Novant Health opens center to diagnose and treat childhood epilepsy and seizures

Meets highest national standard for pediatric epilepsy, delivering both surgical and nonsurgical treatments

More than 3.4 million people in the U.S. have epilepsy (recurring seizures), and of those, nearly 500,000 are children. Novant Health today announced a world-class program to treat pediatric epilepsy, offering some of the most complete testing, treatment and monitoring found in the region, meeting the highest standards as an accredited level 4 center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers.

Dr. Erin Kiehna, Chief of Neurosurgery and Pediatric Neurosurgeon

Renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and Chief of Neurosurgery at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center, Erin Kiehna, MD, and pediatric neurologist Christopher Beatty, MD, have worked together for two years to develop a comprehensive pediatric epilepsy program designed to help patients find effective treatments after medications have been tried and proven unresponsive. Their program includes three cornerstone treatments:

Nutritional therapies, including the ketogenic and modified Atkins diets.Implant devices, specifically a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS), which sends mild pulses from chest to affected parts of the brain.Brain surgery, including laser ablation and electrode placement (electrocorticography, or ECoG) to pinpoint exactly where seizures occur in the brain. Other services include intensive neurodiagnostic and EEG video monitoring, extensive neurophysiological treatments as well as physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“About two-thirds of children with epilepsy will have control of seizures with medication, but what about the children who that hasn’t worked for?” said Beatty. “Our program is designed to tackle every epilepsy case by bringing together the best experts in the field. The goal is to help children and their families find a way to manage – and in some cases find a complete resolution – of their seizures.”

Dr. Christopher Beatty, Pediatric Neurologist

As a top-tier epilepsy treatment center, Beatty and Kiehna use a range of advanced diagnostic tools to understand each patient’s unique condition and inform the treatment plan. Whether it’s a child’s first seizure or a family seeking a second opinion for epileptic treatment, their unique, team-based approach ensures that patients receive streamlined, coordinated care from fellowship-trained and board-certified experts.



“We know that epilepsy affects an entire family,” said Kiehna. “What I hear from families who have been through our program and have seen an end to the seizures, is that for the first time in years, they can leave their child alone in a room – or playing outside on a bike – without fear. Leading a team of specialists who are passionate about bringing that kind of relief to patients and families is something I’m really proud to be part of.”

Patients from across North Carolina travel to the Novant Health Pediatric Epilepsy Center in Charlotte to meet with our expert care team. From a first seizure to a second opinion, the center is designed to help children and their families feel more confident and in control.

You can reach the team by calling 704-384-1390. Visit NovantHealth.org/PediatricEpilepsy for more information.

Christopher Beatty is board-certified in child neurology, clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy. He attended medical school at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. He completed residencies in pediatrics and pediatric neurology at the University of Washington, and then went on to complete a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at the University of Washington.

Erin Kiehna is a board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon. She attended medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, before completing her residency in neurological surgery at the University of Virginia Health System. She then completed her fellowship training at the Pediatric Neurological Surgery Hospital for Sick Children in Australia. Dr. Kiehna joined Novant Health in 2016 after being on staff at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital.