Comprehensive Stroke Conference - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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2018 Comprehensive Stroke Conference at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier

BrainThursday, May 31, 2018 and Friday, June 1, 2018
7 am to 4:30 pm

Registration is closed.

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of neurologists, neurosurgeons, internists, family practitioners, vascular surgeons, interventional radiologists, nurses and allied health care professionals.

PIH Health Hospital - Whittier is proud to be one of the first hospitals in LA County to receive The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check Mark for Advanced Certification of Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

Whittier Campus

In 2017, we earned the Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award and also qualified for recognition on the Target: Stroke Elite Honor Roll. These awards recognize PIH Health’s commitment and success in implementing a comprehensive, high-standard stroke care.

Gold Seal Awards

Course Description:

PIH Health Hospital – Whittier’s First Annual two-day Comprehensive Stroke Conference offers an update on the latest advances in the management of stroke care, surgical and endovascular interventions, prevention and rehabilitation. Improving stroke patient outcomes requires a multidimensional approach that includes pre-hospital, acute, and rehabilitation care within our communities. This conference is designed to improve the knowledge and performance of healthcare providers for patients with stroke and cerebrovascular disease.

Educational Objectives:

After completing the learning activity, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the role of comprehensive stroke care and evidenced based practice from pre-hospital care to rehabilitation including sleep disorders and gender based risk factors
  • Examine the latest technologies and guidelines for endovascular interventions
  • Discuss evidenced-based medical management and surgical interventions for stroke in acute care settings

Accreditation Statement for CME and CEU:

PIH Health is an approved provider for continuing education hours for Nursing through the California Board of Registered Nursing, BRN Provider Number 00261. 7.0 hours of continuing education will be provided for each full day of attendance.

Prehospital EMS CE of 6.5 hours will be provided. EMS Provider Number 19-0018

Training/Credit Disclaimer Statement:

This course is not intended to provide extensive training for certification in the field. CME credits offered by PIH Health should not be construed as endorsement of any product.

Acknowledgment of Commercial Support:

Any commercial support received for this course will be acknowledged at the conference.


Day 1

May 31, 2018

Agenda Day 1

Day 2

June 1, 2018

Agenda day 2


Christopher J. Aho MD:

Dr. Aho is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon and practices at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier. He graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor - Medical School and completed his cerebrovascular residency combined with a complex spine fellowship from Los Angeles County - University of Southern California. Dr. Aho began his private practice in 2006 and has spent most of his time at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier. He takes pride in caring for patients trying to improve the quality of their lives.

Daniel Akhavan MD:

Board certified in critical care, pulmonology and internal medicine, Dr. Akhavan specializes in management of critically ill patients with special interest in management of patients with acute ischemic stroke and intracranial hemorrhage. He is the current president of the intensivist group at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier and Downey.

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Kevin Andruss MD:

Board certified in emergency medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, Dr. Andruss is the base hospital medical director for PIH Health Hospital - Whittier. He has a special interest in management of acute stroke, stroke systems of care and emergency medical services. As the emergency department representative on the PIH Health Stroke Committee, he is interested in the integration of pre-hospital stroke care with the rapid work-up and management of stroke patients in the emergency department.

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Alina Candal RN:

Alina holds a bachelor’s degree in health science and is certified as a Mobile Intensive Care Nurse who specializes in the Pre-hospital Care System. She educates nurses and fire personnel on the current policies and treatment protocols according to the Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency. Alina has been working at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier for over 25 years and enjoys being involved in community projects such as the “Every 15 Minute” high school program to assist juniors and seniors to think about drinking, driving, personal safety, the responsibility of making mature decisions and the impact their decisions have on others.

Dane Copeland MD:

Dr. Copeland is a board certified neurologist with a medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He completed his fellowship at the University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles and his residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Copeland became a neurologist because he found it intriguing and likes to diagnose his patients and give them an effective treatment. Dr. Copeland has over 20 years of experience in neurology. He joins us as the Stroke Program Medical Director at PIH Health Hospital - Downey.

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Jesse Dayondon OT:

Jesse earned a Master of Science in occupational therapy from West Coast University in 2015 and holds certification from the National Board of Occupational Therapy and the California Board of Occupational Therapy. He has been the lead occupational therapist at PIH Health in the Acute Rehabilitation Center for 2 years where he demonstrates expertise in evaluating and treating stroke patients. He was a core member of the PIH Health Hospital - Whittier’s stroke team during their endeavor to become certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Jesse has excellent knowledge of evidence based practice for patients with neurological deficits. He recently became an adjunct professor at American Career College where he facilitates an open lab to provide hands-on learning experiences for occupational therapy assistant students. Over the past 8 years, Jesse has volunteered to work in Peru and in California, helping children with neurological, physical, developmental and mental disorders.

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Christine Eusoof RN:

Christine Eusoof-Alviz MSN, RN has been a nurse for over 30 years with extensive experience in both critical care and emergency nursing, seamlessly transitioning into nursing education and program management. Christine has been in several leadership roles as the Director of Emergency Services and the Director of Critical Care. In her current role, as the stroke program manager for the PIH Health Enterprise, she leads and collaborates with emergency physicians, neurologists, neurosurgeons and interventional radiologists in conjunction with PIH Health’s surrounding service area hospitals to coordinate all aspects of acute stroke care.

Christine has played a pivotal role in The Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center certification for PIH Health Hospital-Whittier, which was achieved in in May of 2017. She is an active, passionate community participant engaging in efforts to raise stroke awareness and lead a secondary stroke prevention survivor support group. Her goal is to improve the overall outcome for stroke patients and stroke prevention.

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Gautam Ganguly MD:

Dr. Ganguly completed his undergraduate school and medical school at the University of Calcutta in India. He completed his residency in neurology and a fellowship in epilepsy and neuromuscular diseases at the University of Southern California. He is board certified in electrodiagnostic medicine in the subspecialty of vascular medicine, the subspecialty of behavioral neurology & neuropsychiatry and subspecialty of sleep medicine. Dr. Ganguly is the medical director of ABC Sleep Center in Montebello and Whittier, CA and is also the medical director of the stroke program at Beverly Hospital. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, American Association and American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Roger Hughes MD:

Dr. Hughes is a neurointerventional radiologist at PIH –Whitter. Dr. Hughes graduated from University of Wisconsin in 1987 with Bachelor of Science in Chemisty. His post- graduate education continued at Medical College of Wisconsin where he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1991. He completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at St Joseph Hospital, Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1996. He served as the Radiology Chief Resident from 1995-1996. Dr. Hughes completed his vascular and interventional radiology fellowship at UC Davis Medical Center in 1997. Dr. Hughes is a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology and has been board certified since 1992 and board certified in Interventional Radiology since 1998.

Dr. Hughes built a successful practice with Radiology Specialist, LTD in Las Vegas, Nevada from 1997-2012. During his tenure, he developed Redrock Radiology Interventional Clinic. He served as the Chief of the Department of Radiology at Mountain View Hospital. In 2012, after moving to California, he joined Lambert Radiology Medical Group. Dr. Hughes is currently practicing as a Neuro Interventional Radiologist at PIH Hospital. He performs diagnostic and high level interventional including neurointerventional radiology procedures.

When he is away from work, Dr. Hughes loves doing outdoor activities. He is an avid downhill skier and tennis player.

Laura LaRose RN:

Laura LaRose is a hematology-oncology nurse practitioner at Saint John’s Health Clinic in Santa Monica. She worked in oncology nursing for 8 years at USC Norris Cancer Hospital and University of Connecticut Health Center prior to getting her MSN in Acute Care Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Nurse Specialist from UCLA in 2017. She is certified in oncology nursing and pain management nursing. Laura is an active volunteer with the American Heart Association, helping to promote heart health and stroke prevention. Laura’s mother passed away due to complications from heart disease and stroke, and in May 2017, Laura herself became a stroke survivor. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and cat.

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Shao-Pow Lin MD:

Dr. Lin joined Lambert Radiology Medical Group in 2017 after a distinguished career in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was affiliated with multiple hospitals including Mountain View Hospital, Southern Hills Hospital and Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center and St. Rose Dominican Hospitals. Dr. Lin currently practices at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier. He graduated from Stanford University in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. His post-graduate education continued at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis where he received the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy in 2002. Dr. Lin completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri in 2007, after which he also completed additional fellowship training in both Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology in 2009. Dr. Lin is a Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and has been board certified since 2007. In 2009 Dr. Lin received the Certificate of Added Qualification in Neuroradiology. His primary clinical interest is in acute stroke intervention. Most of his weekends are spent cheering on their boys’ soccer teams, volunteering as a referee, or working with Boy Scouts.

Download the EVMT presentation

Download the aneurysms presentation

Tammy Ludwig RN:

Tammy is certified by the Board of Registered Nurses as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and maintains Critical Care Registered Nurse (CCRN) certification though the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. She works in partnership with the members of the Stroke Committee to create and implement evidenced-based orders and policies for patients with stroke and cerebrovascular disease. Tammy has worked at PIH Health - Whittier for over 25 years and appreciates watching evidence being translated into practice.

Tammy obtained her Master of Science and Bachelor of Science, both in nursing, from California State University, Dominguez Hills.

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Freddy Monares:

Freddy is a small business owner, a lucky husband because of his wife Maria and a proud father to their three adult children. In 2015, Freddy developed stroke symptoms at the age of 50. After five days in the hospital and five weeks in an acute rehab facility, Freddy surprised everyone when he returned home. However, he came home in a wheelchair with very little movement on his left side; the family was told he would probably be in a wheelchair for six months. Although he had a wheelchair, Freddy preferred not to use it and with the support of his family he never gave up nor did they. He tried to live as normal as possible, going back to work almost immediately in a lighter role. His customers supported him and told him it was not necessary for him to visit them. Freddy felt that if he stayed home, he would never get back to normal. His perseverance, optimism and strong faith in God brought Freddy back to recovery. Freddy lives every moment with conviction and focuses on the beauty in life. He has touched the lives of other stroke survivors by helping them find resources. He touched even more lives through his courage and inspiration as he shares his journey of hope and healing.

Hussein Nassr MD:

Dr. Hussein Nassr is a pulmonologist in Whittier, California and is affiliated with PIH Health Hospital - Whittier. He received his medical degree from Damascus University Faculty of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Dr. Nassr is a board certified Neurointensivist and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, Sleep Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine.

Richard Rison MD:

Dr. Rison is board certified in vascular neurology, neurology and electrodiagnostic medicine. He received his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Bronx, New York and completed both his fellowship and residency at LAC+USC Medical Center.

Dr. Rison attributes his choice of clinical specialty to his longstanding interests in neurological disease states and neuroscience. ”Various family health-related issues early on helped to further develop my interests” he says, adding “I enjoy helping people and their families with neurologic disease and diagnosing neurologic disorders along with providing newly available treatments for various neurologic conditions.”

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Nerses Sanossian MD:

Is board certified in neurology, vascular neurology and neurosonology (neurovascular ultrasound). He specializes in the diagnosis and management of stroke (e.g., ischemic stroke, intracranial hemorrhage, cerebral vasculitits, stroke genetics, aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations [AVMs]). Dr. Sanossian's research interests include: 1) the anti-inflammatory role of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol in cerebral atherosclerosis 2) vascular risk factors associated with cognitive impairment and dementia 3) stroke and cerebrovascular disease in underserved and Latino populations. Dr. Sanossian recently received a new investigator award from the American Heart Association.

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Reggie Smith SLP:

Reggie has a Master of Arts in speech pathology and audiology from California State University, Los Angeles. He has professional certifications in MBSImP Standardized Swallow Assessments, Evaluation and Management of Head & Neck Lymphadema, McNiell Dysphagia Therapy for Adult Dysphagia Provider, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, and VitalStim Therapy. He demonstrates expertise in diagnosis and treatment of cognitive-communication disorders and dysphagia related to stroke. Reggie has been a valued outpatient speech-language pathologist for 11 years at PIH Health Hospital - Whittier and was an adjunct professor for Chapman University from 2013 to 2015. He is an executive board member of the Medial Speech-Language Pathology Council of California and maintains a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association. In 2012 Reggie received the Lois V. Douglass Distinguished Alumnus award from the Department of Communication Disorders at California State University, Los Angeles.

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Jim West:

James R. West is the President and Chief Executive Officer of PIH Health, an integrated delivery system comprised of two hospitals, 19 medical offices, home health services, hospice services, a medical foundation and independent physician association.

Mr. West joined PIH Health in 2000 as Chief Operating Officer, following 12 years of progressive leadership positions within the Kaiser Permanente system.

A dedicated professional, Mr. West has led PIH Health in advancing the mission, vision and values of this region's premier health system devoted to serving the health and wellness needs of the nearly 2.1 million residents in its service area.

Mr. West became President and CEO in October 2004, leading PIH Health through significant expansion, which has included two new patient care towers on the Whittier hospital campus and the acquisition of a second hospital campus in Downey. Under the leadership of Mr. West, the enterprise also expanded to include the community’s largest independent multi-specialty medical group, PIH Health Physicians.

Mr. West is a graduate of the University of Colorado, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology and master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. He is currently a state delegate and member of the Regional Policy Board (RPB) 9 for the American Hospital Association, and has served on numerous community and healthcare-related boards of directors and committees, including the Voluntary Hospital Association (VHA), California Healthcare Association (CHA), Healthcare Association of Southern California (HASC), and the Whittier YMCA. Mr. West and his family reside in Whittier.

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Designated parking area will be available for non-PIH Health physicians and staff. Shuttle services will be provided from this area to the main entrance next to the emergency department.

Registration for PIH Health Clinicians and Staff:

Registration is closed.

Registration for Non-PIH Health Clinicians and Staff:

Registration is closed.

Cancellation Deadlines:

PIH Health clinicians and staff may cancel their registrations by May 24, 2018 to receive a full refund.

Non-PIH Health employees may cancel their registrations by May 17, 2018 to receive a reimbursement, minus a $25 processing fee.

No reimbursement will be issued after May 24, 2018.

Please email any cancellation notices to Christine Eusoof at


Should you have any questions regarding the Stroke Conference, please contact Christine Eusoof at 562.698.0811 Ext. 17820.