Before founding the institute in 1982, Dr. Vernon D. Rowe earned his BS and MD degrees at Duke University. He served his internship at Harborview Hospital in Seattle and obtained his neurology residency training at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.
Rowe then served as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health in developmental neurobiology. Rowe next joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical School in the Department of Neurology as an associate professor. At KU he taught and mentored medical students and residents, and carried out basic research on neuron-target interactions, funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Administration, and the March of Dimes Foundation. The author of numerous research publications, Rowe is currently an adjunct professor of neurology at the University of Kansas Medical School.
In addition to his work as a physician and researcher, Rowe has many skills and interests. He is a pilot, and for many years he flew in small planes and helicopters to several rural towns in Missouri and Kansas to hold neurology clinics. He is an accomplished bluegrass musician and songwriter, and has published a book of poetry.
Professional affiliations: certified in neurology and in sleep medicine, as well as electro-myography, electroencephalography, and neuro-MRI. His professional affiliations include the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Neurology, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the Society for Neuroscience, and the American Society for Neurochemistry. He is licensed in Missouri, Kansas, and North Carolina.
Dr. Moreng received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas A & M University and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota. Moreng completed an internship in internal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas and a residency in neurology at Hermann Hospital of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Moreng also completed a one-year fellowship in neuroimaging at the Southwest Michigan M.R.I. Center of the Kalamazoo Neurologic Institute. Moreng has been the director of the Imaging Center for Consultants in Neurology since 1983.
Professional Affiliations: American Medical Association, Metropolitan Medical Society, American Society for Neuroimaging, American Academy of Neurology Board. Certifications National Board of Medical Examiners Board, eligible for the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology. Licensure: Missouri and Kansas.
Dr. VanOwen completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Cincinnati, graduating summa cum laude, and then receive a Masters of Science at Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston. He completed medical school at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and then neurology residency at Indiana University. While at Indiana, Dr. VanOwen completed a Neurophysiology Fellowship with training in EMG, EEG and Evoked Potentials.
Dr. VanOwen is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with Board Certification in Neurology, Sleep Medicine and Clinical Neurophysiology.
Professional Affiliations: American Academy of Neurology, American Medical Association, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. Lincensure: Missouri and Kansas.
Dr. Winegarner, who joined the Institute in 2001, was previously associated with the Neuroscience and Rehabilitation Institute in Joplin, Missouri. Winegarner graduated from Oklahoma University with a bachelor’s in medical technology and then attended osteopathic school at Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His residencies in both internal medicine and in neurology were from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Additionally, Dr. Winegarner has extensive additional training in the administration of neurotoxin therapies and also pursues neurological research. Winegarner is a frequent lecturer on stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological topics.
Professional Affiliations: Diplomat to National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, American Academy of Neurology, American Osteopathic Association, Christian Medical and Dental Society, American Headache Society.
Clinical nurse specialist Doug Schell joined the institute in 2000. He has been studying and treating disorders of the mind and brain since receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas in 1989. After earning his master’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin, Schell went on to in critical care, mental health, social work, and nursing education. Schell is interested in multiple sclerosis care and is a Multiple Sclerosis Certified Nurse and a member of the International Organization of Multiple Sclerosis Nurses.
Shane Jackson graduated from Baker University with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He earned his master’s of science in physical therapy through Des Moines University-Osteopathic Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Following his master’s program, Jackson went on to earn his doctorate of physical therapy also from Des Moines University. Prior to working for Mid America Neuroscience Institute, Jackson worked for Kansas City Physical Therapy Group for four years, and held the position of Director of Physical Therapy at the North Facility, for two years.
Jackson specializes in the use of manual skills in conjunction with neuromuscular reeducation and individualized exercise prescription with the goal of correcting faulty movement patterns and restoring optimal joint mechanics. He works to educate and empower the patient to facilitate success in pain relief, obtaining patient goals, and promoting a healthy life style.
Amy became an APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor in 2010 and is the Center Coordinator for Clinical Education (CCCE) at RNI. She has set up contracts with the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Blue Valley School System’s CAPS program for student clinical rotations. In addition to full time rotations, Dr. Nichols also organizes observations and assignments for area undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Nichols has been a guest speaker for the KUMed physical therapy department since 2007, speaking on topics of brain injury and Multiple Sclerosis. She also has taught a continuing education course for the Kansas Physical Therapy Association on the role of physical therapy and headaches. She currently is working on an independent research study with Leigh Kreshel at RNI on the effects of a 24-week exercise program for Multiple Sclerosis patients following physical therapy.
Amy graduated from Pittsburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in physical science. She earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center as a member of KU’s first DPT class.
Kelli graduated from Kansas University with a bachelor’s degree in science with a minor in health & sport exercise science. She recently earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is involved with several physical therapy organizations such as: Kansas Physical Therapy Association, American Physical Therapy Association and the American Academy of Orthopedic Manual Physical Therapists.
Dr. Carolyn Karr practices Clinical Neuropsychology at the Rowe Neurology Institute, conducting neuropsychological evaluations for a variety of precipitating issues, including dementia, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, head injuries, seizure activity and stroke/TIA. Dr. Karr also evaluates children, adolescents, and young adults for neuropsychological effects of ADHD, learning disabilities, and developmental disorders. She has conducted research related to neuropsychological deficits associated with trauma and substance abuse, and current research interests include cognitive fatigue, mild cognitive impairment, self-efficacy as a tool in rehabilitative outcomes, and the role of anxiety in sleep disorders.
Dr. Karr earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Iowa State University. During her years in training, she completed her pre-doctoral internship in Clinical Psychology at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, with an emphasis in Clinical Neuropsychology. She has also completed post-doctoral residencies in Rural Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology. Dr. Karr has worked in hospital, community mental health, private practice, substance abuse program, forensic, and university settings in the past.
Arlene Oshea works with Dr. Vernon Rowe’s team in the sleep disorders center. A native of the Philippines, Oshea graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City’s adult nurse practitioner program. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Kansas. She is also board certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Dr. Elizabeth Rowe combines her extensive research experience in basic science and savvy business skills as a Senior Scientific Advisor for the Foundation. She believes that with the help of our community and excellent basic science research, a breakthough in multiple sclerosis research is forthcoming.
Dr. Rowe received her B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in biochemistry at Duke University, and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University and Georgetown University. She then joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical School and the Kansas City Veterans Administration Medical Center. She also received a M.B.A. degree from the University of Kansas. During her more than twenty years as an academic researcher in the area of alcohol-brain effects, she obtained more than $2.5 million in funding from peer-reviewed agencies including the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration. She has published research and presented her work at numerous national and international meetings.
Exercise Physiologist Leigh Kreshel has a bachelor’s degree in science and wellness from Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska and a masters in health and exercise sciences from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has worked at the Institute since 2004. Kreshel has participated in conducting numerous research studies.
A Technologist in the Imaging Center, Ron Chason has over 25 years of experience in medical imaging. He is a 1981 Graduate of Bethany Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology in Kansas City, Kansas. Ron holds advanced qualifications in MRI with the American Registry of Radiologic Technologist and is licensed as an LRT (Licensed Radiologic Technologist) in Kansas. He also spent an additional year working in Neuro CT at the University of Wurzburg Medical Center in Germany and did his initial MRI training at Methodist Hospital in Memphis, TN. Prior to joining the staff of the Institute, Ron was responsible for the training of MEDIQ, Inc. CT/MRI Technologists nationwide.
Senior Research Scientist and Director of Basic MS Research, Rachel Williams received her PhD in Molecular and Integrative Physiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center and stayed on at the Medical Center for her postdoctoral training in the department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology and the department of Anatomy & Cell Biology. She is currently an adjunct research instructor in the department of Molecular & Integrative Physiology. Her area of specialization is neuroimmunology, particularly the study of neuroinflammatory events in HIV-associated neurological disorders, traumatic brain injury, and multiple sclerosis. She has published over a dozen research articles and has presented her work at numerous national meetings.
Research Assistant Lovella Tejada Insisienmay has over 10 years of diverse experience in academic research and in the biopharmaceutical environment. She has vast experience in molecular and cell biology, microbiology, histology, and other scientific technical skills. Her work has resulted in several research publications and poster presentations. Her experience in GMP/GLP environment when she worked for a Contract Research Organization (CRO) resulted in solid exposure to industries familiarizing her with the rules and regulations. Lovella’s role at MidAmerica Neuroscience Research Foundation is to support the team with her technical expertise to optimize, design, and troubleshoot experimental methods and processes. Lovella earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Dr. John A. Hunter is a Senior Administrator of RNI and takes a strong interest in research. He completed his undergraduate education at CBC in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduate studies in psychology at Illinois State University and Roosevelt University in Chicago. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the Forest Institute in Chicago. He has managed healthcare organizations since the 1970’s and has been a business consultant to both public and private companies. Prior to joining the MidAmerica Neuroscience Institute, he was the chief executive officer and hospital administrator for a hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. He has published research on multiple sclerosis, sleep, psychological assessments and stroke.
Aaron Seacat serves as Physician Liaison at RNI. Aaron’s principle duty is to keep primary care physicians in the greater Kansas City community up-to-date on developments at the Institute. Aaron earned a BS of Human Development and Social Policy from Northwestern University and has recently completed an MBA at Baker University. Aaron’s background marketing hospital and surgical supplies, along with business marketing experience, aid in developing the Institute’s relationships with the medical community.
Travis Mecum is Clinical Manager of the Sleep Center. In that role he oversees day-to-day quality of studies, manages of the sleep center team, and actively participates in our ongoing research efforts to discover the link between sleep disorders and other seemingly unrelated health issues. He also works with Dr. Rowe to train Psychiatry residents from KU Medical Center about the relationship between sleep disorders and psychiatric issues.
Born and raised in central Kansas, with the “small-town, everyone’s family” attitude, he attended Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas, and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kansas. He worked at Black & Veatch, where his primary responsibility was the development of databases and spreadsheets for world-wide power plant construction projects. He moved into management at Angel Berry Realtors, where his duties included director and manager of the salesperson staff. It was through this position that he met a sleep disorders specialist, who inspired him to obtain his Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification and training in sleep medicine. Since that time, he has worked at Saint Luke’s Health Systems and Shawnee Mission Medical Center. He came to RNI in large part because he appreciated the personal approach and focus on finding answers to our patients’ medical issues. He obtained his RPSGT (Registered Polysomnographic Sleep Technologist) certification in 2007, and over the next two years worked to develop systems to streamline daily operations, and to further our research efforts.
Rose Kocour Eilts joined the Institute in 2003 as Community Liaison. Her main duties involve educating both the patients and providers about the Institutes expertise in headache, sleep disorders, memory loss and multiple sclerosis. Eilts earned her bachelors of social sciences from Kansas State University. Since moving to Kansas City, her vocations and avocations have gained her much experience in advertising, event production, fund-raising, property management and consensus building.
Mildred Grosby is the infusion nurse at the institute, where she provides infusion treatment, education and follow-up consultation to patients and families. She received her registered nursing diploma from Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing. She previously worked at several hospitals and health systems in the Kansas City area.