Epilepsy Centers of Excellence

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Staff

 
Dr. Karen Parko

Karen L. Parko, MD
National Director

Dr. Karen L. Parko is the National Director of the Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Centers of Excellence and a professor of neurology at the University of California San Francisco. Captain Parko (ret.) retired from the U.S. Public Health Service after serving 24 years of active duty as a commissioned officer. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and a member of the American Epilepsy Society. She is active in the Epilepsy Foundation of America and serves on the Professional Advisory Board of the National Organization and previously chaired the Professional Advisory Board of the Northern California Chapter. She has been with the San Francisco VA Medical Center’s Epilepsy Center since 2004.

Dr. Nina Garga

Nina Garga, MD
Director

Dr. Nina Garga earned her medical degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, NY. She completed her internship at New York University, New York, NY, and her residency followed by a fellowship in epilepsy at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. Dr. Nina Garga has extensive training in cortical mapping techniques during surgery, applying innovative techniques to reduce incidents of intraoperative seizures during mapping. She has published a review on post-traumatic epilepsy. She is the liaison for technology and data management at the Epilepsy Center of Excellence, and directs the evoked potentials laboratory. Dr. Nina Garga has been with the San Francisco VA Medical Center since 2008 as the Director for the Epilepsy Center of Excellence.

Dr. John Hixson

John D. Hixson, MD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology / Staff Physician

Dr. John Hixson earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. He completed his internship and residency in neurology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. He completed his fellowship training in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at the University of Iowa, Iowa, IA. Dr. Hixson has been with the San Francisco VA Medical Center since 2008, and serves on the Policy Advisory Board for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California. He is also active in both national VA implementation efforts and research projects devoted to the use of digital health solutions for the Veterans dealing with epilepsy and seizures.

Dr. Manu Hegde

Manu Hegde, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology / Staff Physician

Dr. Manu Hegde earned his medical degree and a doctorate in neuroscience at the University of California, Davis, CA. After his internal medicine internship at Alameda County Medical Center, Dr. Hegde completed a neurology residency and a fellowship in epilepsy and clinical neurophysiology at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. Dr. Hegde's primary research interest is the identification of epilepsy biomarkers, and is a principal investigator for the Human Epilepsy Project, a large multicenter prospective study of people with focal epilepsy. His other interests include the utilization of novel techniques to improve seizure localization, and the development of an algorithm for epilepsy surgery. Dr. Hegde has published on a variety of topics of interest to both general neurologists and epilepsy specialists, and has received research funding from both NIH/NINDS and non-governmental nonprofit organizations. In 2012, Dr. Hegde joined the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Center of Excellence.

Ryan Rieger

Ryan Rieger, MHPA
National ECoE Administrative Officer

Dr. Vikram Rao

Vikram Rao, MD
Fellow

Dr. Vikram Rao earned his PhD in biomedical sciences and medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco, CA. He completed his internship from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, and his residency at Partners Neurology, Boston, MA. His long term career goal is to divide his time between clinical, research and teaching. He is currently continuing his fellowship at University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Center of Excellence.

Gilbert Woo, MS, MFTI
Psychology Program Specialist

Gilbert Woo attended University of California Davis, CA. He obtained his master’s of science degree in clinical psychology and clinical psychotherapy training from San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA in 2009. He has been affiliated with the University of California Davis, CA since 2002, conducting psychological research. He is currently continuing research in personality and social behavior at the University of California, San Francisco, CA. For his thesis, he investigated changes in emphatic and emotional abilities in epilepsy patients after brain surgery. Gilbert Woo is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Dominican University of California, San Rafael, CA. He is the Mental Health Therapist for the University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Center of Excellence.

Stephanie Chen

Stephanie Chen, MSN, MPH, NP
Nurse Practitioner

Stephanie Chen received her bachelor of arts in molecular and cellular biology and public health from the University of California, Berkeley, CA. She received her master’s of science in nursing and a master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins University, New York, NY. Stephanie worked as a Family Nurse Practioner in primary care before joining the Epilepsy Center. Her clinical practice focus is chronic disease management. She joined the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Epilepsy Center of Excellence in 2012 to implement the SCAN-ECHO program, a new provider-to-provider telemedicine initiative at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Janice Broughton

Janice Broughton, BS
Neuro-diagnostic Technologist

Janice received her bachelor of sciences from Saint Mary University, San Antonio, TX. She is a member of the Neuro-diagnostic Society (ASET) since 2007. She has participated in the Emerging Leaders program at the VA in 2010, a program designed to empower employees to seek leadership roles, and since then has been mentoring other VA employees. Janice has taken the lead to create an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit Safety Video for Epilepsy Centers of Excellence. Janice has been at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2009.

Gui Scheid

Guiomar Scheid, BA
Program Specialist

Gui received her bachelor of arts in psychology from San Francisco State, San Francisco, CA in 2000. She has participated in the Emerging Leaders Program at the VA in 2010 and since then has been empowering junior employees to engage in leadership roles. She has been providing administrative staff support to neurology since 2005, she worked at the Parkinson’s Center, the neuro-interventional, polytrauma clinic, and is currently supporting neuro epilepsy full time. Gui is a passionate advocate for patients and caregivers. She has been with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center since 2002.

Jason Funk

Jason Funk, BS
IT Specialist