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NPA Board of Directors

Robert E. Harbaugh, MD, FAANS, Chair

Robert Harbaugh is the chairman and distinguished professor of neurosurgery and director of the Neuroscience Institute at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and the Penn State College of Medicine. He most recently served as the 2014-2015 president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and currently serves on the AANS Executive Committee as immediate past president. A member of the AANS since 1986, Harbaugh has served as AANS Treasurer, as well as chaired, respectively, the Finance Committee, the AANS/Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) Washington Committee and the AANS Resident Mentoring Program.

Harbaugh has held numerous leadership positions in other organizations — including the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the Society of Neurological Surgeons - where he presently serves as president-elect. Harbaugh is also a member of the National Football League’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, FACS Vice-Chair

Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, FACS is Co-Medical Director of the Carolinas Healthcare System Neuroscience Institute and is Neurological Surgery Residency Program Director at Carolinas Medical Center. He is also Clinical Professor in Neurosurgery at the University of North Carolina, Carolinas Medical Center and Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Asher attended Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he was awarded one of the original Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholarships. After two years of general surgery training at the University of Michigan Hospitals, he served as a Staff Fellow in the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute, NIH, before returning to Ann Arbor to complete a neurosurgical residency. Since the completion of his residency training, Dr. Asher has been a member of the Charlotte, NC based Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates where his primary practice interests include neuro-oncology, stereotactic surgery, trigeminal neuralgia and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Dr. Asher has been recognized yearly as one of the Best Doctors in America since 2003. He has also been recognized as one of the nation’s Top Doctors for Cancer Care. Dr. Asher is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), American Medical Association and Southern Neurosurgical Society. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and has been elected to the American Academy of Neurological Surgery and Society of Neurological Surgeons.

Dr. Asher served as President, Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) from 2007 to 2008. He is currently a Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery (ABNS), Director at Large, American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Vice Chairman, AANS NeuroPoint Alliance.

Dr. Asher presently serves as Surgical Director, NeuroOncology Program, Levine Cancer Institute. He co-founded and is Past-Chairman of the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas. He is past Chairman of the Central Nervous System Organ Site Committee of the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group and was a member of the AANS/CNS Section on Tumors Executive Committee for over a decade. Dr. Asher has established cooperative cancer and spine research programs with clinical and laboratory scientists at community and academic institutions across the country.

Dr. Asher has extensive leadership experience in neurosurgical quality improvement. He co-founded and is presently Director, National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database. He is Co-Chairman, National Task Force on Quality Initiatives in Neurosurgery, Chairman of the ABNS Data and Quality Improvement Committee. He presently chairs the Privacy and Research Task Force of the AMA National Quality Registry Network Council and has served on the Neurology Clinical Working Group of the CMS Episode Grouper Project. He is a current member of the National Quality Forum Surgery Standing Committee. Dr. Asher has served as an advisor to the Physician Clinical Registry Network and the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections on matters pertaining to the intersection of human subjects research and quality improvement. He is Vice-Chairman of the AANS-CNS Quality Council and is a member a member of the US News and World Report Best Hospitals for Common Care Medical Advisory Panel.

Dr. Asher is recognized nationally for his development of advanced care, clinical research and other academic efforts within the context of a large community practice, and for his contributions to neurosurgical education. He has led the development of several novel programs in neurosurgical education including the CNS Neurosurgical Forum, Integrated Medical Learning, and the Self Assessment in Neurological Surgery (SANS), the latter of which has become an integral component of the ABNS Maintenance of Certification Program.

Dr. Asher’s current academic focus is the development of cooperative clinical outcomes databases and related programs to involve clinicians and scientists in quality improvement efforts across all practice settings.

Alex Valadka, MD, FAANS FACS Treasurer

Alex Valadka, MD, FAANS, FACS, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Seton Brain and Spine Institute based in Austin, Texas. He completed his neurosurgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Valadka identifies neurotrauma and critical care as his clinical and research interests.

His service with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons where he is currently treasurer also includes participation on its Board of Directors, chairing of the AANS Membership and Public Relations Committees, chairing the Washington Committee for Neurosurgery, and the AANS/CNS Section on Neurotrauma and Critical Care.

A member of more than 15 professional societies, Dr. Valadka also has held editorial board positions for publications such as Neurosurgical Focus, AANS Neurosurgeon, Journal of Trauma and Journal of Neurotrauma. He is the author of 95 abstracts, 30 book chapters and more than 75 scientific papers. In 2005, he co-edited the textbook Neurotrauma: Evidence- Based Answers to Common Questions.

Paul McCormick, MD, FAANS, Secretary

Paul McCormick is the Herbert and Linda Gallen Professor of Neurological Surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the Columbia Spine Center.

McCormick received his MD from Columbia University (1982) and completed his residency at the Neurological Institute of New York (1989). He received his MPH degree in Health Policy and Management and Clinical Outcomes Assessment from the Columbia University School of Public Health in 2000. His clinical and research interests are focused on the evaluation, management, and outcomes of patients with disorders of the spine and spinal cord. He has authored over 200 peer reviewed publications and book chapters and authored/edited 10 books.

McCormick has been actively involved in organized neurosurgery since the completion of his residency. He has served on the Executive Committee of the CNS, the Board of Directors of the AANS, and the American Board of Neurological Surgery. He has also served as Chairman of the Joint Section on Disorders of the Spine and Peripheral Nerves and President of the AANS. McCormick has served on numerous editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery, Spine and The Spine Journal.

John (Jack) Knightly, MD, FAANS
Matthew J. McGirt, MD, FAANS
James T. Rutka, MD, PhD, FAANS, (Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group)
Jon H. Robertson, MD, FAANS (Neurosurgery Research and Education Foundation)
Eric Potts, MD, FAANS (AANS/CNS Section on Spine and Peripheral Nerves)
Michael P. Steinmetz, MD, FAANS (Congress of Neurological Surgeons)
Vincent C. Traynelis, MD, FAANS (American Board of Neurological Surgery)
Kevin M. Cockroft, MD, FAANS (Society of Neurological Surgeons)

Susan C. Pannullo, MD, FAANS (AANS Board of Directors )
John K. Ratliff, MD, FAANS (AANS/CNS Quality Improvement Workgroup)
Cheerag D. Upadhyaya, MD (Young Neurosurgeons Committee)