VA Neurology Service

The VA Neurology Service is a busy clinical in-patient and out-patient service within the Medical Service Line at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). It provides out-patient and in-patient services to veterans with dementia, movement disorders, headache, epilepsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, neuromuscular disorders, neurological complications of medical diseases and other neurological conditions. Physicians perform out-patient lumbar punctures for diagnosis, botulinum toxin injections for the treatment of focal dystonia and migraine headache, programming of deep brain stimulators and programming of vagal nerve stimulators. There is an active infusion center practice for administration of biologic medications for multiple sclerosis and other immune-mediated disorders.

The clinical services of VAPHS include out-patient clinics and an in-patient consult service at the University Drive VAMC facility. The VAPHS is a referral center for the hub center at the Heinz VAMC and at spoke VAMC facilities in Erie, Butler, and Altoona, PA and Clarksburg, WV. The VAPHS EEG Laboratory, directed by Dr. Anne Van Cott, is accredited by the American Board of Registration of Electroencephalographers and Evoked Potential Technologists (ABRET). VAPHS has a Geriatrics Research, Education, and Clinical Center (GRECC), a VA institute focused on multi-disciplinary aspects of geriatrics care and research, which is directed by Dr. Steven Graham.

Chief of Service

Dr. Paula Clemens: Neuromuscular disorders, general neurology

Attending Physicians

 

Dr. Maria Baldwin: Epilepsy, general neurology
Dr. Edward Burton: Movement disorders, botulinum toxin injections, general neurology
Dr. Franca Cambi: Movement disorders, general neurology
Dr. Kathy Gardner: Headache disorders, general neurology
Dr. Steven Graham: Vascular neurology, general neurology, geriatrics
Dr. Houman Homayoun: Movement disorders, general neurology
Dr. Anne Van Cott: Epilepsy, general neurology
Dr. George Wittenberg: Neurorehabilitation, general neurology
Dr. Islam Zaydan: Neuroimmunology, neuro-ophthalmology, general neurology

The VA Neurology Service is a principal training site for the neurology residency program. On a rotating basis, two residents are stationed at the VA to provide in-patient and out-patient care on an academic teaching service attended by one of our attending neurologists. A third resident position is in the out-patient clinic. The residents also benefit from the contributions to the didactic training program provided by VA physicians, especially including instruction in EEG reading by Drs. Anne Van Cott and Maria Baldwin. The VA neurology service further contributes to the educational mission of the neurology department by serving as a clinical rotation site for medical students in their third year of training and residents in the UPMC internal medicine program.

The VA neurology division participates in the education component of the GRECC as a clinical training site for geriatric psychiatry fellows throughout the year. We also serve as a training site for the geriatrics fellowship programs at UPMC and St. Margaret’s Hospitals.

VA physicians pursue both clinical and basic research, which is described on individual faculty web pages.