Interim neurosurgeons at Children's Hospital to leave in March

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 5:32 PM CST
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A year after nine neurosurgeons and a top plastic surgeon

, interim neurosurgeons will be leaving the organization in March.

In a release obtained by 6 News to medical staff and clinics Wednesday, the organization said interim pediatric neurosurgeons will be leaving and there are not enough qualified temporary neurosurgeons to fill the gaps.

Emergent neurosurgical cases will be referred to Nebraska Medicine until Children’s can hire new pediatric neurosurgeons, that statement reads.

Hospital leadership believes the change will impact 40 patients a month.

Children's leadership said it is hard to find pediatric brain surgeons and they are aggressively recruiting replacements.

Last year, nine neurosurgeons and a plastic surgeon resigned from Children’s.

Dr. Mark Puccioni, a pediatric neurosurgeon and Dr. Jason Miller -- a plastic surgeon -- filed a lawsuit against Children's and its president over wrongful termination.

In the complaint they alleged retaliation after bringing their concerns to the CEO about the skills of another surgeon.

At the time Children's Hospital representatives said they could not comment on personnel matters but stood by leadership and medical teams while strongly disagreeing with the allegations.

In the note to medical staff, Children's said safety is a top priority and having intermittent pediatric neurosurgical coverage instead of delivering around the clock coverage is not safe or sustainable.

Staff is being told to forward emergency neurological cases to Nebraska Medicine, Boys Town, the Iowa Clinic in Des Moines or Children's Mercy in Kansas City.

New neurological patients will not be accepted beginning in March. It is unclear how long before new brain surgeons at Children's are hired.

Emails sent to Children’s representatives asking about the timeframe for hiring new brain surgeons were not immediately returned Thursday.