About the Epilepsy Program Multidisciplinary Team

The Edward B. Bromfield Epilepsy Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is named in memory of the nationally recognized neurologist-epileptologist Edward Barry Bromfield, MD, who founded the program in 1993, to offer the very latest comprehensive services available to patients with epilepsy. Now, under the direction of Barbara Dworetzky, MD, Chief of the Division of Epilepsy, the program continues to fulfill Dr. Bromfield’s mission to improve the lives of those with epilepsy by offering patients leading-edge evaluation, diagnosis, care and education, inspired by the latest research and imaging technologies.  

Multidisciplinary Team

The Bromfield Epilepsy Program brings together an outstanding group of specialists from a variety of disciplines who share the goal of eliminating seizures in the safest and most effective way, while elevating quality-of-life for all of our patients.

Our multidisciplinary approach integrates the expertise of the internationally renowned BWH clinical staff and allows for comprehensive, seamless care of our patients. Our team includes dedicated neurologists, neurosurgeons, psychiatrists, neuropsychologists, social workers, nurse specialists and electroencephalography (EEG) technologists, all with special training and expertise in epilepsy. The epilepsy team communicates each week to tailor care for each individual patient. Our team maintains close communication with referring physicians. We encourage referring physicians to contact us at any time to discuss their patients, or to refer them for consultation.

To refer a patient for an appointment to see one of our epilepsy specialists, please contact us at (617) 732-7547. We will attempt to accommodate each of your requests, including those to have the patient seen promptly by one of our subspecialists.

Neurologists

Barbara Dworetzky, MD, is chief of the BWH Division of Epilepsy and leads the Bromfield Epilepsy Program and the ACGME-accredited Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship. A graduate of Brown University, she obtained her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 1990. Dr. Dworetzky completed her residency and became BWH’s first epilepsy fellow to help Dr. Bromfield with the building blocks of the program. After completing her fellowship, she was recruited to Boston University to become the clinical director of the Aphasia Research Center and the Epilepsy/EEG program at the Boston VAMC. In 2001, Dr. Bromfield invited her back to BWH to assist in the administration and growth of the BWH program. Dr. Dworetzky is the Chair of the Neurology Quality Assurance Committee and serves on the board of directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island and of the Massachusetts Motor Vehicle Advisory Bureau. Her interests include epilepsy safety and prevention, disparities in epilepsy care, diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy and suspected seizures, non-epileptic seizures, women’s issues in epilepsy and the treatment of seizures in the elderly.  

Ellen J. Bubrick, MD, graduated from Brandeis University and the University of Minnesota Medical School prior to completing the Partners Neurology Residency Program and BWH Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy Fellowship. Dr. Bubrick's areas of clinical expertise include new onset seizures, epilepsy monitoring, surgical treatment of epilepsy and sleep.  Her research interests involve emergency EEG techniques, epilepsy and memory, and imaging in epilepsy.  She is also the Director of Epilepsy Surgery, and serves as an advisor to many Harvard medical students.

Jong Woo Lee, MD, PhD, directs the Brigham Critical Care Monitoring Program. He graduated from Harvard College and obtained his medical and doctorate degrees at McGill University and the Montreal Neurological Institute before completing the Partners Neurology Residency and Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship at BWH. Dr. Lee’s interests and areas of expertise include imaging techniques in epilepsy, especially magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and advanced MRI processing. He has a special interest in patients with seizures as a result of brain tumor and seizures in critically ill patients.

David McCarthy Jr, MD, directs the Boston Veteran's Administration Epilepsy Program and EEG Laboratory. He also supervises the Harvard Medical School Neurology Clerkship and Partners Neurology Residency Program at the Boston V.A. Dr. McCarthy obtained his medical degree from Dartmouth College in 1993.  He completed his medicine internship at the National Naval Medical Center and the Naval Aerospace Medicine Institute. He served four years as a United States Navy flight surgeon with HMM263 and VMFA 121 of the United States Marine Corps Aircraft Wing, then completed his neurology residency training at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women's Hospital. He completed his fellowship in EEG and Epilepsy at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. McCarthy evaluates epilepsy and general neurology patients at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the V.A. Boston Healthcare system hospitals. His research interests include EEG modeling, seizure prediction, post-traumatic epilepsy and epilepsy management in veterans. 

Tracey Milligan, MD, MS, is an associate neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and former Program Director of the Partners Neurology Residency program. Dr. Milligan graduated from the University of New Mexico and obtained her medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. She completed her residency in neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and a two-year fellowship in EEG and epilepsy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She treats adolescents and adults with epilepsy and is interested in difficult-to-control seizures, new onset seizures and seizure education. Dr. Milligan sees patients at BWH in the Neurology Clinic.

Milena Pavlova, MD, graduated from medical school in Sofia, Bulgaria prior to completing her neurology residency at Yale University. She then completed fellowships at BWH in clinical neurophysiology/epilepsy and later in sleep medicine. She directs the Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital (BW/F) Sleep Laboratory and is interested in the interface of sleep disturbances and neurologic disease, particularly epilepsy. In addition to routine studies, the BW/F Sleep Laboratory performs simultaneous polysomnography and overnight epilepsy monitoring with full EEG coverage.

Page B. Pennell, MD, is director of research for the Division of Epilepsy. She is a nationally recognized leader in pregnancy and epilepsy, with a strong interest in clinical epilepsy, epilepsy surgery and anti-epileptic drugs and lactation. Prior to joining BWH in 2009, Dr. Pennell was director of the Epilepsy Program at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. She has published more than 50 research papers in her field and has served on the editorial boards for the journals Epilepsia and The Neurologist.

Rani Sarkis MD, MSc. graduated from a combined MD/MSc. program from the American University of Beirut. He then completed neurology residency at the Cleveland Clinic, a 2-year fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/epilepsy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a fellowship in behavioral neurology/neuropsychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital. He evaluates patients at Brigham and Women’s and South Shore Hospital and is also director of neurophysiology education for neurology residents at BWH. His areas of expertise and research interests include epilepsy in the elderly, seizures in dementia, memory and concentration difficulties in patients with epilepsy, cognitive complications after epilepsy surgery, and autoimmune epilepsy.

Daniel Weisholtz, MD graduated from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He completed his neurology residency training  in the Partners Neurology Residency Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital followed by fellowship training in clinical neurophysiology, epilepsy, and neuropsychiatry at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He has research experience utilizing functional neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques to study neuropsychiatric disorders.  Currently, Dr. Weisholtz sees patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. Together with Dr. Gaston Baslet from neuropsychiatry, he runs an inter-disciplinary clinic at Brigham and Women’s for the evaluation and treatment of patients with psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES) and psychiatric co-morbidities of epilepsy. He also performs neurologic consultations for the inpatient psychiatry unit at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. His areas of expertise include seizure and epilepsy diagnosis and management, and psychiatric aspects of epilepsy including psychosis, depression, and anxiety. 

Social Workers

Jeffrey Robbins, LICSW joined the Division of Epilepsy at BWH in 1997. He is a graduate of Boston University, the Smith College School For Social Work and is a Teaching Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. In addition to his clinical interests, Jeff coordinates the EBB Long Term Monitoring program and is assisting in the development of a comprehensive program for patients with non-epileptic seizures. He is the co-founder of Camp Wee-Kan-Tu; the first overnight summer camp for children with epilepsy in New England, now in its 18th year.

Nurse Specialist

Erin Farina, RN, oversees patient education and the assessment and triage of patients with seizure emergencies at the Bromfield Epilepsy Program’s outpatient clinic. In addition, she assists in the management of patients following their discharge from the inpatient long-term video EEG monitoring unit.  Ms. Farina obtained her associate’s degree in nursing at Massachusetts Bay Community College in Wellesley. Prior to joining BWH’s Neurology Department staff in 2007, she worked in the Harvard Neuroendocrine Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as an ambulatory clinical and research nurse.  At BWH, Ms. Farina’s  interests include safety and education of patients with seizures, including seizure first aid, medication side effects and compliance, and health-related quality of life.

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