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Multiple Sclerosis Centers of Excellence

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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. 

MSCoE-East Staff

 
  W. Joel Culpepper, MA, PhD is the Associate Director of Epidemiology for MSCoE-East as well as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Dr. Culpepper has over 20 years of research experience in a variety of settings to include 11 years working within the Veteran’s Health Administration. He has broad training in research methods and epidemiology. His research has focused on chronic diseases in general and neuroepidemiology of MS more specifically. Additionally, he has specific training and special interests in psychometrics and measurement issues in outcomes research.
  R. Andrew David, MS, MHSA is a Health System Specialist for MSCoE-East. Mr. David comes to MSCoE-East from VA Central Office, where he completed an administrative residency in the Office of Nursing Services. During his residency, he worked with the Epilepsy Center of Excellence in San Francisco, CA to help establish TeleHealth clinics. He received his Master's in Health Administration from George Washington University and his Bachelor's in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia.
  Maggie Kazmierski, MSW, LCSW-C, CCM is a MSCoE-East Senior Social Worker and the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic Coordinator for the Baltimore VAMC for the last 7 yrs. 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 (UMBC) 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 an Adjunct Part-Time  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. She has presented at national conferences on Social Work Best Practices with MS Caregivers. Prior to her joining the MSCOE-East staff, 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 at the VA Maryland HCS (VAMHCS) and is the primary neuropsychology liaison for MSCoE-East. She is Co-Director of the Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship with an Emphasis in Neurologic Disorders at the VAMHCS. Additionally, she serves on the National MS Society Greater DC-Maryland Chapter's Healthcare Advisory Committee. Dr. Lee-Wilk graduated with a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland College Park. Subsequently, she completed a two-year Neuropsychology Postdoctoral Fellowship at the VAMHCS/University of Maryland Medical System. Dr. Lee-Wilk's clinical and research interests include cognitive symptoms associated with MS as well as cognitive telerehabilitation. Additional areas of interest include interdisciplinary team care for management of patients with neurocognitive impairment and cognition in patients with infectious diseases.
  Heidi Maloni, PhD, APRN, BC-ANP, CNRN, MSCN, is the MSCoE-East National Clinical Nursing Director and the MS Clinic Coordinator at the Washington DC VAMC. Dr. Maloni is a Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner, a Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse, and a MS Certified Nurse. Her duties include MS clinical care, research and education of Veterans with MS, their families, and providers caring for those living with MS. Dr. Maloni represents Veteran interests on the International Organization of MS Nurses advisory board. She facilitates the MS patient advisory board of the National Capital MS Society. Dr. Maloni has an Adjunct Faculty position at Trinity Washington University where she teaches Pharmacology for Nurses and through several local nursing schools and universities, precepts advanced practice students in the clinical setting.
  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 Department of Veterans Affairs for 25 years. She is a member of the Greater DC – Maryland Chapter of the National MS Society Healthcare Advisory Committee and the VA Special Interest Group (SIG) 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.
  Walter Royal, III, MD is the Associate Director of Research for the MSCoE-East. He is also Director of the Maryland Center for MS Treatment and Research and Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Anatomy and Neurobiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Royal attends on the services at the Baltimore VAMC and at the University of Maryland. His research in the areas of MS focuses on environmental factors that are associated with an increased risk of MS and the neuroimmunological and neurovirological mechanisms that underlie the disease.
  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 Department of Veterans Affairs for 25 years. For the last 10 years she has worked with MSCoE-East, where she develops and coordinates accredited educational and training programs for health care providers. Ms. Young also coordinates education and training programs for patients with MS, their family members, and caregivers. She works collaboratively with the 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 Centeral Office Specialty Care Strategic Health Care group.

 

MSCoE-West Staff 

  Michelle Cameron, MD, PT, MCR is Acting Co-Director and Associate Director of Research for MSCoE-West. She is a neurologist at the VA Portland HCS and an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). She received a VA Career Development Award for her research project "Mechanisms of Imbalance and Falls in MS" in 2010 and is now carrying out various studies evaluating the impact of interventions to prevent falls and improve mobility in people with MS. Dr. Cameron is also the MS fellowship director at the VA Portland MS Center. Dr. Cameron received her Medical Doctor and Physical Therapy degree from the University of California, San Francisco and completed her Neurology residency followed by an MS Fellowship at OHSU.
  Jodie K. 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 recent years 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, NIH, and CDC 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 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 liason 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 for 15 years.
  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 is the Administrative Specialist for MSCoE-West. She actively and expertly supports administratively all MSCoE functional cores. Her VA career began in 1998 as the Oncology Department’s Administrator at VA Puget Sound HCS. 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 Specialist position in Neurology where she provided administrative support to the Director and staff, and supervised the Medical Team and Medical Support Assistants. She is highly skilled in System Redesign and improved clinic flow, patient satisfaction, and missed opportunities in the Hospital & Specialty Medical Service. Ms. Pitofsky studied Communications at Northwest University in Kirkland, WA and participated as the Music Director and DJ at the University’s radio station where she developed journalistic and broadcast media skills.
Alicia Sloan, MPH, MSW, LICSW is a core Research and Projects Coordinator with MSCoE-West. She earned a Master's of Public Health in 1997 and a Master's of Social Work in 2001 from Tulane University. She coordinates a number of health services and clinical intervention studies. She is a founding member and co-leader of the VA MS Social Work Collaborative for VA Social Workers nationwide who work with Veterans with MS. She is also a founding member of the MS Social Work Collaborative of Washington, a professional networking group of Social Workers working with MS in the community. Ms. Sloan has a passion for developing MS social work continuing education and implementing evidence-based MS research into social work practice and program development for Veterans with MS and their caregivers. She has presented at national MS conferences on Social Work Best Practices for MS Caregivers and has co-authored several research papers and posters on access to MS specialty care, patient self-management, MS medication adherence, and home telehealth.
  Rebecca Spain, MD, MSPH is the Associate Director of Clinical Care for MSCoE-West and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Oregon Health and Science Univerisity (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. She joined the clinical faculty at the VA Portland Health Care System and OHSU in 2008. Her research focuses on treating progressive forms of MS and wellness approaches to treating all forms of MS.
  Jan 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 Bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Family Studies from Corbin University and Master’s degree 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 Health Care System in Seattle, WA 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 Associate Director for Clinical Care for MSCoE-West and Associate Professor of Neurology and Clinical Director of the MS Center at Oregon Health and 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 NIH, 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.