Who We Are

History

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.

Mission

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.

Vision

A world in which all children affected by neurologic disorders reach their full potential.

Our Founder

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.


Officers

W. (Donald) Shields, M.D. – 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.

TrescherWilliam Trescher, M.D. – President Elect

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.

BrownLawrence W. Brown, M.D. – Immediate Past President

Dr. Brown is Associate Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also director of the Pediatric Neuropsychiatry Program, a multidisciplinary clinic for children whose complex learning and behavioral issues have a neurobiological basis. This population includes Tourette syndrome, high functioning autism and complex ADHD with co-morbidities, as well as those with epilepsy, genetic syndromes and other neurological disorders. The pediatric neuropsychiatry program has allowed him to broaden his basic interest in the relationship between behavior and the developing nervous system. Related research interests include clinical drug trials and genetic studies in Tourette syndrome. The latter research is funded through an RO1 from the National Institutes of Health as part of an international consortium to develop a world-wide data bank of individuals with Tourette syndrome. In addition, Dr. Brown is a senior clinician in CHOP’s Pediatric Regional Epilepsy Program where he continues to be productive as principal investigator on numerous clinical drug trials in pediatric epilepsy. He is also a senior clinician in the Sleep Disorders Center with a major interest in how sleep and its disorders interact in children with neurological and developmental disorders.

JesteShafali Spurling Jeste, M.D. – Secretary/Treasurer

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.


Directors

AshwalStephen 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.

GospeSidney 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.

HarrisNancy R. Harris (Parent Representative)

Mrs. Harris is a nationally-recognized patient advocate with more than two decades of experience creating, leading, and directing patient organizations focused on severe and rare diseases. She views patient advocacy from many perspectives: as strategic advisor to The RARE Project, former chair and current board member of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD0, founder and director of a leading patient organization, consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, and as the mother of a child with severe disabilities. Mrs. Harris brings a unique combination of empowerment and empathy to her work with patients, caregivers, and organization. She is skilled at bringing together patient communities and industry to achieve shared goals ranging from disease education to research and development, access to therapies, and patient support programs. Her advocacy spans diverse therapeutic categories and all stages of drug recovery, development, and commercialization. She started her patient advocacy career while working with world-renowned pediatric neurologist Dr. John H. Menkes at the Marion Davies Clinic at UCLA. She helped to create and establish the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation and served for 15 years as the organization’s first director of services. In addition to her leadership roles at The RARE Project and NORD, Nancy serves on the board of the Child Neurology Foundation and co-chaired the group’s advocacy committee. She also advises the data and safety monitoring board of the Best Pharmaceuticals for Children’s Ace, and served on the education committee of WE MOVE, an organization for people with movement disorders. Nancy majored in fine arts and education at the University of the Arts, formerly the Philadelphia Museum College of the Arts. She resides in Beverly Hill, California.

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.

PellockJohn M. (Jack) Pellock, M.D.

Dr. Pellock is Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, Pharmacy and Pharmaceutics at Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, Virginia since 1995. He served as Chairman of the Division of Child Neurology from 1995-2014.  He currently is the Senior Associate Dean for Continuing Medical Education and CEO of UHS-PEP. Dr. Pellock is a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics and of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Special Qualification in Child Neurology.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a member of several professional organizations including the American Neurological Association, The Child Neurology Society, and the American Epilepsy Society where he is Past President. He has been included in Best Doctors in America and Who’s Who International and America. Dr. Pellock has been Principal Investigator for over 100 trials evaluating epilepsy treatments in children and adults, and a co-investigator for many others.  He is funded by the NIH for various studies in pediatric and adult epilepsy. Dr. Pellock has been involved in antiepileptic drug development and studying epilepsy in children for over thirty years.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Child Neurology, Pediatric Neurology, Epileptic Disorders, Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics and serves as reviewer of a number of journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Neurology, Epilepsia, and Pediatrics.  He has published extensively (more than 250 articles and books) and lectured widely on pediatric epilepsy. He has also conducted clinical research in anticonvulsant therapy. He received the 2004 J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Neurology from the American Epilepsy Society and was invited to deliver the Judith Hoyer Lecture in 2013. Dr. Pellock received his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Science in biology at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey and his medical degree from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri.  He completed an internship and residency in pediatrics at the Medical College of Virginia, VCU and a fellowship in pediatric neurology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York, New York.  Following training, he served in the U.S. Navy as LT CDR at National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, after which he began his tenure at Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University in 1978. He is married to Mary L. (Miller) Pellock, has a son, daughter and one grandchild.

RydellCatherine M. Rydell, CAE
Executive Director and CEO, American Academy of Neurology

Catherine M. Rydell has been the American Academy of Neurology’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer since February 1999. Currently based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with offices in Washington, DC, and Rochester, New York, the AAN is a worldwide professional association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. Under Rydell’s leadership, membership at the AAN has grown from 16,000 to 28,000 members.Since joining the AAN, Rydell has focused on strengthening advocacy and coalition-building efforts, increasing staff development, improving communication with members and implementing the strategic plan. Under her leadership, the Academy increased educational offerings, expanded the scientific program for the AAN Annual Meeting, and established a for-profit subsidiary to help support new member services. Rydell has also helped the AAN shape the future of the specialty through the creation of the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS). The AAN, along with four other parent organizations, incorporated the UCNS in 2003 to provide program accreditation and physician certification in subspecialty fields of neurology. In 2007, the AAN formed a companion organization-the AAN Professional Association-that would go on to establish a political action committee, BrainPAC. BrainPAC extends the Academy’s ability to generate effective positive change for neurologic patients and the profession through partnership with federal legislators. Rydell has also led the rebranding of the AAN’s foundation to what is now the American Brain Foundation, which supports neurological research in prevention, treatment, and cures. Rydell is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), the highest professional credential in the association industry. Less than five percent of all association professionals have earned a CAE designation. Rydell serves on the Board of Directors of the Child Neurology Foundation and the University of North Dakota Foundation and Alumni Association. She also serves as an ex-officio member of the Neurology Residency Review Committee (RRC) and the United Council of Neurological Subspecialties (UCNS).

TiltonAnn Tilton, M.D.

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.

Waldman

Photo courtesy of CHOP

Amy T. Waldman, M.D., M.S.C.E.

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.


Ex Officio

A_miller-smallsizeAmy Brin Miller, MSN, MA, PCNS-BC, ACHPN
Executive Director (acting), Child Neurology Foundation

Amy Brin Miller has worked on behalf of children with special needs and their families for over 13 years. She is a pediatric advanced practice nurse, Board Certified in Pediatrics and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Miller has been responsible for the development and administration of various tertiary, ambulatory, and community-based pediatric palliative and hospice programs in several states. Miller graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a Masters of Science in Nursing and has a previous Masters in Arts in Political Communication from Miami University. She has several publications in peer-reviewed journals, textbooks, and professional training manuals and has lectured across the country related to improving the pediatric system of care. Miller served as pediatric adjunct faculty at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing and University of Kentucky’s College of Nursing. In 2009, Miller began her consulting career with the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding building systems of care for children with special needs and with children’s hospitals and community-based agencies. In 2013, she began consulting with the Child Neurology Foundation related to transitioning youth with neurologic disease from the pediatric to the adult healthcare system. Miller currently serves as acting Executive Director for the Child Neurology Foundation.

SchorNina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D.
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.

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