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Baptist Health will expand its research and education efforts for stroke and brain aneurysms thanks to recent charitable donations totaling $6 million -- including a $1.1 million gift by a grateful patient. 

The donation was made by an anonymous patient and spouse to establish the Ricardo Hanel, MD, and Eric Sauvageau, MD, Chair in Neurovascular Surgery at the Baptist Neurological Institute. That donation will be matched by Baptist Health for a total endowment of about $2.5 million, which will provide permanent, ongoing funding for brain treatment and research.

Dr. Hanel, director of the Baptist Neurological Institute, and Dr. Sauvageau, director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, are nationally and internationally recognized as leaders in treating brain aneurysms, acute stroke and cerebrovascular conditions using the latest minimally invasive techniques and groundbreaking clinical trials.

“Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau are on a mission to save lives throughout the region,” said Hugh Greene, president and CEO of Baptist Health. “Thanks to their tireless efforts, as well the generosity of our donors, Baptist is helping to define the new frontier in stroke and brain aneurysm treatment.” 

Also funded by the $6 million in donations from corporate and private donors will be endowments focused on clinical program development for treating cerebrovascular conditions in adults and children, as well as expanding community outreach and awareness for stroke and brain aneurysms.

“The generosity of these gifts are really inspiring,” Dr. Hanel said. “The donations allow us to continue doing advanced research and education while providing the best cerebrovascular care in the region for all ages and all socio-economic levels, especially to the under privileged.”

“These commitments are truly amazing and will allow us to develop the program further and provide support to educate and reach more people in the community,” Dr. Sauvageau added.

Drs. Hanel and Sauvageau, who came to Baptist Health in 2014, helped to establish the Baptist Neurological Institute and Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center, which leads the region for new minimally invasive treatment of the brain, including clinical trials. Thanks in large part to their leadership, Baptist Jacksonville also now has one of the largest neurointensive care units in the state and the first ER with beds dedicated to neurological needs.

From left, Ricardo Hanel, MD, PhD, neurovascular surgeon and director of the Baptist Neurological Institute; Eric Sauvageau, MD, neurovascular surgeon and director of the Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville and Nima Aghaebrahim, MD, interventional neurologist.

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