Kaleida Epilepsy Centers Achieve Level 4 NAEC

Published April 22, 2024

Both the adult and pediatric Kaleida Health epilepsy centers have achieved accreditation as Level 4 NAEC (National Association of Epilepsy Centers) centers.


NAEC is a non-profit organization that nationally aims to set standards of care with the goal of homogenizing care between centers and helping centers strive to achieve metrics of excellence. Its Level 4 accreditation represents the highest standard the organization recognizes.

Testament to Hard Work and Collaboration

In a press release, Kaleida Health officials said the prestigious accreditation underscores their commitment to excellence and innovation in the treatment of epilepsy.

Officials also said it is a testament to the hard work, dedication and collaboration between the departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery within Kaleida Health, as well as the UBMD Neurology and UBMD Neurosurgery programs.

“At the heart of this achievement is the expertise and leadership of Assaf Berger, MD, and Jonathan Riley, MD, whose dedication to advancing neurosurgical techniques has been integral to our success,” the press release said. “Additionally, we extend our sincere appreciation to Renee Reynolds, MD, the residency program director at UB for neurosurgery, whose guidance and mentorship have helped shape the next generation of neurosurgical talent.”

Additionally, Reynolds, serves as the co-director for pediatric epilepsy, while Ping Li, MD, clinical associate professor of neurology, is the co-director for adult NAEC.

The NAEC IV program director is Arie L. Weinstock, MD, clinical professor of neurology. The epilepsy program is further strengthened by the contributions of crucial faculty members, including Robert L. Glover, MD; Osman Farooq, MD; Sarah G. Finnegan, MD, PhD; Amanda Schwandt, DO; and Alexus P. Ludwig, DO. Together, their expertise and dedication ensure excellence in epilepsy care and research.

“As chair of UB Neurosurgery, when I recruited Drs. Riley and Berger, we envisioned created a world class destination for researching and treating epilepsy with innovative technologies,” said Elad I. Levy, MD, MBA, the L. Nelson Hopkins III, MD, Professor and Chair of neurosurgery, SUNY Distinguished Professor at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and president of UBMD Neurosurgery.

“This continued Level 4 accreditation for both child and adult epilepsy programs is a testament to our epilepsy neurologists and neurosurgeons, as well as our hospital partners staying at the very front of the field, ensuring state of the art epilepsy care for our Western New York community and beyond,” said Gil I. Wolfe, MD, Irvin and Rosemary Smith Professor and Chair of neurology, SUNY Distingusihed Professor at the Jacobs School and president of UBMD Neurology.

Referral Destinations for Complex Patients

Jonathan Riley MD; Department of Neurosurgery; Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; University at Buffalo 2018.

Jonathan Riley, MD

“Meeting and maintaining Level 4 accreditation represents an achievement as it indicates that there is a well-organized program with the collaboration necessary to achieve regular multidisciplinary collaboration and decision making,” said Riley, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Jacobs School, and medical director of functional neurosurgery at Kaleida Health.

The multidisciplinary resources include: adult and pediatric epileptologists, adult and pediatric neurosurgeons, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, neuropsychologists, and the full range of professionals and ancillary staff necessary to staff the epilepsy monitoring unit, according to Riley, who sees patients at UBMD Neurosurgery.

“This aggregation of resources and longitudinal professional collaboration makes Level 4 centers the referral destinations that complex patients arrive at to be considered for the full pantheon of medical and surgical treatments,” he said.

“On the surgical end, it means that a center offers the full range of contemporaneous therapies including intracranial electrode placement through open and minimally invasive approaches (e.g. robot-assisted stereoelectroencephalography) as well as resective, ablative, disconnection-based, and neuromodulation-based therapeutic surgical offerings.”

Unique State-of-the-Art Facilities

Kaleida’s state-of-the-art 12-bed Epilepsy Monitoring Center, housed at Oishei Children’s Hospital, is the only center of its kind in Western New York. It offers a broad range of evaluation services and sophisticated therapies for children and adults suffering from seizures.  

Staffed by board-certified epileptologists from the Jacobs School, the center specializes in the comprehensive diagnosis and management of patients of all ages with refractory epilepsy.

Collaboration with Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), particularly in the utilization of novel surgical procedures such as stereo electroencephalography (SEEG) performed at the GVI, has been crucial to the centers’ success.

Kaleida’s comprehensive epilepsy program encompasses a wide range of diagnostic and treatment programs, including EEG, continuous video EEG monitoring, neuropsychological testing, neuroimaging, genetic evaluation, novel medications and dietary therapies, epilepsy surgery, and neuromodulation.