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Neuro ICU Team Forms an Ice Bucket Challenge Chain Reaction

By Leland Kim

When members of the Neurointensive Care (Neuro ICU) Unit at the UCSF Medical Center started receiving the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from various sources, they jumped at the chance to accept the challenge and to donate to ALS research.

Rather than post individual videos, the Neuro ICU team decided to do this together in one video. So during a mild afternoon at Saunders Court on August 25, ten members of the team formed a circle with buckets of ice water in hand, to execute a chain reaction ice bucket challenge.

In the spirit of sustainability, one of the team member’s children collected water from the Pacific Ocean and filtered out the sand for this challenge.

Nurses, doctors, speech therapists, stroke coordinators, and patient care managers were represented. Not only did they speak of who challenged them, they also honored people they knew who lost their battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Participants in the video (in the order of appearance) are Alberto Garcia, Neuro ICU patient care manager; Sheila Antrum, chief nursing officer of the UCSF Medical Center; Cortney Bro, staff nurse; Tuesday Couturier, staff nurse; Natalie McCain, staff nurse; Chris Dowd, MD, neuro interventional radiologist; Kathering Ching, stroke coordinator; Wes Watson, manager of the UCSF Neurology Clinic; Jennifer Stott, speech therapist; and Elizabeth Sin, assistant patient care manager.

Ice Bucket Challenges

Sheila Altrum challenged Heidi Crooks, chief nursing officer at UCLA Health System, and Nancy Lee chief nursing officer at Stanford Hospitals.

Cortney Bro challenged St. Joseph’s ICU in Denver, Colorado.

Tuesday Couturier challenged the Neuro ICU team at Stanford, and the Neuro ICU team at John Muir.

Natalie McCain challenged the Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego.

Dr. Christopher Dow challenged his boss Dr. Randy Higashida, chief of the Division of Interventional Neurovascular Radiology at the UCSF Medical Center.

Katherine Ching challenged stroke coordinator Jenny Fung at Mills Peninsula, and her friend Faye Murray.

Wes Watson challenged Dr. John Engstrom, clinical chief of service of the Department of Neurology at the UCSF Medical Center.

Jennifer Stott challenged the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland’s Rehabilitation Department.

Elizabeth Sin challenged Katherine Snow at Kaiser Hospital, and John Pearson and Scott Jensen with the Neuro ICU team at UCSF Medical Center.

From left, Cortney Bro, staff nurse; Sheila Antrum, chief nursing officer; Elizabeth Sin, assistant patient care manager of Neuro ICU; Tuesday Couturier, staff nurse; Natalie McCain, staff nurse; Chris Dowd, MD, neuro interventional radiologist; Katherine Ching, stroke coordinator; Jennifer Stott, speech therapist; Wes Watson, manager of the UCSF Neurology Clinic; and in the back, Alberto Garcia, patient care manager of Neuro ICU.

About the Team

The Neurointensive Care Unit (Neuro ICU) at UCSF is one of the largest and most sophisticated neurosurgical/neurological facilities in the nation. This highly specialized unit provides quality care to critically ill adult, neurologically impaired patients who undergo a variety of complex surgical procedures and interventional treatments. In addition, the unit provides care and support for patients and families going through the organ donation process. The UCSF Neuro ICU is a fast-paced, high-acuity unit where attention is focused on close monitoring of the patient's neurological status.

The Neuro ICU team consists of neurologists, neurosurgeons, critical care medicine physicians, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, pharmacists, patient care assistants, unit secretaries, respiratory therapists, physical, occupational, speech therapists, dietitian and social workers.

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