In 1962, Barrow Neurological Institute opened in Phoenix, Arizona in a five-story building with 52 beds. It was one of only three neuroscience institutes in the country — and it laid the foundation for decades of innovation that has fueled the work of Barrow Brain and Spine and improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients around the world. Our expertise in patient care, innovative technology, and education has been a touchstone throughout our history, forming the foundation for the world’s leading neurological and neurosurgical institute.
We have always been here, first and foremost, for our patients. As far back as 1960, before Barrow was even officially founded, Dr. John Green (Arizona’s first neurosurgeon) treated a woman with a malignant brain tumor. Through his innovative operations, Dr. Green was able to extend her life. In gratitude, her husband donated $1 million to Dr. Green’s institute.
The name of the woman and her thankful husband?
Julia and Charles Barrow. Built by patients, for patients, it’s no wonder patient care is an integral part of our work.
Barrow has been at the forefront of medical technology and innovation since the beginning. Microneurosurgery was pioneered at Barrow in 1966; in 1975, Barrow became the first institution to adopt and use a CAT scanner; in 1985, Dr. Green’s successor, Dr. Robert Spetzler, refined the cardiac standstill procedure, allowing surgeons to effectively “shut down” a patient’s body, facilitating an operation without interference from blood pressure, respiration or pulse. Thoracoscopic spine surgery was pioneered in 1992; in 1997 Barrow became home to one of only 169 Gamma Knife® Centers.
From skull reattachments to standstill procedures performed on pregnant patients, the doctors at Barrow are constantly pushing the envelope. We don’t ask, “can it be done?” We ask, “how can we do it better?” It’s this commitment to innovation that makes us an international destination for neurosurgery and spine care — and it’s a commitment that has been with us throughout our history.
It’s one thing to champion the advancement of neurosurgery, but it’s quite another to sustain those achievements, and educate future generations about what it takes to provide world-class patient care.
Barrow physicians remain key figures in medical education arenas around the world, sharing invaluable knowledge with emerging talent across the globe. Our neurosurgeons act as the faculty at Arizona Medical Center at the University of Arizona in Tucson, as well as Creighton School of Medicine’s Arizona campus.
In addition, we openly share this knowledge with practitioners the world over — because we know that the more we can educate the medical community at large, the more we can help improve the lives of our patients.
Our success is a result of the passionate, forward-thinking physicians that continue to push what's possible, advancing patient care each and every day. Get to know them better.Meet the Physicians