Baker, Ahles & Kaskovich

3-D imaging helps brain surgeons at Medical Center Arlington

Dr. Vallabh Janardhan, an interventional neurologist at Medical Center Arlington, working with the 3-D biplane imaging equipment.
Dr. Vallabh Janardhan, an interventional neurologist at Medical Center Arlington, working with the 3-D biplane imaging equipment. Medical Center Arlington

Brains surgeons at Medical Center Arlington have a powerful new tool to help stroke victims.

Last week, the south Arlington facility at 3301 Matlock Road, showed off its new 3-D biplane, a state-of-the-art imaging machine that gives surgeons 360-degree looks into the brain as surgeons try to locate and remove clots.

Dr. Vallabh Janardhan, an interventional neurologist, told visitors that the technology will help doctors improve minimally invasive surgeries, which use catheters inserted through a blood vessel in the groin to reach the deepest parts of the brain.

He said the advanced imaging equipment provides three-dimensional images of blood vessels in the brain using two rotating cameras to find problems such as clots or an aneurysm.

The equipment was added as part of the first phase of a $100 million expansion under way at the 342-bed acute-care hospital that is also adding two floors to a women’s tower to create a women’s hospital.

The first phase, which came to $30 million, also included the addition of 24 private rooms in intensive care for trauma patients and those needing intermediate care. Medical Center Arlington will now have 54 ICU rooms.

The new five-story Medical Center Arlington Women’s Hospital will have 70 beds, with the ability to expand to 23 labor and delivery suites, and 35 beds in the neo-natal intensive care unit. It is expected to be completed in fall 2018.

Meanwhile, an inpatient rehab unit is being added on the new fifth floor of the hospital’s acute care tower, expected to be finished next summer.

Medical Center Arlington is part of HCA North Texas. In Tarrant County, HCA also operates Plaza Medical Center in Fort Worth, Medical Center Alliance and North Hills Hospital in North Richland Hills. It also has hospitals in Dallas, Frisco, Denton, Irving, Lewisville, McKinney and Plano.

Growth is good

It may not be stellar growth, but it’s growth, and that’s good, local economists say.

While predicting higher interest rates courtesy of the Federal Reserve, economist Robert Dye at Comerica Bank in Dallas says in his October outlook on the U.S. economy that there will be “stronger, real GDP growth” for the second half of the year after six months of lackluster activity.

With GDP growth improving, the bank expects job creation to remain “reasonably strong” through the end of the year, eventually dropping the unemployment rate to 4.7 percent. The bank reported the labor force surged by 444,000 workers in September, putting upward pressure on wages.

“The strong expansion of the labor force over the summer is a positive for the U.S. economy and should counter concern about the small increase in the headline unemployment rate,” the bank reported. “In September, average hourly earnings gained a moderate 0.2 percent, and are up by 2.6 percent over the previous 12 months. We expect to see gradually stronger wage growth through next year.”

Half empty or half full?

Gas prices are creeping up, but people should remember that these are still good times at the pump.

Last week, AAA Texas said that gas prices were climbing ever so slightly. Statewide the price for an unleaded gallon of gas was $2.03, up 2 cents in a week and 7 cents since Sept. 14.

Analysts blame — or credit, depending on your outlook — the uptick in prices on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ talk of bringing up oil prices by curbing production. All of that threatens a long trend of gas prices being lower than they were the year before.

But even if they rise, remember that things have been pretty good at the pump pricewise in Texas in 2016.

Gas was below $2 a gallon for 19 straight weeks to start off the year, according to Texas AAA. Fuel prices jumped above $2 for 10 weeks during the summer, as typically happens in a time of high demand. Since late July, gas prices have flirted with $2 a gallon or above. In the last 12 weeks, gas has been above $2 a gallon only four weeks.

Gas has been cheapest this year the week of Feb. 10, when it was $1.52, and most expensive June 8, when it was $2.15, according to AAA.

All that looks pretty good compared with 2014, when gas was most expensive in June, at $3.51 a gallon, and even with June 2015, when gas cost $2.61.

So buck up: It’s been worse.

Hanthorn awarded Silver Medal

Steve Hanthorn, creative director at Fort Worth’s Warren Douglas Advertising, is receiving the 2016 American Advertising Federation-Fort Worth award.

The award is the highest national industry honor given at the local level. It recognizes leadership, creative ability and contributions to the advancement of advertising and the community.

Hanthorn will be presented the award at a luncheon Wednesday.

“From ad agencies in Chicago to shops and in-house operations in Dallas and Fort Worth, Steve has written, produced and led creative efforts for dozens of brands across the country, both large and small,” the club said. “He maintains constant involvement with non-profits, our local schools and pro-bono endeavors. Plus, Steve is never too busy to meet with students and newcomers to our industry and lend them a hand.”


Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

Max B. Baker: 817-390-7714, @MaxbakerBB

Steve Kaskovich: 817-390-7773, @stevekasko