Since 1966, when he arrived at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and became the first neurologist practicing in all of eastern Connecticut, Dr. Daniel Moalli has been looking out for patient’s brains and their peripheral nervous systems.
In doing so, he has helped advance L+M’s medical services over the years in a number of important ways, including helping to establish the nationally accredited L+M Stroke Center.
“Medicine is a challenge,” Moalli says, “and what I do now is a lot different than when I started. But I’ve enjoyed it here over the years, and I believe we’ve brought about some positive change.”
Originally from New Haven, Moalli graduated from Yale, went to Boston University Medical School, did his internship and residency at Boston City Hospital and then had his neurology residency at Tufts New England Medical Center.
When he first arrived nearly 40 years ago, Moalli noticed that L+M didn’t have an EEG program, so he started one. The Hospital also didn’t have a neuro-diagnostic laboratory, which includes EMG and nerve conductions, so Moalli helped start one of those, too. This, he says, allowed for comprehensive studies of muscles and nerves.
In the 1990s, he helped create the first program in the state that screened newborns for hearing problems. The L+M program helped lead to a state requirement that all hospitals provide infant screening for hearing, and it helped babies get fitted with hearing aides much earlier.
In the 1980s, the peripheral nervous system took center stage in Moalli’s career as he helped with a study aimed at diagnosing an ominous-sounding condition afflicting many Electric Boat workers: “vibration white-finger.”
After studying more than 3,000 cases from EB, it became clear that employees using air-tools were being exposed not only to damaging vibrations, but also to cold from the compressed air in the power tools. The combination of the cold and the vibrations had very damaging effects on nerves, but the study resulted in development of a protective glove – both padded and insulated – to better protect employees.
Today, Moalli is very proud of the Stroke Center, which is both nationally accredited and a winner of a prestigious “Stroke Gold” award issued by both the National Stroke Association and the National Heart Association.
“With a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and the awards we’ve received demonstrate that we’re committed to being one of the top hospitals in the country for providing aggressive, proven stroke care,” Moalli said. “We will continue with our focus on providing care that has been shown in the scientific literature to quickly and efficiently treat stroke patients with evidence-based protocols.”
When he’s not busy at L+M, Moalli can often be found at home in New London, tending his garden, where he grows hundreds of dahlias. Each season, when they bloom in late summer, Moalli brings flowers to L+M, where they are often on display at the hospital’s Faire Harbour Entrance.
“And, right now, I’m in intern in the UConn master gardener’s program,” Moalli says. “I grew up growing vegetables in New Haven years ago. It’s always been part of who I am, to get out in the garden. It’s very rewarding and relaxing at the end of the day.”
To learn more about Dr. Moalli, click here.