Headache Division

Robert Kaniecki MDLaurie Knepper MDBarbara Vogler MDJosif Stakic MD, Claire Yanta MDAndrew Levin, MD; Kimberly McGonigle PA-C; Katie Marlin PA-C 

The headache division provides outpatient clinical services at the UPMC Headache Center situated in central Oakland. Annual clinical volumes at the Headache Center continue to exceed 12,000 visits per year. In addition to typical clinical assessments, the clinicians provide emergency parenteral therapies, nerve blocks and trigger point injections, and botulinum toxin administration to appropriate patients with severe or chronic headaches. In addition to outpatient responsibilities, Drs. Vogler and Yanta spend time on the Neurology Consult service and Drs. Kaniecki and Knepper on the Neurology Ward service at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital; residents and medical students are supervised on both services. Drs. Stakic, Yanta, and Levin provide attending coverage for UPMC Shadyside Hospital while Dr. Levin also attends at the UPMC East location where he is Director of Neurology. Lectures on headache and pain are delivered by Dr. Kaniecki to the first and third-year medical students and to residents and graduate students in Neurology, Internal Medicine, Family Practice, Pharmacology, and Pain Medicine. Drs. Knepper, Yanta, and Stakic lecture extensively to the medical students and provide teaching to other medical services. All faculty members supervise resident and medical student rotations though the Headache Center while all physicians assist in the fellowship training program. 

In 2012 Dr. Kaniecki was named Director of the Headache Fellowship program, and in 2013 Assistant Director of the Neurology Residency program. Dr. Kaniecki serves as chairman of the Scientific Review, Clinical Competency, and Neurology Residency Selection committees. He also serves as a member of the Executive, Residency Curriculum, and Compensation committees for the Department of Neurology. Dr. Kaniecki remains on the editorial board and acts a co-editor of the Abstracts and Citations section for the journal Headache. In 2012 the Headache Division’s fellowship program in Headache Medicine was initially accredited by the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties, and in 2019 received notice of another 5-year accreditation status. In 2019 Dr. Kaniecki was again named a Top Doc by Pittsburgh Magazine.

In 2016 Dr. Knepper was named Director of the Neurology Clerkship, which under her guidance has become one of the most highly rated clerkships at the University of Pittsburgh. She also serves on the Pediatric Neurology clinical competency committee, the Promotions committee, the Retention committee, and the Medical Student Curriculum committee. She has served as Chair of the imaging task force. She also is a member of the Women in Neurology Core Group. In 2019 Dr. Knepper was again named a Top Doc by Pittsburgh Magazine.

Dr. Stakic has participated in the Master’s in Education program here at the University of Pittsburgh. In 2018 he began assuming additional teaching responsibilities in the neuroscience curriculum in the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Since 2018 he has been an active participant in the telemedicine program of the UPMC Department of Neurology.

Dr. Yanta has become increasingly devoted to medical student education. She was named Assistant Director of the Neurology Clerkship in 2016 and in 2020 was named Assistant Director of the Neuroscience course for first-year medical students. In 2017 she joined the Neurology Residency Selection Committee.

Dr. Andrew Levin completed the UPMC Headache Fellowship program in 2018 academic year and initially worked in clinical and administrative roles at the UPMC East Neurology location. He resumed clinical hours at the UPMC Headache Center location on the main UPMC campus in 2019.

Dr. Kaniecki continues to conduct clinical research and publish in the field of Headache and supervises student and resident research projects resulting in poster presentations at scientific meetings. Drs. Kaniecki, Vogler, Knepper, Stakic, Yanta, and Levin have all received board certification in Headache Medicine from the United Council for Neurological Subspecialties. The Headache Center is poised to continue the expansion of clinical and research services and its educational programs for medical students, Neurology residents, and Headache fellows.