Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation Recognizes UW Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center as a CCM Clinical Center

UW Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Washington has been recognized as a designated Clinical Center by the Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation for the treatment of cavernous malformations.

A cavernous malformation, also known as a cerebral cavernous angioma or cavernoma, is a raspberry-shaped collection of abnormal blood vessels with thin, leaky walls, most often found in the brain and the spinal cord. They can grow at any age, including in young children, though they are most likely to become symptomatic when a person is between ages 20-40.

Harborview Medical Center is a comprehensive healthcare facility dedicated to providing specialized care for a broad spectrum of patients from throughout the Pacific Northwest, including the most vulnerable residents of King County. Harborview Centers of Emphasis include, but are not limited to, a Comprehensive Stroke Center, Neurosciences Institute, and Regional Vascular Center. Their research team, through the UW Medicine Center for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, is poised to engage in CCM research efforts to find a cure.

“We are sincerely honored by this recognition and are more determined than ever to deliver the absolute highest level of neurosurgical and clinical care to our cavernous malformation patients,” said Louis Kim, MD, MBA, Medical Director and Neurological Surgeon.  “Our secret to success has been the multidisciplinary team-based approach to treatment that maximizes the best outcomes. With the support of the Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation, we look forward to research collaboration that will move ever closer to the goal of universal cure.”

The Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation is a patient/family advocacy organization dedicated to informing, supporting and mobilizing those impacted by CCMs and driving research for better treatments and a cure. Harborview Medical Center is required to meet specific criteria to achieve CCM Clinical Center status including, but not limited to:

  • Designating a medical director or co-directors
  • Designating multidisciplinary board-certified specialists, including a cerebral neurosurgeon; a neurologist with cerebrovascular specialization or pediatric neurologist; an epileptologist; a neuroradiologist; a nurse coordinator; and a geneticist who all collaborate for the diagnosis and management of patients with CCM
  • Meeting or exceeding all consensus guidelines approved by the Scientific Advisory Board
  • Establishing a single point of entry, allowing all appointments to be scheduled with one call
  • Providing coordinated appointments for patients over no more than two days, reducing the travel burden on out-of-town patients

The complete list of criteria for a CCM Clinical Center is available on the Alliance to Cure website.

The designated, multidisciplinary UW Medicine team at Harborview Medical Center consists of:

  • Louis Kim, MD, MBA, Director and Neurological Surgeon
  • Laligam Sekhar, MD, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon
  • Michael Levitt, MD, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon
  • David Tirshwell, MD, Cerebrovascular Neurologist
  • Nicholas Poolos, MD, PhD, Epileptologist
  • Fuki Hisama, MD, Geneticist
  • Jonathan Medverd, MD, Radiologist
  • Samantha Hershey, RN, Nurse Manager

“We are pleased to welcome UW Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center into our network of recognized CCM Clinical Centers,” said Connie Lee, PsyD, chief executive officer of the Alliance to Cure Cavernous Malformation.  “As the first and only CCM Clinical Center in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Kim and his team’s integrated, expert care are addressing a critical need for cerebral cavernous malformation patients far beyond the greater Seattle area.”