Erin has worked at Children’s Mercy Kansas City as an Epilepsy Nurse Practitioner for the past 9 years. She graduated from Elmhurst College in Illinois with her BSN in 2007 following which she started working in a Neuroscience ICU at Rush University. She completed her Masters in Nursing at Rush University in 2012 graduating as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Primary Care.

Following this she accepted her current position at Children’s Mercy Kansas City working at a level IV Epilepsy Center in both the epilepsy monitoring unit as well as the outpatient setting. In 2019, she finished her DNP at Duke University where her research focus was on the mental health comorbidities in epilepsy. She has served on numerous committees with AANN, most recently as a Director at Large. She also serves as an educator for the Epilepsy Foundation teaching courses on epilepsy to a variety of audiences.

She is a member of the Psychosocial Taskforce with the American Epilepsy Society (AES) where they are currently working on ongoing educational modules related to the psychosocial co-morbidities related to epilepsy, including functional neurological syndrome. She serves on the Child Neurology Society Core Measures Development Taskforce, working to advocate for ongoing improvement in care for children and youth with neurological conditions. To view her research, click here.

She is a member of the Psychosocial Taskforce with the American Epilepsy Society (AES) where they are currently working on ongoing educational modules related to the psychosocial co-morbidities related to epilepsy, including functional neurological syndrome. She serves on the Child Neurology Society Core Measures Development Taskforce, working to advocate for ongoing improvement in care for children and youth with neurological conditions. To view her research, click here.

Jane R von Gaudecker, Ph.D, RN, FAES

Jane works at Indiana University School of Nursing as an Assistant Professor. Dr. von Gaudecker completed her undergraduate studies from India and graduate studies from the United States. She has been a nurse for 25 years, and a neuronurse for the past 17 years.

Her program of research focuses on generating knowledge to improve epilepsy care outcomes, and the quality of life of people living with epilepsy in resource-limited settings. She serves as a the vice chair of the International League Against Epilepsy Nursing Section and is a member and secretary for the International League against Epilepsy- North America Global Health Task Force. View her research here.


Pat works as a Regional Clinical Practice Consultant for Stroke, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Before returning to Kaiser in 2018, she was the Quality Research Lead at the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, where she worked on many high-profile projects, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Quality Indicator program.

She has a strong background in stroke and neuroscience, including building several stroke programs from inception through certification, working as an Advanced Disease-Specific Reviewer (Stroke Programs) for The Joint Commission, and developing a new neuroscience program. She has extensive experience in quality metrics, including working on the California Stroke Prototype Registry, the precursor to the current Get with the Guideline Program. She also has considerable research experience that includes phase I-IV clinical stroke trials. Recently she just completed two terms on the AHA/ASA National Stroke Systems of Care Committee, and currently serves on the Cardiovascular Registered Nurse Council, Planning Committee for AHA Scientific Sessions, as a co-lead for a AHA/ASA Scientific Statement Writing Committee, and is the liaison between the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses and American Association of Neuroscience Nurses.

She is also the managing editor for the new International Journal of Critical Care, the official journal of the World Federation of Critical Care and is an Associate Editor for The Permanente Journal. She holds a Ph.D. in Epidemiology, with an emphasis in chronic disease from the University of California Davis and is a fellow in the American Heart/American Stroke Association. She is the recipient of several national awards, including the AANN Clinical Excellence, Mentor of the Year, and Certificant of the Year awards. View her research activity here.

Rebecca Kahler MSN, APRN, FNP-BC

Rebecca has worked in Hematology/ Pediatric Stroke for the past 10 years. She has been a registered nurse for 42 years and an APRN for the last 25 years.

Jennifer A. Villwock, MD, FAAOA

Jennifer has worked at the University of Kansas Medical Center as an Associate Professor for the past 6 years.

Dr. Villwock graduated from Muskogee High School in Muskogee, OK. She attended the University of Michigan where she studied Cellular and Molecular Biology. Simultaneous with her studies, she was an active student researcher in the neuroblastoma cancer research lab, under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Valerie Castle-Opipari. Dr. Villwock attended medical school at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, completing her clinical rotations in Flint, MI. Her residency training in comprehensive Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery was done at SUNY-Upstate in Syracuse, NY. Dr. Villwock then pursued fellowship in Rhinology and Anterior Skull Base Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center under the direction of Drs. Alex Chiu and David Beahm.

Dr. Villwock joined the KUMC faculty in 2017 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020. She is one of two faculty – and only five physicians in the Kansas City metro area – to have obtained Fellow status in the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy. This indicates enhanced expertise in the diagnosis and management of allergy and sinus/airway inflammation as evidenced by completion of a number of intensive courses and passage of a written and oral exam. Dr. Villwock was awarded, in June 2022, a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Health to investigate olfactory phenotypes as a noninvasive biomarker for dementia.

Dr. Villwock also serves as the Section Chief of Otolaryngology at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs hospital, where she oversees a clinical staff of eight attending physicians and one nurse practitioner and ensures the delivery of high quality care to our veterans.

Dr. Villwock is also passionate about teaching. This is because she believes the best way to improve health care in the future is to optimize how we teach and learn together now. In 2020, Dr. Villwock was awarded the Rainbow Award. This award was established in 1999 by the Medical Student Assembly and the Dean of the School of Medicine to honor their heroes in medicine. This prestigious award acknowledges the KUMC physicians who display outstanding attributes of professionalism and excellence in medicine – specifically altruism, accountability, excellence, duty, service, honor, integrity, and respect for patients, staff, and students – while imparting these characteristics to their students.

Ellen Stephenson, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB

Ellen has worked as an Assistant Professor at Rockhurst University for the past 5 years. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama in May 2001. In December 2015, Dr. Stephenson completed her Master’s of Science in Nursing as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and continued on to finish her Doctorate of Nursing practice in Women’s Health in July 2017, both from the University of South Alabama.

Her 21 years of nursing practice includes work experiences in many civilian and military in-patient maternity departments. Most recently she worked at Wyandotte County Correctional Facility as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner. She currently serves as a Major in the Air Force Reserves as the 442nd Fighter Wing Chief Nurse Executive where she is responsible for overseeing the training and activities of 25 medics and nurses.

Dr. Stephenson holds licensure as an Advanced Practice Nurse in both Kansas and Missouri. She is board certified as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner and Inpatient Obstetric Registered Nurse. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pregnancy & Postpartum Network of Kansas City.

Hayley Lane, RN, BN, MN, CNN(C)

Hayley is from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She has worked as a Clinical Nurse Educator for acute Neuro at Foothills Medical Centre for 7 years.

Hayley has enjoyed 14 years of neuroscience nursing. She started as an undergraduate nurse with neuro after her third year of nursing school and has been hooked ever since! She pursued a few certificates in neuroscience nursing before pursuing her Masters of Nursing through the University of Victoria, which she completed in 2016. She focused her masters on Moral Distress in Neuroscience Nursing with practicums in palliative care.

Jennifer Wessol PhD, RN, CCRN-CMC, CNRN

Jennifer is an Associate Professor at Saint Luke’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Rockhurst University. She’s been employed at Rockhurst for 4 years.

She graduated from Avila College with her BSN in 1995. She went back to school in 2012 and finished her PhD in nursing research in 2018 then continued on to get her post graduate nurse educator certificate in 2019. She started my nursing career as a cardiac nurse. In 2004, she decided a change in nursing focus was necessary and spent 2 years in the critical care float pool. It was in the critical care float pool she fell in love with neuro nursing. She then transitioned to work as a code neuro nurse at Saint Luke’s Hospital where she focused on working with patients who presented with focal neurological deficits. She transitioned to academia in 2018 where she teaches critical care nursing. She is an active volunteer for AANN where she serves on the Journal of Neuroscience Nursing editorial board and the Clinical Practice Guidelines editorial Board. She is the co-editor and chapter author of AANN’s Comprehensive Review for Stroke Nursing, 2nd edition and has authored a chapter AANN’s Core Curriculum for Neuroscience Nursing, 7th edition.