurgeons and pain physicians.  To provide optimum care for RBS patients, these physicians are assisted by nurse practitioners (NPs) and certified physician assistants (PAs). Together, these medical professionals combine their knowledge and skill to provide expert and compassionate care for our patients with challenging neurosurgical and pain conditions.

Some patients have commented on the excellent service they have received from our physician extenders (PAs and NPs). This article provides some background into the training and expertise of our physician extenders, and how our Neurosurgeons and pain physicians work closely with them to provide top quality care to our patients.

PAs take many of the same premed courses as physicians and are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of physicians in hospitals, offices, surgical centers and clinics.  NPs are "advanced practice" nurses who have completed advanced coursework and clinical education beyond that required of the general RN. At RBS our NPs and PAs have extensive training beyond their requisite certification guidelines.

The training required for both PAs and NPs places an emphasis on disease prevention and wellness counseling. Our physicians determine which patients require operations or procedures, which procedures are most indicated, and are the ones who personally conduct the operations. Whereas our NPs and PAs are very important for seeing patients during initial exams, preoperative and post operative visits. In addition, from time to time, our physician extenders assist our neurosurgeons and pain physicians with certain procedures.

Below is a partial list of duties our PAs and NPs perform for us at RBS:

  • Obtain histories
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat neurological conditions and pain disorders
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Assist in the develop of treatment plans
  • Counsel on preventative health care
  • Assist our physicians in surgery
  • Write prescriptions


Jason Bowers   Patrick Hammond   Dennis Paul II    


Debra Alexander   Kristi Skinner   Stephanie Riley   Jake Muckerman

RBS Supports Heartland Advanced Practice Nurses Network

In support of nurses and their outstanding efforts, RBS is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Heartland Advanced Practice Nurses Network (HAPNN), 16th Annual Primary Care Conference held on, SEPTEMBER 6, 2014. Formed in 1996, and now with over 60 members, HAPNN is a growing group of advanced practice nurses that provides networking opportunities and educational meetings for the Southeast Missouri region. 

HAPNN holds an annual conference to provide continuing education for local healthcare providers. HAPNN also provides scholarships to advanced practice nurses in the amount of over $1000.  HAPNN has contributed to the community in donations to local hospitals to support nursing excellence.


Next Issue:

Traumatic Brain Injury eNewsletter series continues with elderly falls, and helpful ways you can protect your loved ones.

Plus, hear about exciting new updates in pain management and how to take advantage of healthcare events in our community.


Regional Brain & Spine offers you expanded choices
and greater convenience.

  • Our main office is located on the campus of Southeast Missouri Hospital at:
    1723 Broadway, Suite 410 • Cape Girardeau
  • We make state-of-the-art spine treatment and minimally invasive surgical treatments convenient and affordable at our freestanding, outpatient surgery center.
    West Park Surgery Center • 319 S. Silver Springs Road • Cape Girardeau
  • We offer weekly neurosurgery clinics in Perryville & Sikeston – call for appointment info.

On the campus of Perry County Memorial Hospital:
212 Hospital Lane, Suite 202 • Perryville

In the Health Facilities Rehab building:
1102 Sikes Avenue • Sikeston