3000 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27610
Fax: (919) 350-7130
Referral: (919) 350-7878
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What is Neuropsychology?
Neuropsychology is a sub-specialty of professional psychology that provides diagnostic assessment of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional changes that occur due to neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative or acquired disorders of the brain. Neuropsychological assessment is often indicated in patients with a variety of medical illnesses or when cognitive change or impairment is suspected due to:
- Traumatic, anoxic, metabolic or toxic brain injury
- Substance Abuse
- Dementia / Degenerative Disorders
- Mild cognitive impairment
- Seizure disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Brain Tumors
- Developmental disorders
Assessment typically involves a clinical interview with patient and family members and formal cognitive testing. Individual assessment is geared to answer specific referral questions posed by the referral source. Testing may include measures of:
- Intellectual functioning
- Visuospatial abilities
- Motor skills
- Executive functioning (attention, speed of processing, planning/organization)
- Adaptive behavior
- Academic achievement
- Emotional/affective functioning
Neuropsychological assessment can provide useful information in a number of ways. It may be used to:
- Identify mild or subtle cognitive deficits often critical to early diagnosis/treatment
- Help to diagnose neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's Dementia
- Establish a cognitive baseline to assist in later diagnostic assessments
- Identify cognitive strengths and weaknesses to help with discussions of disease/injury recovery and course
- Assist in decision-making regarding return to school, work, driving, sports, independent living, etc.
- Educate patients and family regarding cognitive issues, recovery time frame and course, and development of compensatory and coping strategies
- Assist in determining a patient's capacity to consent to treatment or manage their own affairs
The WakeMed Neuropsychology offices are located in the rehabilitation hospital at WakeMed Raleigh Campus on New Bern Avenue. Inpatient neuropsychological consultation services and outpatient comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations are available at that location.
Adult: For adults, services offered include inpatient consultation at WakeMed Raleigh Campus, and comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological services provided on a referral basis (see instructions below for making a referral). Our four adult neuropsychologists specialize in the assessment of individuals with known or suspected acquired neurological illness or injury, such as acquired/traumatic brain injury, cerebrovascular accident, assessment of known or suspected dementia, multiple sclerosis, etc.
Pediatric: For children and adolescents, services offered include inpatient consultation at the WakeMed Raleigh Campus for cognitive screenings to assist in diagnosis and treatment of children hospitalized with acquired or suspected neurological disorders. We also offer outpatient comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations for children with an acquired or neurological disorders.
How to Make an Appointment or Referral
Appointments: If you think you would benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation, speak first with your physician and ask that they write a prescription for the service (helps to assure insurance will consider it a covered benefit). Your physician can send in referral information (see Referrals below) or you can call us directly at 919-350-7878 for more information.
Referrals: If you think your client or patient would benefit from a neuropsychological evaluation, please complete the Neuropsychology Referral Form and fax it, along with pertinent medical records, to 919-350-7130. We will then contact your patient directly to schedule the appointment, and will provide you with a copy of the evaluation upon completion. If you have questions, call the Neuropsychology Referral Line at 919-350-7878.
Day of the Appointment
Most outpatient appointments are scheduled in the morning. Please arrive about 30 minutes before the appointment time to register. Take all of your regular medicines that morning as prescribed and bring a list of current medications to your appointment. Please also bring copies of any pertinent medical records.
Some reading may be required so if you wear glasses, please bring them to the appointment. In addition, bring a family member with you. The appointment will likely take several hours and if it goes into the afternoon, you will be given a lunch break (please bring a lunch or money to purchase lunch). If you have questions or need directions, call 919-350-7878.
If you cannot make your appointment, please call us ASAP at 919-350-7878. Leave a message regarding your need to cancel or reschedule. A staff member will return your call as soon as possible.
Meet Our Staff
WakeMed Neuropsychology is the largest and most comprehensive neuropsychology practice in the Triangle area. A full range of adult and pediatric neuropsychological services are provided.
Laurie R. Leach, Ph.D., FACPN, Director
Dr. Leach joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in 1995. She completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at Moorhead State University and a master's degree in psychology at North Dakota State University. Dr. Leach then completed her Ph.D. at University of Missouri-Columbia with an internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Florida-Gainesville. Dr. Leach is a NC Licensed Health Services Provider Psychologist. Dr. Leach is board certified by the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology and a Fellow of the American College of Professional Neuropsychology. Dr. Leach also serves as Program Director of WakeMed's Brain Injury Rehabilitation System (BIRS). She specializes in adult neuropsychology, with special interests in acquired brain injury, cerebrovascular accident, and dementia.
George P. Fowles, Ed.D., FACPN, Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr. Fowles joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in 1992. He received a bachelor's degree in philosophy, a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, and a doctorate in counseling psychology with a specialization in clinical neuropsychology from West Virginia University. From 1992 to 2012 Dr. Fowles served as Director of Neuropsychology and Program Director of WakeMed's Brain Injury Rehabilitation System (BIRS). He is a NC Licensed Health Services Provider Psychologist. Dr. Fowles is a Diplomate (board certification) of the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology and a Fellow of the American College of Professional Neuropsychology. He specializes in adult neuropsychology with special interests in acquired brain injury, dementia, and legal and ethical issues in brain injury rehabilitation.
Jessica Matthes, Ph.D., Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr. Matthes joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in 2011. She completed a bachelor's and master's degree in psychology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Dr. Matthes then completed her Ph.D. at Drexel University including an internship at the Southern Arizona VA HealthCare System in Tucson, Arizona. Following completion of her doctorate she then went on to do a two year post-doctorial residency in neuropsychology at the Barrow Neurological Institute/St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was subsequently hired on as a staff neuropsychologist where she worked until returning to the east coast to join WakeMed. She specializes in adult neuropsychology, with special interest in brain tumors, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and dementia.
Karen L. Wilhelm, Ph.D., FACPN, Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr. Wilhelm joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in 1995. She completed a bachelor's degree in psychology at Western Michigan University, and received her master's degree and doctorate from West Virginia University. She went on to complete an internship in clinical neuropsychology at the University of Missouri - Columbia. Dr. Wilhelm also completed a post doctoral fellowship at the University of Virginia. Dr. Wilhelm is board certified by the American Board of Professional Neuropsychology and a Fellow of the American College of Professional Neuropsychology. Dr. Wilhelm is a NC Licensed Health Services Provider Psychologist. She specializes in adult neuropsychology, with special interests in acquired brain injury, cerebrovascular accident, and dementia.
Kate Wilson, Ph. D., Clinical Neuropsychologist
Dr. Wilson joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in September, 2011. She completed her B.A. and B.S. in Psychology and Chemistry, respectively, at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She completed her psychology internship/ LEND training program at the OHSU Child Development and Rehabilitation Center in Portland, OR. Her post-doctoral work was in Pediatric Neuropsychology at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Wilson is a NC Licensed health Services Provider. She specializes in child, adolescent, and young adult neuropsychology with individuals who have acquired and/or neurodevelopmental differences.
Jennifer L. Bjorling, Secretary, Neuropsychology
Jennifer joined WakeMed Neuropsychology in 2007. She has been employed by WakeMed Health & Hospitals since 1986. Jennifer handles the scheduling of all outpatient appointments as well as supporting all staff for both inpatient and outpatient services.
Neuropsychology Related Links:
National Academy of Neuropsychology: www.nanonline.org
American Psychological Association: www.apa.org
APA Division 40 Clinical Neuropsychology: www.div40.org
International Neuropsychological Society: www.the-ins.org
American Board of Professional Neuropsychology: www.neuropsychologyboard.org