ELHS Core Leadership
Brandy Fureman, PhD
ELHS Network Coordinating Center Lead & Epilepsy Foundation Chief Outcomes Officer
Dr. Brandy Fureman joined the Epilepsy Foundation in 2016 as Vice President for Research and New Therapies and became the Chief Outcomes Officer in 2020. Her main responsibility is to ensure that the Foundation’s activities result in better outcomes and quality of life for individuals and families living with the epilepsies.
Dr Fureman coordinates the overall direction of the Mission Outcomes Team, composed of Research & New Therapies, Public Health & Education, and Government Relations & Advocacy staff. She also directs the Coordinating Center for the Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System, is a Principal Investigator in the Human Epilepsy Project, and oversees the Foundation’s SUDEP Institute.
Dr. Fureman previously served with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) as a Program Director in the Channels, Synapses and Circuits cluster, overseeing a portfolio of basic, translational and clinical epilepsy research, including clinical trials. She was a Presidential Management Fellow at the NINDS, graduated from Cedar Crest College with a B.S. in Genetic Engineering Technology and received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Department of Neuroscience and Anatomy at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Her research interests focused on molecular and behavioral effects of ion channelopathy and triggers of dysfunction in episodic neurological disorders.
Kathleen Farrell, MB BCh BAO
Senior Director of ELHS
Dr. Kathleen Farrell serves as the ELHS Program Director – connecting various stakeholders in the epilepsy space (clinicians, people living with epilepsy, researchers, data experts and regulators) to drive outcome improvement. In her work with the Foundation since 2015, she has also been a leader in the Research Roundtable for Epilepsy (RRE), Rare Epilepsy Network (REN), epilepsy ECHO and SUDEP Biomarker programs.
Dr. Farrell has authored a number of scientific articles, and prior to joining the Epilepsy Foundation worked at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. She earned her medical degree from University College Dublin School of Medicine and Medical Science, and successfully completed the United States Medical Licensing Examinations upon returning to the U.S.
Jeffrey Buchhalter, MD, PHD
Co-Investigator, ELHS Quality Improvement Lead
Jeffrey Buchhalter MD, PhD is Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Calgary and former director of the pediatric epilepsy program at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Mayo Clinic, Rochester. He is a former member of the Task Force on Terminology and Classification and current member of the Big Data Task Force of the International League Against Epilepsy. His current research program involves informatics approaches to improving outcomes for children with epilepsy via structured electronic health records.
Dr. Buchhalter is the Quality Adviser for the Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System network, a multi-site, quality improvement-based project & leads the Pediatric Epilepsy core of this project. He participates on the American Academy of Neurology Coding (ICD-10) sub-committee, was a member of the task forces that produced practice guidelines for the Vagus Nerve Stimulator and Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy and recently co-lead the group that created the first Quality Measures for Child Neurology.
Susan T. Herman, MD
Co-Investigator, ELHS Clinical Core Lead
Dr. Susan Herman is an Professor of Neurology at Barrow Neurological Institute and the Director of the Barrow Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Dr. Herman received her undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University and her medical degree in 1993 from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed a medicine internship, neurology residency, and fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York. At BIDMC, she directs the ICU-EEG monitoring program and the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit.
Dr. Herman is board certified in Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, and Epilepsy. She is Vice President of the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, a past President of the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society, Co-Chair of the Fellows/Junior Investigator Professional Development Committee of the American Epilepsy Society, and member of the Registry Committee and Epilepsy Quality Measures Workgroup of the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Herman’s clinical research focuses on treatment of drug resistant epilepsy, use of innovative EEG technology for diagnosis of seizures and epilepsy, and standardization of care for patients with epilepsy. She is Co-PI of the Clinical Core of the Epilepsy LHS.
Alison Kukla, MPH
ELHS Program Manager & Community Core Lead
Alison Kukla is the Program Manager for the Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System (ELHS). In this role, she leads the ELHS Community Core and supports workgroups in targeted areas of barriers to medication adherence and seizure documentation. She coordinates and manages community engagement activities and partnerships between local Epilepsy Foundation offices and epilepsy centers within ELHS.
Alison also establishes and maintains strategic national partnerships to promote awareness of Foundation programs and its mission. From 2010 - 2017, she worked as a political appointee for the Obama Administration in both The White House’s Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Children’s Health Protection.
Alison was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2006 while she was a freshman in college. Since then, she has become an active advocate, volunteering with various epilepsy organizations, foundations and non-profits. Alison is originally from Youngstown, Ohio and has a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University. She received her Master of Public Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.
Lidia Moura, MD, MPH
ELHS Data Core Co-Lead
Dr. Moura is a neurologist and health services researcher in the Department of Neurology at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Assistant Professor of Neurology at the Harvard Medical School. At the MGH, she completed a research fellowship in clinical trials, a two-year clinical fellowship in Clinical Neurophysiology and Epilepsy, and a one-year clinical fellowship in Advanced General/Autoimmune Neurology to focus on the care of patients with multiple clinical needs. She holds a Master's Degree in Public Health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH) with concentration in Clinical Effectiveness.
Dr. Moura is a PhD student in Population Health Sciences (Epidemiology) at the HSPH and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She is the director of the MGH Neuro Value laboratory. Her work has been sponsored by the American Brain Foundation, Harvard University, and the NIH/National Institute of Aging (NIH-K08, P01 and R01 awards). Dr. Moura's studies combine the use of medical records, registries, patient-reported surveys and large automated data sets to assess care quality and efficiency in neurology. With strong collaborations at the MGH Center for Health Policy Analysis and the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Dr. Moura brings clinical, behavioral and economic perspectives to the Epilepsy Learning Health System.
Nick Abend, MD
ELHS Data Core Co-Lead
Dr. Nicholas Abend is an Associate Professor of Neurology, Pediatrics, and Anesthesia and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the Medical Director of Clinical Neurophysiology, the Director of Neurology Strategy and Inpatient Operations, and an Associate Scholar in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
His clinical practice focuses on seizure management and EEG interpretation in critically ill children and intractable epilepsy management. His research focuses on the significance, pathophysiology, and appropriate management of electrographic seizures in critically ill children and neonates, the treatment of status epilepticus, and the utility of EEG as a prognostic biomarker in children and neonates with acute encephalopathy.
He has served as Chair Critical Care EEG Monitoring Research Consortium and a member of the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society's Council, and he is a Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society and American Clinical Neurophysiology Society.
M. Andrea Donahue, MD
ELHS Data Core Program Manager
Andrea Donahue is a clinical research coordinator at the NeuroValue Lab Health Services Research at Massachusetts General Hospital. Andrea is currently involved in large studies relating to large datasets, claims research, patient-reported outcomes and anticonvulsants. Within ELHS she manages the Data Coordinating Center (DCC), working with researchers, providers and data analysts to drive ELHS’s approach to data collection and measurement. Andrea also contributes to manuscript and grant writing for both institutions.
Andrea earned her medical degree from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala City. As part of her medical formation, she was able to intern in 2015 at Boston Children’s Hospital in the NICU and Massachusetts General Hospital in Pediatric Gastrointestinal department. Her journey in research started in 2016 at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she worked on GI motility research. Shortly after, in 2018 she joined the Neurology Department in Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC in Boston, MA) as a clinical research coordinator and as a program manager for ELHS.
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