the headache center institute

A grantmaking and advocacy organization dedicated to improving outcomes for headache sufferers.

united with one purpose

The Headache Center Institute proudly supports medical professionals, patients, and support networks alike, because we know that every piece of the puzzle is a necessary ingredient for success. As you explore our website, look for the puzzle piece icons indicating which of our 5 core areas of focus each project serves:

01. clinical research

Clinical studies are a critical part of the ongoing effort to develop more effective treatment options for headache disorders. The Headache Center Institute supports the Headache & Neurology Research Institute at The Headache Center, which is currently conducting 6 clinical trials in headache medicine. 

02. practitioner training

Migraine is the 6th leading cause of disability in the world, yet there is a critical shortage of qualified headache specialists. The Headache Center Fellowship Program provides hands-on clinical training for licensed healthcare professionals, and requires students to commit at least 2 years to practicing Headache Medicine. 

03. legislative change

Migraine is more prevalent than asthma, diabetes, and epilepsy combined, yet it only receives a fraction of the funding for research. The Headache Center Institute funds and assists headache patients and advocates who wish to join Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy‘s annual lobbying event, Headache on the Hill.

04. public awareness

Severe migraine is considered by the World Health Organization to be one of the most disabling illnesses, comparable to dementia, quadriplegia and active psychosis. Nevertheless, patients with migraine and other headache disorders rarely receive the empathy and accommodations they require. The Headache Center Institute partners with Miles for Migraine to host community awareness events.

05. patient support

The stigma associated with headache disorders often causes sufferers to feel isolated, and can even contribute to common psychological comorbitities such as depression and anxiety. The Headache Center Institute assists patient-led support groups—hosted at The Headache Center—for both migraine and cluster headache, and provides funding and assistance for patients who wish to attend a ClusterBusters Conference

problem

We are in the midst of a serious healthcare crisis: in the United States alone, migraine and other headache disorders affect tens of millions of people and cost families, employers, and hospitals tens of billions of dollars every year. And yet, despite this massive expense and widespread suffering, the vast majority of people with headache disorders do not have access to qualified treatment:

NUMBER OF UCNS-CERTIFIED HEADACHE SPECIALISTS BY STATE

Statistics courtesy of the United Council of Neurologic Subspecialties 

it is estimated that

1 million

people in the united states* suffer from migraine

*and as many as 1 billion people worldwide

but there are only

1

certified headache specialists* who can treat them

*currently practicing in the United States

1 %
of sufferers are unable to function normally during an attack
1 %
of sufferers who seek treatment are misdiagnosed
100 %
of sufferers receive appropriate treatment

Statistics courtesy of migraineresearchfoundation.org

projects

Due to the lack of qualified headache specialists, patients are suffering: the average headache patient seeking an appointment will have to wait 6 months to be seen. In some parts of the country—where population is especially dense or practitioners especially rare—patients must wait as long as 15 months. The Headache Center Institute is primarily focused on addressing this critical shortage of qualified care through training and education:

the headache center fellowship program

PRACTITIONER TRAINING

The Headache Center Fellowship Program works to directly address the critical shortage of qualified Headache Specialists by providing hands-on clinical training in the practice of headache specialty. 

The Headache Center Institute also provides grant funding and other assistance to headache patients, healthcare providers, support networks, educational programs, and advocacy groups. Take a look at a few of the exciting projects we’ve supported:

HEADACHE ON THE HILL

Headache on the Hill is an annual lobbying event in Washington DC—organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA)—that brings together health professionals, migraine & cluster headache advocates, and patients to present unified requests to members of Congress with the goal of increasing available funding for clinical research.

In 2018, 145 participants from 39 states visited 212 Congressional offices as part of Headache on the Hill. Visit the Headache on the Hill website to learn more.

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

PUBLIC AWARENESS

Miles for Migraine

Miles for Migraine—another initiative of theAlliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA)—is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit working to improve the lives of migraine patients and their families, raise public awareness about headache disorders, and help find a cure for migraine. 

Miles for Migraine produces community fun run events benefiting migraine research, and hosts youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders. Visit the Miles for Migraine website to learn more.

clinical research

PUBLIC AWARENESS

patient support

HEADACHE ON THE HILL

Headache on the Hill is an annual lobbying event in Washington DC—organized by the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA)—that brings together health professionals, migraine & cluster headache advocates, and patients to present unified requests to members of Congress with the goal of increasing available funding for clinical research.

In 2018, 145 participants from 39 states visited 212 Congressional offices as part of Headache on the Hill. Visit the Headache on the Hill website to learn more.

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

PUBLIC AWARENESS

Miles for Migraine

Miles for Migraine—another initiative of theAlliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy (AHDA)—is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit working to improve the lives of migraine patients and their families, raise public awareness about headache disorders, and help find a cure for migraine. 

Miles for Migraine produces community fun run events benefiting migraine research, and hosts youth camps for kids and teens impacted by migraine or other headache disorders. Visit the Miles for Migraine website to learn more.

clinical research

PUBLIC AWARENESS

patient support

cluster support group

Text about cluster group specifically, or text about multiple headache support groups if there are more than just the one? Link to a website if they have one. 

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PUBLIC AWARENESS

patient support

thc research studies

Text about the research studies that THC participates in, if appropriate? or a different project or group entirely? 

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clinical research

PRACTITIONER TRAINING

patient support

PARTNERS

The Headache Center Institute’s work is made possible through the efforts of those industry professionals and organizations who have chosen to join us in this mission:

the headache center INSTITUTE DONORS

clinical research

PRACTITIONER TRAINING

LEGISLATIVE CHANGE

PUBLIC AWARENESS

patient support

Our work would be impossible without the generous support of our valued donors. 

board of directors

The Headache Center Institute is managed and directed by a highly-qualified and dedicated board of industry professionals, including:

Heather O’Hara McCoy, DNP, ANP-BC, CAQH

Integrative Headache Care

PRESIDENT-ELECT

Clinical Director: Integrative Headache Care • Faculty: American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Migraine Education Program 

Dr. McCoy received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in nursing from Arizona State University College of Nursing. In 2005 she was named as a Kennedy Fellow by Columbia University School of Nursing, and in 2007 she received her Doctor of Nursing Practice from that institution. While at Columbia she also completed her residency in the Department of Neurosurgery at Scottsdale Healthcare. 

During her career, Dr. McCoy has led teams in planning, developing, and instituting many innovative programs and care units, including the Novalis Stereotactic Radiosurgery Program and the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Scottsdale Healthcare, and the Neurovascular Neurosurgery Program and the Neuro-Intensive Care Unit at Banner Desert Medical Center. She also provides mentoring and guidance for RNs interested in obtaining the CNRN (Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse) credential. 

In 2016, Dr. McCoy was awarded a Certificate of Added Qualification in Headache Medicine (CAQH) from the National Headache Foundation.  Throughout her practice, Dr. McCoy has earned many additional Certifications, making her a Certified Biofeedback Provider (Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 2015), Fundamentals of Critical Care Support Instructor (the Society for Critical Care Medicine, 2012-present), Adult Nurse Practitioner (American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2001-present), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (Arizona State Board of Nursing, 2001-present), Certified Neuroscience Registered Nurse (1996-present), and a Registered Nurse (Arizona State Board of Nursing, 1994-present.)

She has provided both published articles and spoken presentations for a variety of professional organizations, including The American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, The Scottsdale Trauma Conference, and The Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and has given innumerable educational presentations to nurses and staff at various institutions on a variety of topics involved in primary headache disorders and neuroscience. She is a member of The American Headache Society, The National Headache Foundation, The American Academy of Neurology, The American Association of Neuroscience Nursing, The American Association of Nurse Practitioners, The Arizona Nurse Practitioner Council, and the Arizona Nurses’ Association.

ALAN M. RAPOPORT, M.D.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

board member

Clinical Professor of Neurology: The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA • Founder/Director-Emeritus: New England Center for Headache • Past President: International Headache Society; Fairfield County Neurological Society; Headache Cooperative of New England; Headache Cooperative of the Pacific • Board of Directors: American Headache Society • Editor: Headache; CNS Drugs; Neurology Reviews • Co-Founder/CEO: BonTriage

Dr. Alan M. Rapoport is a Clinical Professor of Neurology at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, where he teaches medical students, neurology residents and fellows. He is a Past President of the International Headache Society (IHS) and the founder and Director-Emeritus of The New England Center for Headache, in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Board-certified in Neurology and Headache Medicine, he has co-authored more than 300 articles, chapters and posters on headache and other neurological diseases. He has lectured around the country and internationally to general physicians and headache specialists on all aspects of headache pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment and has appeared many times on national radio and television programs, such as Today and Good Morning America. 

He is an editor of Headache, CNS Drugs and Editor in Chief of Neurology Reviews. He reviews for many peer-reviewed journals such as Cephalalgia, Neurology, New England Journal of Medicine and Headache. He has co-authored nine books on headache for patients, physicians, and nurses with Drs. Fred Sheftell and Stewart Tepper. 

He is the Co-Founder and CEO of BonTriage, an IT company in Silicon Valley, California, dedicated to helping patients and doctors around the globe by collecting detailed patient histories on line and linking with an app that monitors patient progress and outcomes. The company has started with headache and is moving into sleep, depression, anxiety, chronic pain and other areas. BonTriage just launched a headache app on Apple to track headache and medications. 

Dr. Rapoport has served on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society (AHS) and is the immediate past President of the Fairfield County Neurological Society (Connecticut), the Founding President of the Headache Cooperative of New England (HCNE), the Founding Director of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (HCOP) and until June 2011 was the Chairman of the Education and Membership Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS).

ANNE H. CALHOUN, MD, FAHS​

Carolina Headache Institute

board member

Partner/Co-Founder: Carolina Headache Institute • Senior Faculty: Departments of Neurology, Anesthesiology, and Psychiatry at UNC Chapel Hill • Past Director of Medicine: Navy Fleet Hospital 23 

Dr. Anne Calhoun is Partner/Co-founder of the Carolina Headache Institute in Durham, NC. Over the last 2 decades, she has served as senior faculty in the departments of Neurology, Anesthesiology, and Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A graduate of Rhodes College and the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, she holds ABIM certification in Internal Medicine and subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine through the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. In 2000, she was among the first physicians credentialed as Menopause Clinicians by the North American Menopause Society.

Her unique research and teaching focus is on the impact of female sex hormones in the central nervous system, with particular interest in menstrual migraine, catamenial epilepsy and sleep disorders in women.

A veteran of 29 years in the Navy Reserves, CAPT Calhoun was recalled to active duty in support of Desert Storm and was Director of Medicine for Fleet Hospital 23.

Dr. Calhoun is widely published and a regular reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals in the areas of headache medicine, women’s health care, psychiatry, and sleep. She has presented her research at scientific meetings of the International Headache Society, the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

Shivang Joshi, MD,MPH, RPh

DENT Neurologic Institute

board member

Past Instructor of Neuroscience: Harvard Medical School

Dr. Joshi received his B.Pharm degree in Pharmacy at St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions in New York, N.Y. Dr. Joshi received his M.D. and M.P.H. at St. George’s University School of Medicine and completed his Neurology Residency at the Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY. 

Dr. Joshi then joined the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, John R.Graham Headache Center in Boston, MA for a Fellowship in Headache Medicine, where he was also an Instructor of Neuroscience at the Harvard Medical School.  He is Board certified in Neurology and Headache Medicine. 

Dr. Joshi is a recipient of the American Headache Society’s 2012 “Frontiers in Headache Research” Scholarship Award. Some of his clinical interests include the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias, such as cluster headaches and migraine with aura in women.  He is also a member of several professional medical societies including the American Academy of Neurology, the American Headache Society, and the International Headache Society. 

He is actively involved with mentorship and education with his academic societies. He has recently joined DENT Neurologic Institute. 

 

Christina Treppendahl, RN, MSN, FNP-BC, AQH

THE HEADACHE CENTER

founder; board member

Founder/Director: The Headache Center • Advisory Board Member: National Headache Foundation

Christina Treppendahl is the founder and director of The Headache Center in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Ms. Treppendahl, a native of Mississippi, was raised in Natchez. She put herself through college and has graduate degrees in nursing from both Vanderbilt University and the Mississippi University for Women. She has been a nurse practitioner for over 20 years, has been specializing in Headache Medicine since 2010, and was awarded a Certificate of Added Qualification in Headache Medicine from the National Headache Foundation. She has also served on an advisory board for the National Headache Foundation.

Ms. Treppendahl is passionate about improving treatment for headache disorders through clinical research and patient education. She sponsors select patients to lobby for headache research funding in person in Washington, DC at the annual Headache on the Hill event, and she travels widely as a speaker and advocate for headache and migraine awareness and provider education. 

In 2016, Ms. Treppendahl formed a clinical research department at The Headache Center to offer enrollment of subjects in multi-center, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trials for new and reformulated drug therapies seeking FDA-approval. The Headache Center has enrolled patients in clinical trials for cluster headache treatment with Autonomic Technologie, migraine prevention treatment with Avanir Pharmaceuticals, and acute migraine treatment with Allergan, among others. More studies are planned with Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Gammacore and Supernus. 

Ms. Treppendahl has trained with some of the world’s leading headache specialists, including: Drs. Roger Cady and Kathleen Farmer at the Headache Care Center in Springfield, Missouri, Dr. Anne Calhoun at the Carolina Headache Institute in Chapel Hill, NC, Dr. Sheena Aurora of Stanford University Medical Center, Drs. Merle Diamond and Alexander Feoktistov at the Diamond Headache Center in Chicago, Dr. Ira M. Turner at Island Neurological Associates in Plainview, NY, Dr. Frank Berenson at Panda Neurology in Atlanta, Dr. Wade Cooper at Michigan Medicine Headache and Neuropathic in Ann Arbor, Dr. Jack Schim at The Headache Center of Southern California in Carlsbad, CA, Dr. Timothy Smith of StudyMetrix (formerly at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri—a Mississippi native and an Ole Miss alumnus), and Dr. Elizabeth Rende, Duke University’s only pediatric headache specialist (who also happens to be a Nurse Practitioner.) Ms. Treppendahl also owes a special thanks to Dr. Eric K. Undesser, MD, PhD, Chief of Neurology at the VA in Jackson for his unwavering support and collaboration.

Ms. Treppendahl has served on an advisory board for the National Headache Foundation, and is an active member of many professional organizations, including: Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners, Mississippi Nurses’ Association, American Nurses’ Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Headache Society, International Headache Society, National Headache Foundation, Southern Headache Society, Headache Cooperative of New England, and Headache Cooperative of the Pacific.

Additionally, Ms. Treppendahl serves on several pharmaceutical advisory boards for companies working to develop migraine and cluster headache medications and devices. These include: Amgen, Electrocore, Eli Lilly, Pernix Therapeutics, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries, Inc., and Promius Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Treppendal is a regular contributor to Wellbeing Magazine. She has also received speaker honoraria from a multitude of companies and professional organizations, including: Allergan, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Depomed, Inc., Iroko Pharmaceuticals, Nautilus Neurosciences, Inc., Southern Headache Society, and Zogenix, Inc.

 

Nathan L. Bennett, MD

PREFERRED HEADACHE CENTER

board member

Founder/Medical Director: Preferred Headache Center • Past Chairman: American Headache Society, Primary Care Section • Past Board of Directors: American Headache and Migraine Association

Dr. Nate Bennett is one of approximately 600 Certified Headache Medicine Subspecialists in the country, and specializes in the treatment of headache and concussion. He is an active member of the American Headache Society, where was named to the Ad hoc Medical Education Committee. Within that organization, he serves on the Clinical Informatics, Pediatric-Adolescent Headache, Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalgia, and Primary Front Line Headache Care Sections, and previously served as Chairman of the Primary Care Section. He is also a member of the International Headache Society and the National Headache Foundation, and was previously a member of the Board of Directors for the American Headache and Migraine Association.

Dr. Bennett is involved in clinical research and has participated in studies funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the pharmaceutical industry. He is the author of several articles, and he provides lectures on migraines, concussion, and other headache disorders to healthcare providers and the public.

Board-certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Bennett completed his residency at Forbes Family Medicine Residency in Monroeville, PA (1993) and graduated from Jefferson Medical College (1990) and Washington and Jefferson College (1986). He is the founder and medical director of the Preferred Headache Center in Pleasant Hills, PA.

Deborah A. Reed, MD

Case Western Reserve University Hospitals Headache Center

board member

Director of Headache Medicine: Case Western Reserve University Hospitals • Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology: Case Western Reserve University 

Dr. Deborah Reed attended the University of California Los Angeles for her undergraduate studies, followed by Creighton University School of Medicine for her medical degree. Her graduate studies included an internship in General Surgery at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals, which turned out to be such a good fit that she remained there to complete a residency in Neurological Surgery in 1999, and another in Neurology in 2001. 

Dr. Reed currently serves as Director of the Community and Regional Neurology Headache Center at Case Western Reserve University Hospitals. She is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is a member of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. 

 

Frank R Berenson, MD

PANDA Neurology and Atlanta Headache Specialists

board member

Past Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics: Mercer University • Past Assistant Professor of Pediatrics: Neurology Case Western Reserve University and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital • Past Medical Director of Clinical Research and PEACH Headache Center: Child Neurology Associates 

Dr. Frank Berenson attended college at the University of North Carolina and the University of Georgia, completed his residency in general pediatrics at the Medical College of Georgia, and completed fellowships in pediatric neurology at both the Medical College of Georgia and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. After receiving his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Berenson went on to serve as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Mercer University, and as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Neurology Case Western Reserve University and Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. 

Dr. Berenson is board certified in Child Neurology and Pediatrics (by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Pediatrics, and the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology), and he is one of only two people in the state of Georgia boarded in Headache Medicine. His subspecialty training includes electromyography (EMG) and electroencephalography (EEG). 

Dr. Berenson has been practicing child neurology in Atlanta for almost 20 years—currently with PANDA Neurology and Atlanta Headache Specialists—and has been actively involved in the care of neonates at Northside Hospital since his arrival in Atlanta. He has also been involved in numerous clinical trials and drug studies related to the treatment of headache disorders, epilepsy, Tourette’s Syndrome and ADHD. His professional interests include neonatal neurology, headache medicine, epilepsy and neurophysiology, neuromuscular disease and behavioral neurology. 

Dr. Berenson serves as a Member of Advisory Board at PharmaCentra, and is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Electrophysiologic Medicine and the American Headache Society. 

IRA M. TURNER, MD

Island neurological associates

board member

Founding Partner: Island Neurological Associates • Past Chief of Neurology: Plainview Hospital • Past Faculty: SUNY Stony Brook; Cornell; NYU

Dr. Turner is a life-long New Yorker who did his undergraduate work in chemistry at SUNY Binghamton. While at that institution, he was involved in research in the field of ion exchange selectivity. His medical education was at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. Following graduation from there, he did an internship in internal medicine at Nassau County Medical Center and a subsequent neurology residency at the same institution. As a neurology resident, he was involved in bench research on the kindling effect as a model of acquired epilepsy and spent substantial elective time in the epilepsy and headache clinics.

Following completion of his residency, Dr. Turner became one of the founding partners of Island Neurological Associates in Plainview, NY. From 1990-2000, he was chief of the division of neurology at Plainview Hospital (part of the North Shore/Long Island Jewish hospital system). Over the years he has held faculty positions ay SUNY Stony Brook, Cornell and NYU medical schools.

In 2000 he started the Center for Headache Care and Research at Island Neurological Associates. Research studies have included multiple clinical trials on treatment of episodic and chronic migraine, as well as the disability associated with these conditions. He has also been involved in treatment trials for cluster headache and post-herpetic neuralgia.

Over the years, Dr. Turner has published in peer-reviewed journals multiple articles on a variety of topics related to headache. These include various acute treatments for migraine, case reports and review articles. He has spoken at several national and regional CME conferences on headache with sex and exertion as well as on various types of headaches of long duration (chronic migraine, new daily persistent headaches and hemicrania continua). He has also served as a mentor to young practitioners in community-based headache centers. Dr. Turner has been a consultant, advisory board member and speaker for virtually every pharmaceutical company that has a migraine product. He has also received research support from most of these as well as from the NINDS.

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For further information about The Headache Center Institute or to apply for funding, please contact us using the form below.

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