After founding the Child Neurology Society in 1972, Dr. Kenneth Swaiman, one of the nation’s first pediatric neurologists, established the Child Neurology Foundation in 2001. While the Society is the professional organization for the nation’s pediatric neurologists, the Foundation serves pediatric patients through advocacy, education, research, and support initiatives.
To improve the lives of children with neurologic disorders by strengthening connections between patients and their families, physicians, other healthcare professionals, and advocacy and industry partners.
A world in which all children affected by neurologic disorders reach their full potential.
Kenneth F. Swaiman, M.D.
Dr. Swaiman is an internationally known child neurologist and Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School where he was the director of the Division of Child Neurology for several decades. He also served as Interim Head of the Department of Neurology. During his tenure, he was involved in the training of almost 100 pediatric neurologists from the United States and Canada, as well as many other countries. His biography is cited in “Who’s Who in America”, “Who’s Who in the World”, “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering”, and “The Best Doctors in America”.
Dr. Swaiman was the Chairman of the organizing committee and first President of the Child Neurology Society (CNS). He received the Hower award, the highest award of that society, and the Founder’s Award at its 25th Anniversary meeting as well as The Lifetime Achievement Award for Neurologic Education by the American Academy of Neurology. As chairman of the organizing committee of the Professors of Child Neurology, he was its first President and a prime mover, and also first president of the Child Neurology Foundation. He was a member of the organizing committee of the International Child Neurology Association (ICNA), has served on many National Institutes of Health Study Sections, and has been visiting professor and lecturer at medical schools in the United States and throughout the world, including Canada, South America, Asia, Mexico, Europe, and Africa.
Dr. Swaiman has been the Editor and a primary contributor to the textbook titled Practice of Pediatric Neurology (two editions) and Pediatric Neurology: Principles and Practice (five editions). He is the Founding Editor and immediate past Editor-in-Chief of Pediatric Neurology, an international journal devoted to the basic and clinical aspects of the diagnosis of children with neurologic impairment. He has served as a member of the Editorial Boards of the Annals of Neurology, Brain and Development, Neuropediatrics, and the Chinese Journal of Pediatrics.
His investigative endeavors have included research into brain energy metabolism, the effect of malnutrition on the developing brain, and the metabolic effects of iron and other metals on brain function. He has been particularly involved in studies of Neurodegeneration with Brain Iron Accumulation (NBIA) and other childhood movement disorders.
Board of Directors
Pediatric neurologists make up at least 51% of our Board and join other Directors that include advocacy organization leaders and parents of children with neurologic disorders.
William Trescher, M.D. – President
William H. Trescher, M.D. is Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology and Division Chief of Pediatric Neurology at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Before moving to the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in 2005, he worked at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and was a Faculty Member in the Johns Hopkins University Department of Neurology for 16 years. He has been on the Board of Directors of the Child Neurology Foundation since 2009, serving as the Secretary-Treasurer from 2013 to 2014 and the President Elect since 2014. Dr. Trescher’s clinical and research interests have been in epilepsy related to brain injury and in special needs populations of children. At the Penn State Children’s Hospital, he has been working to develop models of coordinated care of children with neurological disorders, particularly in a rural environment where services for children may be spread not only over many different specialists but also over great geographic distances. Dr. Trescher has had a long-standing interest in medical ethics, serving as a member of the Ethics Committees of the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Penn State Hershey Medical Center for a combined total of 17 years between the two institutions.
W. (Donald) Shields, M.D. – Past President
Donald Shields, M.D. has devoted three decades to children afflicted with epilepsy. As immediate past Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neurology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA, he is one of the world’s foremost experts on pediatric epilepsy. He currently serves as Emeritus Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at UCLA. As a forceful advocate for the early use of surgery to treat some childhood epilepsy syndromes, his efforts have established UCLA as one of the world’s leading centers for pediatric epilepsy surgery, treatment and research. In. 1980, he championed the founding of the UCLA Pediatric Epilepsy Program to fulfill his vision of a comprehensive epilepsy treatment and research center focused on epilepsy in infants and young children. Dr. Shields is President of the Child Neurology Foundation.
Ann Tilton, M.D. – President Elect
Dr. Tilton is a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and Section Chair of Child Neurology at Louisiana State Health Science Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is director of the Rehabilitation Center at Children’s Hospital of New Orleans and director of the Comprehensive Spasticity Program. Special interests include neurorehabilitation, neuromuscular disorders, and clinical applications and research in novel uses of botulinum toxin and intrathecal baclofen in the care of children and young adults with abnormal tone. Dr. Tilton has served on the executive committee of the Professors of Child Neurology and has been active in the national Child Neurology Society as a councilor, Secretary/Treasurer, and served as President of the organization. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Child Neurology Foundation. She has been involved in the American Academy of Neurology Board of Directors where she served as the treasurer of the American Academy of Neurology Institute. Residency education is one of her priorities and she served as a member and Vice Chair of the ACGME Neurology Residency Review Committee (RRC). She is currently the Chair of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN). Her interest in children with disabilities extends to the American Academy of Pediatrics where she served on the national Council for Children with Disabilities. Additionally, she is a certified member of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation and has been active on the executive committee. Dr. Tilton has been board certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Special Qualifications in Child Neurology and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Clinical Neurophysiology. She has published on numerous topics and has spoken nationally and internationally on child neurology, rehabilitation, and spasticity management.
Shafali Spurling Jeste, M.D. – Secretary
Dr. Spurling Jeste is an Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Neurology at UCLA, and she is the director of the Electrophysiology Core at the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Child Neurology Foundation. She also serves on the Professional Advisory Board of the Dup15q Alliance and the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance. She has been the recipient of the Child Neurology Foundation’s Researcher-in-Training Award (2007) and the American Academy of Neurology’s Clinical Researcher-in-Training Award (2008). She also was selected for the AAN Emerging Leader Forum for 2013-2014. Her research focuses on the design and application of novel, electrophysiological methods to better characterize behavioral and cognitive domains in infants at risk for autism and very young children with autism, in order to ultimately use biomarkers to help define treatment targets and predictors of treatment outcomes. She also studies several neurogenetic syndromes that are associated with autism, including Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Dup15q syndrome. She has published several manuscripts on the neurology of autism, as well as on early predictors of autism in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Her research is funded by NIMH, NICHD and the Department of Defense.
Amy T. Waldman, M.D., M.S.C.E. – Treasurer
Dr. Waldman is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Multiple Sclerosis Center at CHOP, which she co-founded in 2005 with Dr. Gihan Tennekoon. Since its inception, this multi-disciplinary clinic has evaluated patients with various acquired neuroinflammatory conditions. Her clinical practice also expanded after starting the MS program to include genetic neurodegenerative diseases affecting the white matter of the brain. With advancements in therapeutics for leukodystrophies and expanding newborn screening, she was instrumental in formally creating a new leukodystrophy program at CHOP consisting of over 35 clinicians, researchers, nurses, therapists, and staff members. In May, 2015, Dr. Waldman was named the Medical Director of The Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence at CHOP, which is dedicated to improved clinical care, diagnostic evaluation, and therapeutics for children with inherited white matter diseases. Dr. Waldman’s research career has focused on the development of visual and neurologic outcome measures in pediatric MS. As the recipient of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-American Academy of Neurology Foundation (now American Brain Foundation) Clinician Scientist Development Award, Dr. Waldman pursued a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (M.S.C.E.) from the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. This award and training in research methodology has led to advancement in understanding of afferent visual pathway disease in pediatric MS. In addition to support from the National MS Society and American Brain Foundation, Dr. Waldman has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (K23 mentored research award, National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke) and other private foundations. Dr. Waldman’s visual sciences program is actively studying high- and low-contrast acuity, optical coherence tomography, and other functional-structural correlates of inflammatory diseases through innovative work at CHOP as well as international collaborations and multi-center studies.
Stephen Ashwal, M.D.
Dr. Ashwal is Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Child Neurology in the Department of Pediatrics at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA. He has been active in the leadership of the Child Neurology Society, serving in different capacities as President, Secretary/Treasurer, Councilor from the West, and Chairperson of multiple committees (Legislative Affairs, Practice, Archives, Ethics etc) . He was a founding member of the Child Neurology Foundation and currently serves on its Executive Board. With Drs. Kenneth Swaiman, Donna Ferriero and Nina Schor, he served as coeditor of one of the main textbooks in the field of child neurology, Pediatric Neurology: Principles & Practice (2012) which is undergoing revision with publication of the 6th edition scheduled for the fall of 2017. He also was author and editor of The Founders of Child Neurology (1990), which is the primary source of information about the development of the field of Pediatric Neurology. He has been active in the development of child neurology practice guidelines and is a member of the Development, Dissemination, and Implementation Subcommittee (GDDI) of the American Academy of Neurology He has been responsible for development of pediatric guidelines related to brain death, the vegetative state, and evaluation of children with autism, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, headaches and status epilepticus. His research involves traumatic brain injury as well as use of neural stem cells for neonatal hypoxic ischemic brain injury. He has been the recipient of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health in areas related to acute neonatal and pediatric brain injury.
Jan Brunstrom, M.D.
Dr. Jan Brunstrom-Hernandez MD is a Pediatric Neurologist and Director of 1 CP Place, PLLC, a clinic founded in 2015 in Plano Texas to help children with cerebral palsy live their very best lives. Dr. Brunstrom graduated from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and completed her pediatric neurology training at St. Louis Children’s Hospital at Washington University School of Medicine. Prior to moving with her husband to Texas, Dr. Jan (as she is known by her patients) was the founder and director of the Pediatric Neurology Cerebral Palsy Center at Washington University School of Medicine and St. Louis Children’s Hospital from June 1998 to December 2014. She also established several adaptive sports programs for her patients including martial arts, swimming and basketball. In 2003, she founded the Carol and Paul Hatfield Cerebral Palsy Sports Rehabilitation Program at SLCH (now in its 12th year) that includes Camp Independence, an intensive adapted summer sports program for children and adolescents with CP. Jan is a steering committee member of the International Multidisciplinary Prevention and Cure Team for cerebral palsy (IMPACT for CP) and recently joined the Scientific Advisory Council of the Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation.
Sidney M. Gospe, Jr., M.D., Ph.D. (Website Committee Chair)
Dr. Gospe is Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics and holds the Herman and Faye Sarkowsky Endowed Chair at the University of Washington. He is the Head of the Division of Pediatric Neurology at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Prior to moving to Seattle in 2000, Dr. Gospe served on the faculty of the University of California, Davis for 13 years. Dr. Gospe received his undergraduate education at Stanford University and earned his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Duke University. He completed his postgraduate medical education in pediatrics and child neurology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. Dr. Gospe’s laboratory research has focused on neurotoxicology, in particular the neurodevelopmental effects of maternal exposure to certain toxicants during pregnancy. His clinical research concerns pyridoxine (vitamin B6) dependent epilepsy (PDE), a rare familial cause of infantile seizures and associated developmental disability. He participates in biochemical, molecular and radiological studies of patients with PDE and has established a national registry for patients with this uncommon inherited disorder.
John C. Hutchins
John has practiced law since 2007, working in-house and growing his professional career with the American Academy of Neurology (“AAN”) and its related organizations. The AAN is a 501c6, professional association comprised of 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, nationally and internationally. John began as a legal intern in 2006 and was hired as a Staff Attorney in 2007. John now serves as AAN’s Deputy General Counsel. In this role, John manages the legal and policy services for the AAN and its affiliate, and their Boards of Directors. Additionally, John serves as General Counsel for the American Brain Foundation (“ABF”). ABF is a national 501c3 charity committed to promoting human potential by curing brain disease. As General Counsel, John oversees and manages all legal services for the ABF and provides counsel to the Board of Directors and the professional staff. In both roles, John has participated in high-level strategic initiatives and built relationships with peers at other membership associations and foundations.
For the past five years, John has served on the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Health Law Section Council. He has held the positions of Program Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and is currently serving as Vice Chair. John is an active member of the General Counsels Component Group for the Council of Medical Specialty Societies. John volunteers for Youth Farm, a youth development organization in the Twin Cities utilizing urban farming to educate and cultivate leadership. John serves as Secretary on the Youth Farm Board of Directors and as Chair of the Development Committee.
John’s most important roles are proud husband to Lindsey and dad to their baby girl, Mae. They live in Lakeville, MN along with their 100lb Pyrenees-mix, Oliver
Bennett Lavenstein, M.D. (Fundraising Committee Chair)
Professor, Neurology and Pediatrics, The George Washington School of Medicine, Children’s National Medical Center
University of Maryland School of Medicine , Doctor of Medicine; Internship, University of Pittsburgh Health Center Hospitals; Pediatric Residency, University of Maryland Hospital; Residency Neurology and Child Neurology, Georgetown University Hospital; Fellow, Neuromuscular Disorders, NINDS, NIH; Faculty, Georgetown University School of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine; Fellow, American Academy of Neurology; Child Neurology Society; Professors, Child Neurology; Movement Disorders Society; American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics, Board; Child Neurology Foundation,Board; Medical Advisory Board Tourette Syndrome Association Greater Washington Area. Author, multiple papers and abstracts in child neurology.
Sue Yudovin, RN, MN, CPNP
Sue Yudovin is a pediatric nurse practitioner at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, in Los Angeles. She coordinates the pediatric epilepsy surgery program as well as practices in the BrainSPORT concussion/TBI program. She sees patients in clinic with concussions and participates in educational events for youth athletes about concussion prevention and, “If in doubt, sit it out.”
› Ex Officio Directors – Voting
Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D.
Past President, Child Neurology Society (CNS)
Dr. Schor is the seventh Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and the William H. Eilinger Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is also Pediatrician-in-Chief of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong and Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology & Anatomy. Before arriving in Rochester, she was the Chief of the Division of Child Neurology in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She also served as Professor of Pediatrics, Neurology, and Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh and held the Carol Ann Craumer Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. A native of New York City, Dr. Schor received her BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University, her MD from Cornell University, and her PhD from Rockefeller University. Her work at Rockefeller University resulted in being awarded a U.S. Patent and an IND from the FDA for development of a mucolytic agent for use in children with cystic fibrosis. She did her Pediatrics and Child Neurology residencies at Harvard University, Children’s Hospital of Boston, and the Longwood Area Neurology Program. Dr. Schor heads a research effort aimed at design and development of new strategies for treating tumors of the nervous system, including neuroblastoma and pheochromocytoma and for understanding the developmental mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. She served as Associate Dean for Medical Student Research at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Schor’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health, among other agencies, since 1988. She has been a Counselor of the Society for Pediatric Research, Counselor and Secretary-Treasurer of the Child Neurology Society, and President of Professors of Child Neurology. She has served most recently as President of the Child Neurology Society and a member of the Executive Council of the American Pediatric Society and the Science Committee of the American Academy of Neurology.
› Ex Officio Directors – Non-voting
Executive Director, Child Neurology Society
Roger Larson graduated from the University of Minnesota with a double-major in American Studies and History. While at the U, he stumbled into a part-time job organizing anti-epileptic drug studies in the Division of Pediatric Neurology (chaired by Ken Swaiman). In time, he parleyed that position into a part-time supporting role with the Child Neurology Society, attending his first CNS Annual Meeting in Halifax in 1988. Twenty-three later, following the Society’s 40th Annual Meeting in Savannah, he accepted a promotion from Associate to Executive Director, succeeding the Society’s first ED, Mary Currey. In his five years at the helm, Roger has overseen a dynamic growth in membership and annual meeting attendance, strengthened partnerships with allied neurological organizations (including the Child Neurology Foundation), and cultivated a culture of engagement among members through newly created and enhanced communication tools including CNS Connections, two websites—a primary, public and committee and special interest group “community” website—with a third, on-line learning website in development and set to launch in late September. Roger prides himself on being able to recite the names of every past and present officer of the CNS, is humbled by the memory of having met all but five of them, and honored to be able to call a goodly number of them friends.
Amy Brin Miller, MSN, MA, PCNS-BC, ACHPN
Executive Director, Child Neurology Foundation
Amy Brin Miller has been working on behalf of children with special needs and their families for over 14 years. She is an advanced practice nurse and is board certified in Pediatrics and Hospice/ Palliative Medicine. Miller has been responsible for the development of various tertiary, ambulatory and community-based pediatric palliative and hospice programs in several states. She has served as a national consultant regarding building systems of care for children and youth living with special healthcare needs. In 2015, Miller was named Executive Director of the Child Neurology Foundation – a national nonprofit aimed at improving the lives of children living with neurologic disorders. She believes the bottom of a potato chip bag comes far too quickly, creating a better tomorrow for all children is a shared responsibility for this world, and her greatest treasures in life are her husband Ryan and their son Ari.