global view constructed of white lines
Ribbon Cutting ceremony
December 12, 2017

Neurosciences Come to the South Bay

by Zara Jethani

L-R: Claudine Garcia, Councilwoman Heidi Ann Ashcraft, City of Torrance, Chairwoman of the Board, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, Laurie Latham Brandt, Mayor Pat Furey, Dr. Richard Glimp, Dr. Daniel Kelly, Dr. Howard Krauss, Mary Kingston, CE, Councilman Milton Herring, City of Torrance, Councilman Mike Griffiths, City of Torrance


Pacific Neuroscience Institute opens a new clinic

PNI LCM logoProvidence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance is proud to have partnered with Pacific Neuroscience Institute to offer a broader scope of neurosurgical services in the South Bay. Patients can now receive comprehensive care for brain and neurological conditions at PNI’s new clinic, which opened September 12, 2017. Serving patients through three centers of excellence, the Brain Tumor Center, Stroke & Aneurysm Center, and Movement Disorders Center, PNI’s neurosurgeons, neurologists and neurovascular specialists see patients at the Medical Building next to the hospital located at 4201 Torrance Blvd., Suite 520.

Rachelle Cruz NP and Andrew Werts
Rachelle Cruz NP and Andrew Werts

To properly inaugurate the clinics, PNI nurse practitioner Rachelle Cruz and PLCMMCT marketing director Andrew Werts took the lead in organizing an open house launch party on November 1st, 2017. The event welcomed over 120 public officials, physicians, caregivers and Providence leaders to learn about neurological services and treatment options that are now available to patients in the area. Providence Medical Association mission leadership director Gregory Kirsch, performed a blessing ceremony for the new space and PNI received over 8 government proclamations.

Gregory Kirsch, MDiv, MA, PhD, MBA
Gregory Kirsch, MDiv, MA, PhD, MBA

Hospital Chief Executive Mary Kingston and PNI director Daniel Kelly, MD, provided inspiring opening comments and the new PNI clinic was declared open with a ribbon cutting by Torrance Mayor Patrick J. Furey. PNI co-founder Howard R. Krauss, MD was also in attendance along with a number of PNI caregivers.

Walavan Sivakumar, MD, neurosurgeon at PLCMMCT presented a successful patient story demonstrating the commitment and care that PNI promises in the South Bay.

“I wanted to share a story that I believe epitomizes the goal of the Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s partnership with Little Company of Mary Medical Center in the South Bay.

This patient is a wonderful 50-year old woman with a long-standing history of metastatic uterine cancer. For the past two years, she has been splitting her care between the renowned oncologists at the California Hematology Oncology Medical Group here in Torrance and specialists in Orange County. After receiving a stable bill of health just two months prior, her family brought her in to our hospital for some mild confusion and nausea, not expecting much.

Dr. Walvan Sivakumar
Dr. Walavan Sivakumar

After evaluating her in the emergency room, we were surprised to note that on top of noticeable disorientation and confusion, she was developing significant weakness on the left side. Her MRI revealed three large masses on the right side of her brain, in the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes. After spending time with the family to educate them of the findings and get over the initial shock, we set out to develop a treatment plan.

Historically, patients with this level of disease burden have been relegated to whole brain radiation and are advised to get their affairs in order. After extensive discussion with our medical oncologists, radiation oncologists at Valley Radiotherapy Associates, and other specialists at our Little Company of Mary Medical Center Interdisciplinary Tumor Board, we decided to give surgery a shot.

Using the philosophy of minimally invasive keyhole neurosurgery taught to me by my teacher, mentor and now boss, Dr. Daniel Kelly, we performed two mini-craniotomies to remove both of the tumors which were causing the confusion and weakness.

The patient did well after surgery with complete resolution of her symptoms. She went home and is currently undergoing radiosurgery and immunotherapy, and the family has elected to transfer all of her care to providers here in the South Bay.

Our goal here at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute is to provide comprehensive and minimally invasive surgery with brain, skull base, and spinal pathology, in addition to clinical trials and personalized precision approaches for brain tumors, stroke and movement disorders. We plan to dissolve the belief that patients need to leave the South Bay to access the best neurological care.”

More information about Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Torrance can be found by contacting the clinic at 424-212-5361 or visiting the website.


Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA, is the marketing director for the Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in graphic design, molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing. 


About the Author

Zara Jethani, MS, MBA

Zara Jethani

Zara is the marketing director at Pacific Neuroscience Institute. Her background is in molecular genetics research and healthcare marketing. In addition, she is a graphic designer with more than 20 years experience in the healthcare, education and entertainment industries.

Last updated: December 15th, 2017