At INSIGHT, we strive to treat our patients as we would treat our own families. Our team of neurosurgeons is highly skilled in neurosurgery and are board-certified or board eligible. Dr. Shah, Dr. Yin, Dr. Ebenzer, Dr. Edem, Dr. Perez, Dr. Torcuator and Dr. McDougall provide an in-depth treatment plan for each of our patients for a variety of issues, including brain tumors, aneurysms, and trigeminal neuralgia, as well as spinal issues such as disc herniations and spinal stenosis.
Our physicians prioritize building a one-on-one relationship with every patient to ensure they have a full understanding of their diagnosis and treatment options. Most of the options you need for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation are under one roof at INSIGHT, including imaging, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, pain management, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. Our convenient configuration allows our providers to easily connect with our patients’ other providers to discuss care and treatment.
These videos are for educational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in the videos are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or position of Insight Institute of Neurosurgery & Neuroscience. Please contact your doctor’s office for questions.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
Placement of Spinal Cord Stimulator – Permanent & Trial
Endoscopic Laminotomy and Discectomy
Decompression & Fusion of Lumbar Spine
Brain Shunt Placement
FELLOWSHIP TRAINING PROGRAM
The INSIGHT Spine Fellowship is a two-years combined training program that is recognized by American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS). Our fellowship provides a unique experience for training in a multidisciplinary spine care setting, with providers who specialize in Neurosurgical Spine Surgery, Orthopaedic Spine Surgery, and Interventional Spine Pain Management.
INSIGHT Spine fellowship program will provide an outstanding opportunity to learn and work in a private practice setting for common and complex disorders of the spine. It will bring forth an excellent opportunity to excel in spinal surgery, both technically and clinically. A primary goal of our fellowship is to graduate fellows with a highly refined clinical acumen and surgical skill set that will allow them to most effectively treat any type of spinal malady
Meet Our Neurosurgery Team
Dr. Roy Torcuator
Dr. Roy Torcuator is a neurosurgeon at Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience with interests in general neurosurgery, spine neurosurgery, and neuro-oncology.
He completed medical school at the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center and neurosurgery residency training at Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center-St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Philippines. He subsequently completed a clinical fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center- Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, MI and an Image-guided Neurosurgery fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital-Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Torcuator was previously a senior staff attending neuro-oncologist at Henry Ford Hospital. He also headed the Comprehensive Brain Tumor Service at St. Luke’s Medical Center and was the Fellowship Director of the Neuro-Oncology Fellowship program and Training Officer for the Neurosurgery residency program in the same institution. He was also a clinical associate professor IV at the St. Luke’s Medical Center-William Quasha College of Medicine.
He likes to spend time with his family, watch movies and play table tennis during his free time.
Dr. Kelly Hopper
Dr. Kelly Hopper is a board-certified Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP-BC) specializing in comprehensive healthcare for adults of all ages at Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience.
Dr. Hopper received a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Maryville University, a Master of Basic Medical Science degree from Wayne State University, a Bachelor of Science Nursing degree from the University of Michigan-Flint with honors, and a Bachelor of Science Degree from Eastern Michigan University with honors.
Prior to joining Insight in July 2019, Dr. Hopper was an NT/SICU nurse from 2012-2016 and an ER nurse from 2011-2019.
Outside of work, Dr. Hopper loves spending time with her close family, including her niece and two nephews. She also enjoys being with her 3 black labs, water and snow skiing, scuba diving, and traveling the world.
Chief Experience Officer
Nina Smith is the Chief Experience Officer (CXO) at INSIGHT and is responsible for ensuring every experience between our team and our patients is positive. Nina is incredibly passionate about people and dedicated to going above and beyond to ensure the needs, wants, and desires of everyone associated with INSIGHT are met. From a young age, Nina has been taking care of people and her family and always loved knowing that one small gesture can make an impact in ways we never fully understand. Nina graduated with honors from the University of Michigan-Flint, earning a bachelor of arts degree in human biology. Outside of work, Nina enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to warm destinations and outdoor summer activities.
Stephanie Olson, DNP, AG-ACNP-BC, is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a specialty in acute care. She completed her doctorate of adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner degree from the University of Michigan-Flint with honors. Before obtaining her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, she received an associate degree in nursing from Mid-Michigan Community College and completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with honors at Ferris State University.
As she completed her associate degree, Stephanie worked as a supplemental instructor for Mid-Michigan Community College, teaching anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, and microbiology. She began her career as a float nurse for one year and then moved to the neuro/trauma intensive care unit at Mid-Michigan Health-Midland for seven years while pursuing her BSN and DNP degrees. Stephanie then worked for Mid-Michigan Health-Midland for another eight years before joining Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience in February 2020.
Stephanie sees patients at Hurley Medical Center, McLaren Flint, and Genesys Regional Medical Center, where she also assists in surgery.
Julie Widzinski, NP
Julie Widzinski, FNP-BC, is a board-certified nurse practitioner. She earned her first bachelor’s degree in Biology and Sports Medicine at Adrian College and then shortly after, received her bachelor’s degree in Nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy. She went on to complete her master’s degree at Chamberlain University in Chicago, Illinois, graduating with honors.
Julie began her career in the emergency room and then moved to the neuro/medical intensive care unit at McLaren Flint. Julie worked for McLaren for 11 years before joining Insight Insitute in June of 2020. Julie sees patients in the Insight Pain Management Center, as well as Hurley Medical Center, Genesys Regional Medical Center, and McLaren Flint.
Idara J. Edem, MD, MSc, FRCSC
Dr. Idara Edem is a Canadian-trained neurosurgeon, board-certified in Neurosurgery (2019), by the Royal College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada. During her residency, she also earned an MSc in Global Health and Global Surgery from King’s College London, UK while performing research in South Africa.
Dr. Edem is passionate about providing excellent patient-centered care to relieve suffering and prolong survival. Dr. Edem will have privileges in all hospitals in the city of Flint and the Insight Surgical Hospital in Warren, where she will be performing cranial, spinal and peripheral nerve neurosurgical procedures. She will serve as Director of Skull base and Neurosurgical Oncology at the Insight Institute of Neurosurgery and Neuroscience.
Expertise: General Neurosurgery, Skull Base Neurosurgery, Complex Spine, Primary and metastatic brain, spine and peripheral nerve tumors, Endoscopic endonasal approaches, Pituitary tumors and Radiosurgery
Jawad Shah, M.D., FRCSC, FAANS, FACS
Dr. Jawad Shah studied at McGill University in Montreal and the University of Manitoba prior to completing medical school at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada. He completed subspecialty training in skull base neurosurgery at the University of Arkansas. His areas of specialty include brain stem surgery, vascular neurosurgery, brain tumors, complex spine, and neuromodulation. He currently practices at McLaren, Hurley, and Genesys hospitals.
He is involved in extensive research projects including clinical, patent work, biological/mechanical and electrical product development, industry-sponsoredstudies, and theoretical philosophy. He is a faculty member at the Michigan State University Medical School and the Co-Director of the Center for Cognition and Neuroethics, jointly administered by the University of Michigan and Insight.
Chief Operating Officer
Kris Swanson earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Alma College in May 2001 and later earned his master’s in business administration from Central Michigan University in May 2002. Since then he has been a manager at INSIGHT since 2012 and has played a crucial role in developing INSIGHT Pain Management when it opened in 2012.
Joe Danko, AGACNP-BC
Joe Danko, AGACNP-BC, is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a specialty in acute care gerontology. He finished his bachelor’s degree as a registered nurse at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He went on to complete his master’s degree at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan.
Joe worked in the medical ICU, pre-op, and recovery room at St. John Hospital in Detroit for 11 years before joining Insight in February 2016.
Monica Culver, AGACNP-BC
Monica Culver is board-certified as an adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner. She completed bachelor’s degrees in nursing and biology as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Michigan-Flint. She was born, raised, and currently resides in the Flint area.
Her previous experience includes working as an ICU RN as well as an interventional pain management and interventional radiology nurse practitioner. She has volunteered abroad on medical missions to Kenya and Cambodia with plans to pursue such endeavors throughout her career.
Allison Piatt, ACNP-BC
Allison Piatt, ACNP-BC, is a board-certified nurse practitioner with a specialty in acute care. She completed her nurse practitioner degree with honors from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, and her nursing degree at the University of Michigan in Flint.
Allison had six years of experience as a registered nurse taking care of step down and ICU surgical patients at area hospitals before pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner. She also worked in general surgery as a nurse practitioner prior to joining Insight in July 2014.
Dali Yin, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Dali Yin was an assistant professor in neurosurgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago and attending neurosurgeon at Mt. Sinai Hospital at Chicago before joining Insight. He earned his M.D. in China and Ph.D. in Japan.
He completed neurosurgery residency training in China. He also finished a spine surgery fellowship in neurosurgery at UIC and functional neurosurgery fellowship at UIC and University of Colorado in Denver. He focuses on functional neurosurgery, spine surgery, and general neurosurgery.
Sudesh Ebenezer, M.D., Ed.M., FRCSC, FAANS
Dr. Sudesh Ebenezer is an adult and pediatric neurosurgeon and the director of Pediatric Surgery at Insight. He also performs spine surgery and epilepsy surgery. Originally from British Columbia, Canada, he obtained his medical degree and neurosurgery training while in Canada. During his studies, Dr. Ebenezer obtained a Harvard University Scholarship, and went on to obtain a master’s degree from Harvard University. He wrote editorials for various Harvard University School newspapers, including the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He received a Congratulatory Certificate from the Government of Canada for his work at Harvard University.
He then completed his pediatric neurosurgery training at Seattle Children’s Hospital – University of Washington. Dr. Ebenezer also served as an Attending Physician at Seattle Children’s Hospital, and was voted to the Staff Honor Role. While in Washington State, Dr. Ebenezer received the Patient’s Choice Award three years in a row for being one of Washington’s Favorite Physicians. He also served as a consulting and treating neurosurgeon for active duty U.S. military stationed in Washington.
Dr. Ebenezer has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as having Extraordinary Ability in Science and Education. He now serves as an advisor for Harvard University’s Alumni Affairs & Development. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is also an active member of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.
Dr. Ebenezer is also committed to humanitarian medical service, and he has volunteered his time in various countries, from medical clinics in rural Peru to military hospitals in the Ukraine.