Stroke and Neurosurgery

Our Specialists

Stroke Specialists

Thomas Clark, DO
Medical Director of Stroke Program
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Glenn M. Fischberg, MD
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Neurosurgery Team

Anthony J.G. Alastra, MD
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Vladimir Cortez, MD
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Deependra Mahato, DO, MSc
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Javed Siddiqi
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Neurology Residents

Michael Darazi, DO
Mala Karnani, DO
Brett Mercer, DO
David Nacionales, DO
Alvin Nguyen, DO
Arthur Omuro, DO
Mohammed Rahman, DO
Kirvia Ubri, DO

Neurosurgery Residents

Stephen Albano, DO
Brian Fiani, DO
James Fowler, DO
Alison Ho, DO
Chao Li, DO
Tiffany Odell, DO

Stroke is the nation’s fourth leading cause of death and a major cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. More than four million stroke survivors are alive today.

As the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, Desert Regional Medical Center is also the center of excellence for comprehensive neurological care. Desert Regional maintains a stroke program that includes a dedicated neuro-critical care unit staffed by board certified neurointensivist and a neurointerventional program equipped with a state of the art angiosuite.


"The Joint Commission National Quality Approval" sticker.

Desert Regional Medical Center is an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, certified by the nation’s leading hospital accrediting body, The Joint Commission. To receive this advanced stroke designation, Desert Regional received an on-site evaluation and demonstrated that it has met national standards for care of stroke patients.

Desert Regional Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

We care for the whole patient—at every step in the journey of a stroke. From the initial visit to the ER to advanced imaging, dedicated care, rehabilitation and follow up.

Neurointerventional Program

ICON provides a comprehensive range of treatment options, including specialized techniques. Here is just a short list of some of the procedures and disease treated by the ICON neurological team:

  • Coil embolization of ruptured and unruptured brain aneurysms
  • Mechanical endovascular clot removal for acute stroke
  • Intra-arterial thrombolytic therapy for acute stroke
  • Pre-operative embolization of vascular malformations of the brain and spine
  • Pre-operative embolization of intracranial tumors and spine tumors
  • Carotid stent and angioplasty (CMS approved hospital for CAS)
  • Intracranial angioplasty and stent placement
  • Inferior petrosal sinus sampling for Cushing disease
  • Dural Venous sinus stent/venoplasty
  • Dural venous sinus manometery for pseudotumor cerebri/idiopathic intracranial hypertension
  • Percutaneous kyphoplasty
  • Diagnostic cerebral angiogram
  • Diagnostic cerebral angiogram
  • WADA testing

Neuro Critical Care Program

The Neuro Critical Care Program at Desert Regional Medical Center is the only Neuro ICU staffed by board-certified neurointensivist in the entire Coachella Valley. Patients with critical neurological conditions fare significantly better if treated by neurointensivists, according to multiple studies. Multidisciplinary rounds are conducted in Neuro ICU every week to ensure optimal patient care by a team including neurointensivists, neurosurgeons, pharmacists, case managers, rehab services and nutritionists.

Interventional Neurology

Desert Regional Medical Center offers Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS), a non-invasive treatment option for select patients with brain tumors, vascular malformations, and other conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia. This is a collaborative effort between ICON neurosurgeons and radiation oncologists at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. SRS uses 3-D computerized imaging to precisely target multiple thin beams of high dose radiation to the targeted area with minimal exposure to surrounding healthy tissue, making it possible to reach the deepest recesses of the brain.

SRS works the same way as other forms of radiation treatment – the tumor is not removed, but radiation distorts the DNA of the tumor cells and the cells lose their ability to reproduce. Following treatment, benign tumors shrink over a period of 18 months; malignant tumors may shrink more rapidly. Tumors that may be treated with SRS include:

  • Acoustic neuromas
  • Some malignant gliomas
  • Chordomas
  • Hemangioblastomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pineal tumors
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Metastatic brain tumors

There is little discomfort during SRS procedures and the majority of patients are treated on an outpatient basis—with short recovery periods.