Who We Are

Who We Are

Our program taps into the expertise of neurospsychologists, sports medicine physicians, neurosurgeons, physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians, neurovestibular and exertion training experts, and others, to offer patients a personalized, multidisciplinary approach to concussion management.

 

Our Experts at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program

Michael “Micky” Collins, PhD

Clinical and Executive Director

Dr. Collins is an internationally renowned expert in sports-related concussion and serves as director and a founding member of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Collins’ expertise attracts elite and professional athletes from around the world seeking the comprehensive care he provides and the multidisciplinary approach he helped to introduce. Dr. Collins and his UPMC program colleagues see dozens of patients every day – including youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes.

Dr. Collins also has been a lead author and investigator on numerous groundbreaking studies published in Journal of the American Medical Association, Neurosurgery, and the American Journal of Sports Medicine and Pediatrics, among others. He has been the lead author or co-author on more than 75 peer-reviewed research articles in medical journals and has delivered more than 350 presentations at national and international scientific meetings.

Dr. Collins was an instrumental source in developing concussion-management policy in youth sports, return-to-play laws, and the Centers for Disease Control’s concussion toolkit. He is a co-founder of ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing); the most widely used computerized sports-concussion evaluation system that has become a standard of care in nearly all organized sports at all levels. He is a leader in educating and implementing the proper usage of baseline and post-injury neurocognitive testing as one tool to help determine an injury’s severity and recovery for safe return to play.

In addition to training thousands of physicians and certified athletic trainers in the diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion, he advises numerous athletic organizations and teams, including several major-college programs, the Pittsburgh Steelers®, the Pittsburgh Penguins®, numerous Major League Baseball clubs, USA Rugby, and Cirque De Soleil. He also serves as a consultant or on the editorial board of such publications as Brain Injury Professional, the Journal of Athletic Training, and the Journal of Sports Neurology.

A graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology, Dr. Collins earned a master’s degree in psychology and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Michigan State University.

Freddie H. Fu, MD

Medical Co-Director

Internationally acclaimed for his work as a knee surgery pioneer, researcher, and educator, Freddie H. Fu, MD, is a distinguished service professor and chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Dr. Fu earned undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School, before receiving his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He is known for his trailblazing surgical techniques, education, and research; as a result receiving the highest honors and awards from orthopaedic organizations in the United States and across the globe – more than 200 total.

Dr. Fu is the editor of 29 major orthopaedic textbooks, the author of 122 book chapters, co-author of more than 500 published research papers, and a presenter at more than 1,000 worldwide conferences and meetings. He also has been recognized nationally and internationally for compiling an accomplished, deep, and diverse Orthopaedic faculty and fellowship program.

A civic leader, Dr. Fu was named by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Pittsburghers of the 20th Century and has served on various charitable and medical boards on the local, state, national, and international levels.

Joseph C. Maroon, MD

Medical Co-Director

Dr. Maroon is clinical professor of neurological surgery and the Heindl Scholar in Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He received his medical and neurosurgical training at Indiana University, Georgetown University, Oxford University in England, and the University of Vermont. He is board-certified in neurological surgery.

Dr. Maroon’s clinical and research interests are in the development of minimally invasive surgical procedures for the brain and spine; the prevention and treatment of traumatic injuries to the central nervous system; innovative approaches to pituitary and brain tumors; and complementary approaches to inflammatory diseases of aging. A lifelong athlete, Dr. Maroon has served as team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than 25 years.

Anthony Kontos, PhD

Research Director

Dr. Kontos is director of research for the UPMC Sports Concussion Program and associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He received his doctoral degree in kinesiology/sport psychology and his master’s degrees in counseling psychology and exercise science from Michigan State University, where he also completed an internship in counseling psychology. He completed his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Adrian College, where he was a four-year starter on the men’s soccer team.

Dr. Kontos has specialized in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) research for the past 12 years, written for 107 professional publications, and given 164 professional presentations. He has received research funding as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator from external sources including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Special Operations Command, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Football League (NFL)/GE Head Health Challenge, National Operating Committee of Standards for Athletic Equipment, and the NFL Charities.

Dr. Kontos’ research focuses on concussion, including neurocognitive and neuromotor effects; psychological issues; and concussion in military, pediatric, and sport populations. Dr. Kontos is a reviewer for journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Sports Medicine, Pediatrics, and Neurosurgery. He is an invited reviewer of grants for the NIH, NCAA Grand Challenge, National Athletic Trainers Association, Walter Reed Army Institute for Research, and U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. He is also the current president-elect of the American Psychological Association Division 47 and attended the 2014 White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit.

Vanessa Fazio, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. Fazio is a clinical neuropsychologist with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Fazio earned a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Suffolk University in Boston, with a concentration in neuropsychology. She completed an APA-accredited clinical internship in neuropsychology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Dr. Fazio joined the faculty in 2008 after completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Fazio’s clinical specialty is pediatric concussion.

Jonathan French, PsyD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. French is a clinical neuropsychologist with the UPMC Sports Concussion Program and assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He graduated from Widener University in 2010 with his doctorate in clinical psychology and concentrations in forensic and neuropsychology. He completed his internship in the neuropsychology division of Delaware Youth and Family Services. Dr. French focused his research at Widener on traumatic brain injury, as well as the evaluation of malingering in neuropsychological testing. His dissertation examined personality characteristics of individuals engaging in malingering during neuropsychology assessment. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. French completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. His current clinical interests include working with school districts in the area to provide the proper accommodations to individuals who have suffered a concussion.

Nathan Kegel, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. Kegel serves as fellowship director for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master’s degree and doctorate from Duquesne University in child psychology and school psychology. He completed an internship in pediatric neuropsychology at The Watson Institute in Sewickley, PA, followed by a two-year fellowship with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Kegel’s clinical interests focus on assessment and management of pediatric concussion.

Alicia Puskar, PsyD

Neuropsychologist

Dr. Puskar is a clinical neuropsychologist with the UPMC Sports Concussion Program and clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Puskar received a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, with an emphasis on neuropsychological assessment. She completed an internship in neuropsychology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, and fellowships with the UPMC Sports Concussion Program and Kreinbrook Psychological Services. Dr. Puskar specializes in adult and geriatric populations and works primarily with non-sport related mild traumatic brain injury.

Alicia Sufrinko, PhD

Neuropsychologist

Alicia Sufrinko, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and clinical instructor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr. Sufrinko completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology and biological sciences at Marquette University. She then earned a doctorate in clinical health psychology with an emphasis in neuropsychology at East Carolina University. Dr. Sufrinko completed her predoctoral internship in neuropsychology at the University of Florida/Shands Hospital and a two year postdoctoral fellowship with the UPMC Sports Concussion Program. Dr. Sufrinko’s clinical interests include assessment and management of sports-related concussions within pediatric and adolescent populations. Her current research interests include the role of sleep in recovery from concussion, and identifying risk factors for injury and poor outcomes following concussion.

Kelley Anderson, DO

Primary Care Sports Medicine Specialist

Dr. Anderson is a board-certified primary care sports medicine physician with UPMC Sports Medicine. She is an assistant professor at The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Her specialties include treatment of musculoskeletal sports-related injuries, and she serves as one of the medical advisors for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Anderson can also be found at Carnegie Mellon University as the Primary Care Sports Medicine team physician.

Dr. Anderson received her medical degree from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in Erie, Pa. She completed a residency in family medicine in Pittsburgh at UPMC St. Margaret, and completed her training at The University of Pittsburgh with a fellowship in primary care sports medicine.

Anne Mucha, DPT

Clinical Director, Vestibular Therapy

An expert in the assessment and rehabilitation of balance, dizziness, and visual symptoms following concussion, Anne Mucha, DPT, MS, NCS, directs the vestibular rehabilitation for the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. In addition to her clinical practice, she works in research and also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Mucha, with over 20 years of clinical experience, has lectured nationally on the subject of concussion and, in particular, the presence and treatment of balance and vestibular concerns after concussion. She is currently a member of the Centers for Disease Control panel of experts to develop clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury among children and adolescents.  Dr. Mucha, a board certified clinical specialist in neurologic physical therapy, is a Pittsburgh native.

Joseph Furman, MD, PhD

Clinical Director, Otoneurology and Vestibular Disorders

Dr. Furman is a professor of otolaryngology, neurology, bioengineering, and physical therapy at the University of Pittsburgh, and serves as director of the UPMC Center for Balance Disorders. Dr. Furman received his medical degree and doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency training in the Department of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles. In addition, he completed fellowships in nonsurgical neurotology at the University of Toronto and at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Furman is a board-certified neurologist. His primary clinical interest is the diagnosis and management of patients with dizziness, balance disorders, and concussion. Dr. Furman’s research interests include improving the testing methods relating to balance system abnormalities, increasing the understanding of human inner ear (vestibular) function, and enhancing the rehabilitation of people with concussions and inner ear disease.

Vikas Agarwal, MD

Clinical Director, Neuroradiology

Dr. Agarwal is assistant professor of radiology at UPMC, specializing in neuroradiology relating to concussion and traumatic brain injury (TBI). He serves as clinical director of neuroradiology with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Dr. Agarwal is also the director of the Neuroradiology Fellowship Program, as well as director of Spine Intervention.

Dr. Agarwal received his medical degree from Boston University, and completed both a residency diagnostic radiology and fellowship in neuroradiology at UPMC. Dr. Agarwal’s areas of clinical expertise include brain tumors, TBI, spine intervention, degenerative discs, and more.

Maria Twichell, MD

Clinical Director, Treatment and Rehabilitation

Dr. Twichell is an assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UPMC, and clinical director of treatment and rehabilitation with the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. She completed her doctorate of medicine at the Michigan State University – College of Human Medicine in 2006 where she was an anatomy teaching assistant and co-president of Internal Medicine Interest Group. She completed the physical medicine and rehabilitation residency in this department and served as academic chief resident. In 2012, she joined UPMC in both a faculty and clinical capacity. Her areas of expertise include traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation after amputation, and more.