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Dr. Gaylan Rockswold recognized for outstanding contributions to clinical service and brain injury research

Dr Gaylan Rockswold

HHRI Researcher Gaylan Rockswold, MD, PhD, is the recipient of the 2022 Sheldon Berrol, MD, Clinical Service Award from the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). The award recognizes a clinician who, through a long service career, has made outstanding contributions to improving the quality of care, professional training, and education in the field of brain injury.

Dr. Rockswold served as Chief of Neurosurgery for Hennepin County Medical Center from 1976-2011. He also founded and served as medical director of the Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Center from 2006-2015.

“Dr. Rockswold has made great contributions to the fields of neurosurgery and traumatic brain injury throughout his career,” said Susan H. Connors, BIAA president and CEO. “Through clinical practice, teaching, research, and community involvement, he has made immeasurable contributions and has broadly improved the quality of care for his patients, as well as countless others.”

Dr. Rockswold’s vision for creating the TBI Center was to continue to grow and establish excellence in every aspect of caring for TBI patients. The TBI Center also demonstrates his belief that quality care for TBI patients involves a multidisciplinary team, each adding their valued expertise to aid in a patient’s recovery. His legacy lives on in Hennepin Healthcare’s TBI Center today.

“I’m honored to join the list of distinguished clinicians who have received the Sheldon Berrol, MD, Clinical Service Award from the Brain Injury Association of America. Dr. Berrol made a lifetime commitment to his advocacy and in his work as a physician,” said Dr. Rockswold. “We all stand on the shoulders of our mentors and nothing is accomplished without the support of our colleagues.”

As a professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota, he taught hundreds of medical students and has participated in the training of 70 neurosurgical chief residents who have gone on to practice locally, nationally, and across the globe. Dr. Rockswold continues to practice as a researcher in the field of TBI. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator for the NIH funded Hyperbaric Oxygen Brain Injury Treatment Trial (HOBIT, NCT02407028).

Learn more about the award on

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