Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence
Staff of the Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence
If you would like to contact any of the staff below, please send an e-mail to MSCentersofExcellence@va.gov.
If you would like to contact any of the staff below, please send an e-mail to MSCentersofExcellence@va.gov.
Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence-East Staff
|Daniel Harrison, MD is a MS specialist and Fellowship Director for MSCoE-East, VA Maryland HCS, Baltimore, MD. He is an Associate Professor of Neurology at the University Of Maryland School Of Medicine and currently serving as the interim Director of the University of Maryland Center for MS. Dr. Harrison directs an active research program focused on the development and validation of new techniques for imaging of the brain and spinal cord for application to MS research and clinical trials. His research program is currently focused on utilization of novel MRI techniques, including ultra-high-field, 7-tesla MRI for visualization of cortical pathology, neurodegeneration, and meningeal inflammation in MS. Dr. Harrison's research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National MS Society and industry partners. Dr. Harrison is also an active investigator in the Maryland Center for MS clinical trials program.|
|Shan Jin, PhD is a statistician and data manager for MSCoE-East. Dr. Jin built and maintains a VA National MS Cohort with records from fiscal year 1997 to current. Dr. Jin supports numerous clinical and research projects related to MS data analysis. He received his Doctorate degree in Applied Mathematics and Master in Statistics from the University of Arizona.|
|Margaret Kazmierski, MSW, LCSW-C, CCM is the MSCoE-East Senior Social Worker and Spinal Cord Injury Clinic Coordinator for the Baltimore VAMC. Ms. Kazmierski works to establish the role of clinical social work and Veteran/Caregiver support programs within MSCoE-East regions. Ms. Kazmierski graduated from the University of Maryland Baltimore County with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and Psychology. She received her Master of Social Work in 2001 from the University of Maryland School of Social Work and is currently a part-time Adjunct Faculty Member teaching clinical courses in aging, health, and military/Veteran interventions. She is a member of the National MS Society-Greater DC Maryland Chapter, Health Care Advisory Committee, and is co-leader of the VA MS Social Work Collaborative. Prior to her joining MSCoE-East, Ms. Kazmierski served as the Director of Services for the National MS Society, Maryland Chapter, and had over 10 years of experience developing patient education and caregiver support programs with an emphasis on chronic illness and end of life.|
|Terry Lee-Wilk, PhD is the Program Manager of Neuropsychology and Consultative Psychology within the VA Maryland HCS, where she oversees the department’s clinical, research, and educational services. Dr. Lee-Wilk earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Maryland College Park and subsequently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at the VA Maryland HCS/University of Maryland-Baltimore. She has served as the primary neuropsychology liaison to MSCoE-East for over 10 years and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Lee-Wilk’s varied clinical and research interests include cognitive symptoms associated with MS, infectious disease, and traumatic brain injury.|
|Heidi Maloni, PhD, APRN, BC-ANP, CNRN, MSCN is the National Clinical Director of MSCoE-East. She has a VA national presence as an MS thought leader in directing clinical care expertise, research efforts, and education to best support Veterans with MS. Close to home, Dr. Maloni is an integral member of the Washington DC VAMC neurology service, bringing subspecialty care to Veterans with spinal cord injury and MS. In her role as Chairperson of the Institutional Review Board at the Washington DC VAMC, Dr. Maloni aims to protect all Veterans consenting to participate in research studies. Her external roles include liaison with the International Organization of MS Nurses (IOMSN) and the National MS Society, editorial review for The International Journal of MS Care and Sexuality and Disability, research and education grant reviewer for the Italian MS Society and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, and certification test development with the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses and the IOMSN.|
|Lisa Mitchell, RN, MSN, MSCN is the MSCoE-East National Nurse Coordinator and MS Nurse Case Manager at the Baltimore VAMC. Ms. Mitchell has worked for the Veterans Health Administration for over 25 years. She is a member of the Greater DC – Maryland Chapter of the National MS Society Healthcare Advisory Committee and is a MS Certified Nurse. She has had prior certifications in diabetes education and emergency nursing. She received her Master's degree in Nursing Informatics from the University of Maryland.|
|Mitchell Wallin, MD, MPH is the Director for MSCoE-East. Dr. Wallin received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. He completed his medicine internship at Northwestern University followed by residency in Neurology at the University of Minnesota. He subsequently pursued a Preventive Medicine residency and earned a Master’s of Public Health/International Health at Johns Hopkins University. While in Baltimore in 1996, Dr. Wallin was recruited by John Kurtzke to join the faculty at the VA Medical Center-Washington, DC and the Neurology Department at Georgetown University. Dr. Wallin holds academic appointments as Associate Professor of Neurology at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He received the 2010 Wolcott National Award for Clinical Leadership, the highest clinical prize within the VA system. His research interests include MS neuroepidemiology/global health, and neurological infections. Dr. Wallin is widely published, has several active research grants, and serves on many national committees.|
|Angela Young, MBA is the National Education and Training Coordinator for MSCoE-East. Ms. Young has served in the Veterans Health Administration for over 25 years. For the last 12 years she has worked with MSCoE-East, where she develops and coordinates accredited educational and training programs for health care professionals. Ms. Young also coordinates education and training programs for Veterans with MS, and their family members and caregivers. She works collaboratively with community and national organizations, internal and external to the VA, that advocate for Veterans with MS. Prior to her current position, she worked as a Program Specialist for national programs and initiatives in the VA Central Office Specialty Care Strategic Health Care group.|
Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence-West Staff
|Michelle Cameron, MD, PT, MCR is Co-Director and Associate Director of Research for MSCoE-West. Dr. Cameron is board certified in Neurology, is the Acting Chief of Neurology for the VA Portland HCS and an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She provides clinical care to Veterans with MS and does clinical research focused on mobility, and particularly falls and fall prevention, in people with MS. Dr. Cameron’s research has been funded by grants from the VA, National Institutes of Health, and National MS Society and has resulted in over 70 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Cameron received her Medical Doctor and Physical Therapy degrees from the University of California, San Francisco, and completed her Neurology residency followed by an MS Fellowship at the VA Portland HCS and OHSU.
|Jodie Haselkorn, MD, MPH is Director of MSCoE-West and an Epidemiologist in the VA Puget Sound HCS. Dr. Haselkorn is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has more than 20 years of direct clinical experience within the Veterans Health Administration in the broad field of musculoskeletal and neurological rehabilitation medicine, specializing in the care of Veterans with MS. Dr. Haselkorn is a Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine, Adjunct Professor in Epidemiology, as well as an Affiliate Professor in Medical History and Ethics at the University of Washington. Dr. Haselkorn has been grant funded by national sources such as the VA, Natonal Institute of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and has published numerous research articles on MS. In addition, Dr. Haselkorn is invested in translating research findings to the bedside and regularly develops and participates in interdisciplinary MS health care professional education at local, regional, and national levels. Dr. Haselkorn received her Medical Doctor degree from Louisiana State University Medical Center-New Orleans and completed her rehabilitation residency at the University of Washington-Seattle.|
|Jaimie Henry, MPA is the National Education and Outreach Coordinator for MSCoE-West. She coordinates educational programs and products for health care professionals as well as Veterans and caregivers. Ms. Henry also acts as liaison with MSCoE Network sites and community and national organizations, internal and external to the VA, that advocate for Veterans with MS. She received her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from Western Oregon University and Master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University. She has served within the Veterans Health Administration since 2004.|
|Lynda Hillman, DNP, ARNP is the National Clinical Nursing Director for MSCoE-West and a MS Nurse Practitioner at the VA Puget Sound HCS-Seattle. She received her doctoral degree from the University of Washington-Seattle with a focus on process improvement in people with multiple chronic conditions as they transition from inpatient and rehab care to home. Dr. Hillman is Clinical Faculty, Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, University of Washington-Seattle. She has a special interest in integrative medicine and how physical and enrichment activities add to quality of life and health. Dr. Hillman’s publications on MS have been in medical textbooks, journals, and in presentations at educational meetings. Outside of work, her passions include alpine hiking and climbing, cragging, gardening, and handspinning.|
|Steven Leipertz, PhD is the Associate Director of Informatics for MSCoE-West. Dr. Leipertz manages the MS repository and supports numerous clinical and research projects related to data analysis. Dr. Leipertz has held previous positions within the University of Washington School of Fisheries, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Ichthyology Department at the American Museum of Natural History, NYU Graduate Business School, and Corbis. He received his Doctorate degree from the University of Washington.|
|Lani Pitofsky has been the Administrative Specialist for MSCoE-West since 2013. She expertly supports all MSCoE functional cores. Her VA career began in 1998 as the Oncology Department’s Administrator at the VA Puget Sound HCS in Seattle. She supported the Directors of the Marrow Transplant Unit and Oncology Department and served as a member of the Cancer Program Committee. In 2007, she was promoted to a Supervisory Administrative Specialist position in Neurology where she provided support to the Director and staff and supervised the Medical Team and Medical Support Assistants. She is an expert in patient care coordination and enjoys helping Veterans navigate the VA System. After growing up in West Africa, Ms. Pitofsky studied Communications at Northwest University where she was the Music Director for the University’s radio station, and tutored French to multiple students. Ms. Pitofsky enjoys living in West Seattle with her husband, a retired slapstick comedian and Ringling Brothers clown, and their two cats. Her passions are cooking, reading, and enjoying her circus family.|
Alicia Sloan, MPH, MSW, LICSW is a Senior Social Worker, Specialty Care Team, for MS. She is currently a core leader on the VA Puget Sound HCS Critical Incident Response Team and a volunteer in the VA Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System. Her goal as an MS Social Worker is to implement MS research into social work practice and program development for Veterans with MS and their caregivers. She has presented at national MS conferences and has co-authored work on various research studies and patient/caregiver education materials. She earned a Master of Public Health (International Health) in 1997 and a Master of Social Work in 2001 from Tulane University in New Orleans. She volunteers for the Veteran-based non-profit disaster response organization Team Rubicon as Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training trainer and formerly a Wellness Manager. She has a passion for helping Veterans – her father was a Korea-Era Veteran stationed on the Midway aircraft carrier.
|Rebecca Spain, MD, MSPH is the Associate Director of Clinical Care for MSCoE-West, Regional Director for the VA Portland HCS, and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She received her Medical Doctorate degree from Case Western Reserve University in 2002. After her medical internship at Brown University, she completed her neurology residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. She continued at Jefferson for a two-year MS fellowship studying the effects of MS on the retina of the eye and obtained a Master of Science in Public Health. She joined the clinical faculty at the VA Portland HCS and OHSU in 2008. Her research focuses on studying and treating progressive forms of MS with a focus on wellness approaches.|
|Janet Spencer, MSW, LCSW is the social worker for MSCoE-West as well as the Epilepsy Center of Excellence-Northwest. She provides counseling, case management, advocacy, education, and facilitation to Veterans and their families. Ms. Spencer received her undergraduate degree in both psychology and family studies from Corbin University and her Masters in Social Work from Portland State University. Prior to coming to the VA, she worked as a certified oncology social worker. Her experience working with the chronically ill affords her empathy and understanding for the many challenges Veterans face when living with MS. She volunteers for the non-profit Give an Hour, offering counseling to Veterans and their families.|
|Aaron Turner, PhD is the Co-Associate Director of Research for MSCoE-West. He is also the Director of Rehabilitation Psychology at the VA Puget Sound HCS-Seattle and is a Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington. Dr. Turner maintains an active research program examining health behavior change and psychosocial determinants of quality of life among Veterans and individuals with disabilities. He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Washington.|
|Vijayshree Yadav, MD, MCR is the Assistant Director for Clinical Care for MSCoE-West and Associate Professor of Neurology and Clinical Director of the MS Center at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Dr. Yadav completed her Neurology residency in 2001 and thereafter completed her post-doctoral fellowship in Neuroimmunology and MS from the VA Portland HCS. She obtained her Masters in Clinical Research degree in 2008 and has been involved in clinical research conduct since 2001. She has been PI for a number of studies that have been funded by the National Institute of Health, VA, National MS Society, Private Foundations, and Pharmaceutical Companies. Dr. Yadav’s interest and research in Complementary and Alternative (CAM) therapies for MS has been recognized nationally and she is the lead author on a manuscript describing Clinical Practice Guidelines for neurologists developed under the guidance of the American Academy of Neurology Therapeutics and Technology Committee on the use of CAM therapies in MS.|