March 8, 2021
Mohammed Almekhlafi | Proud of the Calgary Stroke Program
“To watch a stroke patient go from being completely incapacitated — paralyzed, unable to speak — to independent and leaving the hospital within a few days is just incredible,” says Dr. Mohammed Almekhlafi, MD. “That’s the most rewarding part of my job and it happens almost on a daily basis.”
Almekhlafi is medical director of the stroke unit at the Foothills Medical Centre, an assistant professor in the departments of Clinical Neurosciences, Radiology and Community Health Sciences at the Cumming School of Medicine, and a member of the Calgary Stroke Program. He began the Calgary Stroke Fellowship Program in 2010 and is now trained to perform specialized neurointerventional procedures (innovative, catheter-based procedures used to treat problems affecting the blood vessels from inside the body).
“I can easily say that I’d always choose Calgary for my training,” says Almekhlafi who received Canada’s Governor General Gold Medal for academic achievement in 2013. “The fellowship program here provides the most amazing and unique learning experience. More than half the trainees are from outside of the province which creates a diversified learning environment, the stroke program covers southern Alberta so there’s an opportunity to assist physicians located outside of Calgary, and all fellows participate in research activities and clinical trials. It’s the research that sets this program apart — everyone has ownership over the research that’s done and we all take pride in the fact that we’re changing the way stroke medicine is practiced worldwide.”
For Almekhlafi, who’s also a member of the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, his research has focused on improving the outcomes of endovascular therapy using novel imaging and therapeutic techniques. He’s currently studying medications which help prevent strokes that complicate some of the neurointervention procedures that are performed.
“I’m very proud of the program and everyone who’s a part of it,” says Almekhlafi. “We’re a group of people with different experiences, ideas and approaches. But the way we think about improving stroke care is the same. We all just want to make a difference.”