Meet the Neurology Team
Anna DePold Hohler, MD, FAAN, Movement Disorders Specialist
Dr. Hohler joined St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center from Boston Medical Center in November of 2017 as the first female Chair of Neurology. She is a Professor of Neurology at Tufts University School of Medicine. (TUSM) She also serves as Director of Medical Student Education for Steward Health Care. She is the Assistant Dean, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Affiliate Site for Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM). At BUSM and Boston Medical Center, Dr. Hohler served as the Assistant Dean for Strategic and Affiliate Relations, the Founding Director of the Boston University Center for Military and Post-Deployment Health, the Director of Quality Improvement for Neurology, and the Director for Neurology Global Health. In addition, her various leadership roles included Director of Neurology Medical Student Education and Director of Resident and Medical Student Research Programs. Prior to that, at Madigan Army Medical Center (MAMC), Dr. Hohler served as the Neurology Residency Program Director and the Neurology Clinic Chief.
Dr. Hohler completed her undergraduate and her medical degree at Boston University in the seven-year accelerated medical program. She then completed her internship and residency in Neurology at MAMC in Tacoma, Washington. After eight years of distinguished military service in the U.S. Army, she was honorably discharged having achieved the rank of Major. She then completed a Fellowship in Movement Disorders at Boston Medical Center and served there for 11 years. Dr. Hohler received numerous awards and recognition throughout her career, including Army Commendation, Army Achievement, and Meritorious Service Medals for academic and leadership excellence. She received the Col. Robert Skelton Award for Top Resident at MAMC, the American Academy of Neurology National Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award, and the Stanley Robbins Award; the highest teaching honor in all BUSM. In 2016, she received the Burton A. Sandok National Neurology Educator of the Year Award by the Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Hohler has a national and international reputation and lectures on neurological, movement, and autonomic disorders. Dr. Hohler’s areas of special research and clinical interest include movement disorders, autonomic diseases, and deep brain stimulation programming. She served as Chair of the national neurology Brain PAC, the Co-Chair of the American Academy of Neurology Quality and Safety Subcommittee, the Chair of the Patient Safety Subcommittee, and was a member of the Practice Improvement Subcommittee, and the Practice Committee. In addition, she served as the Associate Editor for Practice for the journal Continuum. Dr. Hohler also served locally as the president of the Massachusetts Neurological Association. Dr. Hohler currently serves as a reviewer for numerous journals, including Neurology, Neurology Clinical Practice, and Parkinson’s and Related Movement Disorders. Dr. Hohler has authored over 50 manuscripts, reviews, chapters and quality improvement measurement sets.
David Weinberg, MD, Neuromuscular Specialist
Dr. Weinberg is an experienced and regionally renowned neuromuscular disease expert with broad experience with a variety of nerve and muscle diseases. His major clinical and research focus has been the care of patients with Myasthenia Gravis, but his practice is not limited to this unusual muscle disease. He has published research papers and book chapters on a wide range of neuromuscular disease topics.
Dr. Weinberg is Vice-Chair of the Department of Neurology and Director of the Neurophysiology Lab at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. He is an Associate Professor of Neurology at Tufts University School of Medicine. He serves as a member of the Medical/Scientific Advisory Board of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America and Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of the Myasthenia Gravis Association of New England. He is a former President of the Massachusetts Neurological Association.
Dr. Weinberg received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his Neurology residency and fellowship at Tufts Medical Center. His expertise has been acknowledged by the community and his peers through such honors as being named as a Boston Magazine “Top Doc”, a Best Doctors “Best Doctor in America”, a Consumers’ Research Council of America “America’s Top Physicians” among many others.
Kaarkuzhali Krishnamurthy, MD, Epilepsy and Seizure Specialist
Dr. Krishnamurthy has developed and organized a number of educational initiatives. As the Office of Faculty Development Chair of the Subcommittee for Women, she organized a mentoring training, implementation, and evaluation program. She made important contributions to education with the development of an epilepsy curriculum for residents and medical students. Dr. Krishnamurthy also developed an ethics curriculum and served as a member of the Ethics Support Team. This work in ethics led to regional and national presentations, and written contributions. At St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Dr. Krishnamurthy is the ethics lead for Neurology.
Dr. Krishnamurthy has been active in over 40 clinical trials related to epilepsy. She was the Vice-Chair of the IRB at BIDMC and was the Director of the Human Subjects Protection Office. In that role, she created a four-part research curriculum and oversaw the accreditation of the human subjects protection program.
Dr. Krishnamurthy received her medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed her Neurology internship at Yale and her residency at the Harvard-Longwood Area Neurology Program. She was the Chief Resident in the Harvard Neurology Program and completed her Clinical Neurophysiology Fellowship at Beth Israel Hospital. She received numerous awards, including the William Alexander Hammond Award for Excellence in Neurology and was a Maryland Distinguished Scholar. In addition, she has published numerous articles, chapters, editorials and abstracts on novel topics in epilepsy.
Judith Hinchey, MD, Stroke Specialist
At St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Dr. Hinchey is also the site director for neurology resident education. In this role, she develops the teaching program for the residents for their rotations and facilitates their experience. She serves on the Tufts Resident Selection Committee and also serves on the Tufts Residency Review Committee.
Dr. Hinchey has been involved in numerous stroke clinical trials and has worked on policy development for stroke both locally and nationally as a member of the American Academy of Neurology. In addition, she served as the neurology representative for the American Medical Association Consortium for Physician Improvement.
Dr. Hinchey received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. She completed her neurology residency at New England Medical Center, a neurophysiology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a cerebrovascular fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic
She received the Kasdon Award as a student because of her distinguished neurology promise, the Clinical Translational Research Award from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, and a Best of Boston Neurology Award for several years. Dr. Hinchey has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters, reviews, and abstracts on stroke.
Okeanis E. Vaou, MD, Director of Movement Disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation
Dr. Vaou is the Director of the Movement Disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Center at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. Her expertise is treating patients with Parkinson’s disease, Atypical Parkinson’s, essential tremor and other movement disorders. She is also a board-certified sleep specialist and treats sleep disorders in patients with movement disorders. Dr. Vaou is skilled in DBS and Botox injections.
After receiving her medical degree from Semmelweis University of Medicine in Budapest, Hungary, Dr. Vaou completed her neurology residency at New York Medical College and served as a chief resident. She then pursued fellowships at Boston University School of Medicine in Movement Disorders and in Sleep Medicine. Following her fellowship training, she moved to Minneapolis at Noran Neurological Clinic, where she developed a robust Movement Disorders Clinic and designed and directed one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing DBS center in private practice. She also served as Medical Director of the APDA chapter of Minnesota for five years. Following her passion of teaching and research, she returned to Boston Medical Center at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), to become a member of the Movement and Sleep Disorders team and served as the assistant DBS program director.
Dr. Vaou is actively involved in medical student education. She is the former neurology clerkship director and the neuroscience course director at BUSM. Under her guidance, the neurology clerkship and the neuroscience course were rated amongst the top evaluated courses. She currently serves as the Neurology Medical Student Site Director at St. Elizabeth’s and oversees the Tufts and BUSM medical student education as well as the BUSM PA student program.
Dr. Vaou also participates in clinical research evaluating novel pharmacological agents and patient education in Parkinson’s disease. She is very involved in raising awareness of early Parkinson’s disease and DBS treatment.
Thanh Nguyen, MD, FRCPc, FSVIN, FAHA, Director of the Neurointerventional Service
Dr. Nguyen is the Director of the Neurointerventional Service at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. After receiving her medical degree from McGill University Faculty of Medicine in Canada, Dr. Nguyen performed her neurology residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Following her fellowship in vascular neurology and neurocritical care at Massachusetts General Hospital, she completed a fellowship in interventional neuroradiology (INR) involving more than 1,000 INR procedures at Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal with the internationally renowned experts Jean Raymond and others. She has now been involved in a total of more than 3,000 INR procedures, including more than 500 brain aneurysm interventions (coilings/flow diversion) and 350 acute stroke interventions.
Dr. Nguyen is skilled in the treatment of intracranial aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations/dural arteriovenous fistula of the brain and spine, large vessel occlusion stroke, subdural hematoma, and pulsatile tinnitus. She has advanced training in lesions of the face and neck, including epistaxis, venolymphtic malformations, and tumors. Dr. Nguyen also treats vertebral compression fractures using minimally invasive techniques to provide improved stability to the spine and relieve pain.
Dr. Nguyen has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, contributed to national guideline statements and book chapters. She was awarded Fellow of the SVIN (FSVIN) in 2012 based on her contributions to the field of Interventional Neurology. She was awarded Fellow of the AHA (FAHA) in 2018 and is the American Heart Association Board of Director for the Boston area 2018-2020.
Dr. Nguyen was awarded Boston Magazine Top Doctor in Neurology for 2017, 2019, Be Exceptional Award for BMC in 2018, and SVIN Distinguished Service Award in 2018.
Margarita Ebril-Lel, MD, Epilepsy Specialist
Dr. Ebril-Lel graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 2011. She completed her neurology residency at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she served as a chief resident and went on to complete a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology/EEG there as well. Dr. Ebril-Lel’s clinical expertise is in epilepsy and EEG and she has an interest in sleep disorders. Prior to joining St. Elizabeth’s medical staff, she worked at Newton Wellesley Hospital and served as the clerkship director for second-year Massachusetts College of Pharmacy physician assistant students. Dr. Ebril-Lel is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Neurology at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the Massachusetts Neurologic Association.
Ying Geng, MD, Neurohospitalist
Dr. Geng is a neurohospitalist and devotes her time to ensuring that the neurology inpatients are optimally managed in the emergency department, on the wards, and in the hospital. She helps to develop protocols for care and serves as a primary point person for resident education. Dr. Geng serves as a liaison between neurology and the other specialties in the hospital providing a link to facilitate optimized care.
Dr. Geng completed her Ph.D. in neuropathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her medical training at Peking University School of Medicine, her residency in neurology at the University of Chicago Medical Center, and neurophysiology fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
She is the author of several peer-reviewed publications and is a member of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society. Dr. Geng received a first prize for scholarship as a medical student and several pathology awards, including the American Society for Investigative Pathology Trainee Award, the Histochemical Society Trainee Award, and the American Society for Investigative Pathology Experimental Pathologist in Training Merit Award.
Afi Popplewell, RN, BSN, MBE
Afi Popplewell is the epilepsy nurse coordinator in the SMG Neurology Department. Before joining SMG, she gathered a wealth of experience through nursing and leadership roles at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Cambridge Health Alliance and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Afi has a master’s of bioethics degree from Harvard Medical School. She is a 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. YMCA Achiever Award recipient and the 2013 recipient of the Estelle Paris Advance Nursing Scholarship Award. She is an alumna of the Organization of Nurse Leaders Leadership Academy and a member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. Additionally, she is the proud founder of the Butterfly Soul Initiative, a non-profit organization that promotes and supports positive personal transformation, while also serving as a resource to aid in mentorship and guidance opportunities to minorities entering into the field of nursing.
Keith J. Ciccone, BS, LPN
Keith J. Ciccone is a nurse specialist working in collaboration with Dr. Anna Hohler providing nursing care, assessment, telephone triage, coordinating community resources and services, and facilitating the Deep Brain Stimulation programming. Keith has almost two decades of experience working with patient and families with Parkinson’s Disease, Essential Tremor, Movement Disorder, Epilepsy and Cognitive Impairment. He has more than 13 years of experience in Deep Brain Stimulation, coordinating pre- and post-surgery care, as well as DBS programming management. Since 2005, Keith has served as co-facilitator for the American Parkinson’s Disease Association monthly support group for Parkinson's patients with Deep Brain Stimulation. Keith received his Bachelor of Science in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Anna Maria College in Paxton, MA. He received his Nursing diploma from Chelsea Soldier Home School of Nursing. He was the recipient of Outstanding Young Men in America Award, the Student Nursing Leadership Award, the Salvatore A. Esposito, Sr. Award from the American Parkinson Disease Association, and the 2010 Chairman’s Award. He is involved in numerous non-profit organizations including serving as the past president of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.