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Russ P. Nockels, MD joins NorthShore Neurological Institute at Northwest Community Healthcare

June 27, 2023

Arlington Heights– June 26, 2023 – NorthShore – Edward-Elmhurst Health (NS-EEH) welcomes Russ P. Nockels, MD to the NorthShore Neurological Institute (NNI) at Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH). Dr. Nockels, a board-certified neurological surgeon who specializes in spine surgery, also serves as Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurosciences and Chief of Spine Surgery for NNI at NCH, as well as Surgeon-in-Chief, Intent Medical Group (IMG). Beginning July 1, 2023, he will be based out of the Department of Neurosciences at NCH and will lead the NCH Spine and Pain Center in Arlington Heights.

“In the realm of very strong specializations like the neurosciences, it’s important to note that world-class expertise and opportunities for research and education extend beyond the boundaries of academic institutions alone,” says Dr. Nockels. “The culture of the neurosciences department at NCH is what attracted me – the cohesiveness among its people who are working toward the same goal of unwavering focus and excellence in patient care. It’s their primary intent and the support they give one another ensures compassionate service for each patient. This instills a profound sense of joy and purpose in their work.”

For more than 30 years, Dr. Nockels has dedicated himself to providing exceptional care to patients of all ages with spinal disorders, ranging from routine to complex cases. Having performed more than 10,000 surgeries, he brings the latest advancements in compassionate patient-centric spine surgery and innovation to NNI at NCH. Dr. Nockels has established himself as a global destination educator and surgeon, who is often considered the last hope by his colleagues and patients from across the globe.

His areas of expertise include scoliosis, complex spinal deformity correction, spinal revision surgery, spinal trauma, spinal tumors, degenerative disease, minimally invasive spine surgery and disc herniations, among others.

“The passion for his profession and compassion for his patients is evident from the moment you meet Dr. Nockels. Those qualities alone make him a perfect fit with the mission and values of our program,” says Amin Kassam, MD, neurosurgeon and Chairman Department of Neurosciences, NCH. “We were already blessed with an incredible team of skilled clinicians who are truly patient servants and Dr. Nockels makes us even better in every way. The unprecedented combination of three senior neurosurgeons, Drs. Bailes, Nockels and me, represents a combined total of over 85 years of experience. This experience and friendship, fueled by the extraordinary resources provided by NorthShore University HealthSystem and coupled with a comprehensive team across multiple specialists all within a single clinic at NCH, gives us an unparalleled opportunity to transform the Arlington Heights community into a national and global destination for world-class neurological care.”

Dr. Nockels graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University of Chicago and attended medical school at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine, during which time he performed research on the central nervous system. He completed a residency in neurosurgery at New York University Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital and was an Honorary House Officer at the Queen’s Square Hospital for Nervous System Diseases in London. Dr. Nockels became an Assistant Professor at the University of California San Francisco where he founded the neurospine program.

After traveling and working with orthopedic surgeons around the world, Dr. Nockels joined the Senior Staff at Henry Ford Hospital and worked as spine surgeon for the Detroit Lions and Detroit Red Wings. Most recently, Dr. Nockels returned to Chicago and joined the Neurosurgery Department at Loyola University Medical Center with a joint appointment in the Orthopedic Surgery Department. He rose from Associate Professor and Program Director to Full Professor as well as Vice Chair and Complex Spinal Surgery Fellowship Director.

“The prospect of working with Dr. Kassam, whose guidance has been so helpful, along with an outstanding group of physicians and clinicians at NCH, is quite exciting,” says Dr. Nockels. “I’m also looking forward to working more closely with Northwest Community president Michael Hartke, who believes in the importance of building a world-class neurosciences program. His operational leadership of NNI across the entire health system is invaluable.”

Dr. Nockels is recognized as a leader in his field. His clinical and basic research focused on spinal cord regeneration has culminated in more than 70 publications and more than 150 presentations, and he presides as chair of several spinal surgery courses worldwide. He was principal investigator of clinical trials in the treatment of spinal cord injury and has a funded basic science laboratory exploring Activity Dependent Plasticity following experimental stroke and spinal cord injury. He also led the effort that resulted in the discovery and clinical application of innovative spinal implants that have been used successfully across the world. Dr. Nockels is accepting new patients. For more information or to make an appointment, call 847-618-4430, or visit us online at