Shortly after joining Hartford HealthCare in 2015, Headache Center Medical Director Dr. Brian Grosberg said “our mission is to develop a nationally recognized” headache center.
That statement has become one step closer to reality with the new Hartford HealthCare Headache Center at Blue Back Square in West Hartford, where a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held July 13.
The state-of-the-art facility, part of the HHC Ayer Neuroscience Institute, offers accommodation and services unique to headache patients: special shades and lighting, a headache psychologist, clinical trials, medication infusion bays and a wide range of related healthcare services all under one roof. And its benefits extend beyond the new facility – patients who travel long distances can even get discounted hotel rates locally.
“Delivering high quality, personalized care is really a shared vision among the amazing team of people I am fortunate enough to work with here,” Dr. Grosberg said. “We are extremely patient-centered, highly dedicated and committed to providing a level of care that has become a destination point for people who suffer from headaches across the state, the nation and even internationally.”
The headache center has grown to include a team of 20 staff members that span Meriden andWest Hartford, with a third center planned for Waterford in the fall. This will provide access to headache care to a wide range of Connecticut and beyond its state borders.
The new center offers convenient parking, with every detail geared towards headache patients’ needs – soothing colors, exam rooms with special shades that can go from completely dark to dim to bright, infusion bays for patients who need intravenous medications and complimentary services in the same building including imaging and behavioral health.
“Many times people with headaches don’t just have physical pain – chronic headaches can cause psychological as well as sleep issues,” Dr. Grosberg said. “Our goal is to empower them with techniques to reduce their levels of pain and improve their sleep and quality of life at the same time. Normally you would go to separate locations, but here you have it all under one roof. We are among the few centers in the world to provide these services in one place – it is such a benefit to our patients.”
The 3,700-square foot center includes eight exam rooms at 65 Memorial Road, Suite 508, in West Hartford. Dr. Grosberg practices there with Andrea Murphy, APRN and Sheena Mehta, PA-C. The headache center also has a location in Meriden, led by Dr. Abigail Chua.
The headache center has become a national hub for headache research, including a clinical trial of a phone app for migraine treatment.
“We are quickly becoming a destination center for people seeking care for the chronic, severe, recurring headaches,” said Dr. Grosberg, a board-certified neurologist and headache specialist and the former director of the world-renowned Montefiore Headache Center in New York City.
The center diagnoses and treats headaches in all forms, but Grosberg said the most common type of headache that people seek treatment for is migraines. About 36 million people in the United States, the majority of them women, suffer from migraines.
Grosberg and his team tailor their approach to the individual patient, using traditional and emerging therapies. One clinical trial involves a phone app. Specifically, the headache center is one of just a handful of facilities in the world studying the effectiveness of the Nerivio Migra Neurostimulation device to relieve migraine pain.
The wearable device has electrical leads and patches that are applied to the back of the arm. When the phone app turns on the device and adjusts the stimulation, it blocks pain signal transmission to the brain. The amazing thing is that there is no medication used whatsoever.