Research: Currently, I am collaborating with researchers at the Channing Laboratory and the Harvard School of Public Health to utilize data from the Nurse's Health Study. We are identifying modifiable risk factors for seizures or epilepsy in this large prospective database. I am preparing a first author manuscript from a foundation funded grant looking at caffeine, alcohol, and smoking and risk of seizures/epilepsy. I submitted a foundation grant two weeks ago to study an intervention to improve epilepsy care in disadvantaged patients, within our emergency department. This will also tie into a collaborative multicenter project on treatment of new onset epilepsy. In addition to this, I am an active co-investigator on multiple large collaborative multicenter studies, and work with our research coordinator to facilitate patient recruitment. Projects involve genetics of idiopathic generalized epilepsy, progesterone as a possible treatment for localization related epilepsy (NIH funding, PI Andy Herzog), anti-convulsants and premenstrual dysphoric disorder, obstetrical outcomes in pregnant women with epilepsy, and Neurodevelopmental effects of anti-epileptic drugs (NEAD, PI Kim Meador). I am working with Frances Jensen to enhance our translational surgical projects in epilepsy by combining forces with CHildren's Hospital specimens and include her basic science expertise. Additionally, I am a consultant for the North American Pregnancy Registry, working with Dr. Lewis Holmes.
Administrative: I have been assisting Dr. Bromfield in the administrative duties of the Epilepsy/EEG, and Sleep Neurology Division. I led my second epilepsy division strategic planning retreat this past year which was very well received. I created a web link for professionals and patients interested in our program. I have been directing the EEG lab which has expanded services to include enhanced video EEG monitoring services, ambulatory EEG at Faulkner (Dr. Milligan), pediatric and routine EEG at the 850 Boylston Women's Health Center (Dr. Klein). I lead the multidisciplinary epilepsy team and the monitoring unit, and ensure that the complex care we deliver is conveyed back to the referring neurologists. I maintain a clinical database for these patients, and assure the national association of epilepsy centers data necessary to keep our yearly accreditation process. My goals in this position have been to improve the quality and efficiency of our reporting system and our technology/workspace and to help our center become the premier center in New England for treatment of epilepsy. I have been working with our chief technologist to improve our systems for the increased capacity.
We have now nearly tripled in our monitoring capacity, and are continuing to increase services in the neurology ICU. In late 2005, I took over the clinical neurophysiology fellowship program director position for a large program that was under warning, and at risk of losing accreditation. Despite many barriers, I secured the maximal 4 year accreditation. I completely revamped our program to include Children's Hospital, was responsible for recruiting and accrediting fellows, and the program is thriving. I did this while reassigning Dr. Bromfield's large clinical workload as we learned of his unfortunate diagnosis. Lastly, I chair the Neurology Quality Assurance committee to which I have added several new members. We have taken on outpatient quality as one of our tasks, and have been meeting with the neurology clinic coordinators also improving residency clinical experience.
I am the current president of the Greater Boston Epilepsy Society, and have organized and ran the large education meetings between all the Boston and Western Massachusett's hospital which has been quite successful. I serve on the professional advisory board for the motor vehicle bureau, and for the Epilepsy Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Teaching: When I was at Boston University immediately following my training, I became an active clinician educator, directing the Neurology clerkship at the VA and participating in international conferences as the neurologist member of the Alliance for Clinical Education, a coalition of core clerkships advising the American Association of Medical Colleges, and helping to introduce women's health into the medical school curriculum. I have continued my interest in teaching at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, organizing the neurophysiology curriculum, and actively participating in local and regional teaching opportunities. I won a teaching award (the Flaviu Romanul Neurology teaching award) at Boston University and this year will receive the Harvard Medical School Young Mentor award. I also have been mentoring women residents, providing opportunities to connect with senior women neurologists and neurosurgeons in a casual environment. I was invited to an international neuroscience conference in Latin America (Ecuador) and will begin to partner with Latin America through a grant to improve epilepsy care in disadvantaged populations. I was invited also to participate in the Neurosurgical meeting to teach about Meningiomas and MEdical/Social issues this Fall. Additionally, I precept several fellow and one resident clinic in my subspecialty interest. Last year, I successfully recertified in neurology (10 year recert) and this year, in clinical neurophysiology (10 year recert).