Neurocritical Care Team

Karen Hirsch, MD
Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences
Program Director, Neurocritical Care

Dr. Karen G. Hirsch joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2012 as an Assistant Professor after completing neurology residency at the Johns Hopkins University and fellowship in neurocritical care at the University of California, San Francisco. She cares for critically ill patients with neurologic disorders in the intensive care unit and for patients with cerebrovascular disease in the inpatient stroke unit. Dr. Hirsch’s research focuses on novel imaging techniques such as functional brain imaging in patients with cardiac arrest and traumatic brain injury. She also studies methods of non-invasive measurement of cerebral blood flow, oxygenation, and cerebrovascular autoregulation and how these parameters might be targeted to improve outcome in patients with neurologic injury. In the outpatient clinic, she sees patients with head injury, stroke and other neurovascular diseases in addition to patients who have been discharged from the neurological intensive care unit.


Marion S. Buckwalter, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, and Neurosurgery

Dr. Buckwalter joined the Stroke Center in 2002 after her fellowship training at University of California San Francisco. Specialty trained in both neurocritical care and stroke, she oversees the care of patients who are neurologically critically ill. She also maintains a basic science laboratory at Stanford. Her lab focuses on how inflammatory responses after brain injury affect neurological recovery. In the United States, there are 4 million people currently living with the effects of stroke, and another 4.3 million living with the effects of traumatic brain injury. Of the people who have had a stroke, many are disabled to the degree that they cannot work, and a significant proportion are unable to walk, feed themselves, or communicate with their families the way they could prior to their stroke. Despite this very high number of people who are suffering, there is a large knowledge gap regarding the mechanisms by which neurological recovery occurs, and not a single FDA-approved therapy available to help people recover. There is reason to think that such a therapy might be obtainable - we know that some people, especially younger ones, experience significant recovery after stroke. Animal studies, almost entirely done in young animals, also demonstrate significant recovery after neurological injury. Dr. Buckwalter's goal is thus to better understand the mechanisms that contribute to recovery in the young, and how they are influenced by inflammatory responses. With better knowledge of these responses, she hopes to be able to develop new therapies that will help people recover better from stroke and other brain injuries.


Anna Finley Caulfield, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Finley Caulfield joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2004 from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She is specialty-trained both in stroke and neurocritical care. She cares for acute stroke patients and other neurologically critical ill patients in the intensive care unit. Currently, her research interests include hypothermia after cardiac arrest and comparing health care provider's predications of future neurological function in neurologically critical ill patients to their 6-month outcome.


Prashanth Krishnamohan, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology & Neurological Sciences
Medical Director of Neurology, Stanford Health Care ValleyCare

Dr. Krishnamohan joined the Stanford Stroke Center as a Fellow in Neurocritical Care and Stroke in 2015 after completing an Internal Medicine residency in India and Neurology residency at the University of Kentucky. His clinical focus is on caring for patients with neurological illnesses in the intensive care unit. His research interest focuses on identifying predictors of brain injury severity after cardiac arrest. He is also the Medical Director of Neurology at Stanford Healthcare ValleyCare hospital where he is involved in building and expanding the Neurology program and also cares for hospitalized patients with acute strokes and other neurological diseases.


Zachary David Threlkeld, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology and Neurological Sciences

Dr. Threlkeld cares for critically ill patients with acute neurologic illness, including traumatic brain injury, stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and epilepsy. He completed his residency training in neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, and joined the Stanford Neurocritical Care program after completing fellowship training in neurocritical care at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. He has a particular clinical and research interest in traumatic brain injury. His research uses advanced imaging modalities like functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to better understand disorders of consciousness.


Chitra Venkatasubramanian MBBS, MD, MSc, FNCS
Division of Stroke and Neurocritical Care
Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology and (by courtesy) Neurosurgery

Dr. Venkatasubramanian is a board certified vascular neurologist and neurointensivist who joined the Stanford Stroke Center in 2005 as a Fellow after completing successive residency training in internal medicine and neurology at Stanford University Medical Center. She also holds a Masters degree in Clinical Trials from LSHTM, University of London and is a board certified neurosonologist. She has been on faculty since 2007.  Her primary focus is the clinical care of neurologically critically ill patients in the intensive care unit and patients with acute stroke and TIA in the inpatient stroke unit. In addition, she sees patients with stroke and neurovascular diseases in her stroke clinic and patients discharged from the neurological ICU for follow up.

She is the Stanford prinicipal investigator for several clinical trials in intracerebral hemorrhage, large hemispheric infarction and fever management in brain injury. She also spearheads protocol development and quality improvement in the areas of emergency anticoagulation reversal, hypothermia after cardiac arrest, brain death and organ donation and pre-hospital neurocritical care for Lifeflight transport. She is keenly interested in the introduction of novel technologies in the ICU for delivering cutting edge neurocritical care.


Hannah Louse Kirsch, MD
Clinical Instructor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Kirsch joined Stanford University in 2020 after residency at the University of California, San Francisco and fellowship at New York Presbyterian Columbia and Cornell Hospitals. She cares for neurologically critically ill patients in the intensive care unit and for neurology inpatients at Stanford Healthcare Valley Care Hospital. Her research interests include how best to teach and evaluate palliative care skills in neurology trainees, and how to evaluate and reduce moral distress in neurointensive care physicians. 


Jack Tzu-Chieh Wang, MD, PhD
Instructor, Neurology & Neurological Sciences

Dr. Jack Wang joined the Stroke Center in 2020 after completing neurocritical care fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center, where he currently cares for critically ill patients with neurological illnesses.  He obtained his MD/PhD at Stanford University School of Medicine and neurology residency training at University of California, Los Angeles. He has particular clinical and research interests in stroke and traumatic brain injury, and currently leads an active translational effort to understand the molecular pathways that mediate axonal degeneration following ischemic and traumatic injuries in the brain and spinal cord, with the goal of identifying novel therapeutic targets to prevent disease progression and promote functional recovery in patients with these conditions.


Fellows

Spencer Craven, MD
Neurocritical Care Fellow

Dr. Spencer Craven is a Neurocritical Care Fellow with academic interest in development of novel applications of transcranial doppler ultrasound, quality improvement in clinical education, and intensive care unit-related post-traumatic stress disorder.  He completed medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry with additional training in Deaf Health.  He completed his internship and Neurology residency at Wake Forest Baptist Health, where he earned awards for resident education and excellence in stroke management.

Nick Murray, MD
Neurocritical Care Fellow

Dr. Nick Murray is a neurocritical care fellow with research interests in predictors of ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury acute outcomes, artificial intelligence in stroke imaging, and inpatient neurosciences quality improvement.  He completed medical school at the University of Iowa, with additional research training in serotonin and neuronal control of breathing at the Mayo Clinic and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, followed by internship in internal medicine at CPMC in San Francisco and then Stanford for Neurology Residency.   Dr. Murray plans to continue as an academic neurological intensivist after fellowship. 

Varun Shah, MD
Neurocritical Care Fellow

Dr. Varun Shah is a neurocritical care fellow with academic interests in acute management of large vessel ischemic stroke, intraparenchymal hemorrhage and subarachnoid hemorrhage, quality improvement in healthcare and novel techniques in delivering effective undergraduate and graduate medical education. Dr Shah completed his medical school at the Gujarat University in India, followed by an internship in Internal Medicine and a residency in Neurology at the University of Texas Medical Branch before joining Stanford as a neurocritical care fellow. Dr. Shah plans to pursue an academic career in neurocritical care upon graduation.

Sandeep Walia, MD
Neurocritical Care Fellow

Dr. Sandeep Walia is a Neurocritical Care fellow with significant interest in the effects of substance abuse on ischemic and hemorrhage stroke, stroke imaging, and quality improvement. He completed both his medical degree and internship in internal medicine at Georgetown University School of Medicine. This was followed by neurology residency at University of California Davis.

APP Team

Liz Fox, MSN, ACNS, AG-ACNP, ANVP, FAHA, FNCS
Lead Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Liz Fox is the Lead Advanced Practice Provider for Neurocritical Care. She holds a Masters Degree in Nursing and is board certified as an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Neurovascular Practitioner, and Adult Clinical Nurse Specialist. Liz is also an assistant clinical professor in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at University of California San Francisco.  Liz is a Fellow of the American Heart/Stroke Association and Neurocritical Care Society and is the past chair for the Advanced Practice Provider Committee of the Neurocritical Care Society. She has published on stroke nurse navigation models of care, is a writing committee member for an upcoming aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage guidelines as well as nursing guidelines for ICU/Thrombectomy care. She has provided numerous lectures on stroke and ICU care at professional conferences.

Jesus (Jay) Navoa, PA-C
Manager of Advanced Practice – Center for Advanced Practice

Jay graduated with a bachelor’s Degree in biology from Stony Brook University and continued his Physician Assistant education at St. John’s University in NY. He has over 13 years of neurosurgery and neurocritical care experience at Mount Sinai and Cornell-New York Presbyterian Hospitals and currently has been with Stanford since relocating to the west coast in 2016. He also has an additional year of thoracic surgery experience at Georgetown University Hospital. While at NYP, he helped in expanding the roles of the advanced practice providers in the neurosciences by assisting in the development of service line coverage in neurosurgery, general and vascular neurology and in neurocritical care. Jay currently oversees the advanced practice providers in both neurocritical care and inpatient neurosurgery and provides care for patients in both service lines.

Steven Benjamin Augustine, MSN, NP, AGPCNP-BC, CCRN, CNRN
Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Steven joined Stanford Neurocritical Care in 2019 after serving as stroke NP and administrator for the LA area's first certified thrombectomy center. Previously a project manager by trade, he turned his attention to healthcare and received his BSN and MSN from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Throughout his clinical career, Steven has focused on providing comprehensive care for complex geriatric and acute stroke and neurological trauma patients.

Natalie Boehm, FNP-BC

Natalie graduated from Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA. She began her career as a registered nurse in the critical care unit, where she worked for 6 years. While gaining experience as a critical care nurse, she earned her bachelors in nursing science at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA and then a Masters in Nursing Science, Nurse Practitioner at University of California. She moved to the Bay Area where she began her nurse practitioner career as  a neurocritical care nurse practitioner at Regional Medical Center in San Jose. She has been at Stanford as part of the inpatient Neurosurgery team since the beginning of 2019 and also works per diem with the Neurocritical Care team.

Veda K. Chau, MPAS, PA-C
Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Veda is an APP for the Neurocritical Care department and newest member starting in February 2020. She graduated with her Masters in Physician Assistant Studies at MCPHS University - Worcester Campus. She has previously worked as an in-patient Neurology and Neurocritical PA at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, MA for 2.5 years. Born and raised in Connecticut, where she completed her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Connecticut. Her hobbies including trying new foods including cooking/baking recipes, attempting to garden and sightseeing. 

Heather Clark, MS, RN, AGACNP-BC
Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Heather joined Stanford Healthcare in 2015 as a nurse practitioner, first in the cardiovascular surgical ICU and later transitioning to Neurocritical Care in 2017.  She graduated in 2003 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a BSN and in 2014 from the University of California San Francisco with an MSN. She has been board certified as an Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner since 2014. 

Angie Murkins, FNP-BC
Neurocritical Care Nurse Practictioner

Angie received her nursing degree from St. Luke’s College in Kansas City, MO and as a nurse practitioner from the University of Kansas School of Nursing in 2008. She previously worked in the CDU here at Stanford and has experience with the inpatient neurosurgery at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA. She started with the neurosurgery team in 2017 and has since transitioned to caring for patients primarily on the neurocritical care service.

Mary Scott, AG-ACNP
Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Mary Scott received her BSN from Liberty University in 2012. She worked as an RN at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and in the Surgical ICU at Johns Hopkins Hospital before working as a travel ICU nurse in various hospitals along the West Coast, from San Diego to Seattle (including Stanford). She graduated from Vanderbilt University as an Adult- Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner in 2018 and worked as an NP with Surgical Critical Care at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital in Roanoke, VA. She enjoys long distance running, skiing, and hiking with her dog, Lola. She is looking forward to joining the NCC team at Stanford and exploring all that the Bay Area has to offer!

Angelica Yasawadi, PA-C
Advanced Practice Provider, Neurocritical Care

Angelica graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Southern California, and went on to earn her Physician Assistant master’s degree at Stanford University. Excited to continue pursuing her long-standing interest in the neurosciences, Angelica accepted a position with Stanford’s Neurocritical Care team shortly after graduating.