Meet Our Team

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The Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California features leading minds in neurology, neurosurgery, neurocriticalcare and neurointerventional radiology who work in concert to treat a variety of complex neurological conditions.

Recognized and honored for the care we provide, our team works together in pursuit of one common goal: the best possible outcome for every person we treat. Take a moment to meet the medical directors for the Dignity Health Neurological Institute.


Alan Shatzel, DO | Medical Director, Neurology

Alan Shatzel, DO, a graduate of Des Moines University, College of Osteopathic Medicine, is board certified in neurology, sleep medicine, and holds subspecialty certification in clinical neurophysiology. He completed his internship in internal medicine at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. He moved on to University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento where he completed his residency in neurology, served as Chief Resident of Neurology, and was later invited to complete a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology with emphasis in sleep diagnostics and clinical sleep disorders.

In addition to serving as Medical Director of Neurology for Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California, Dr. Shatzel is also Chair of the Department of Medical Specialists for Mercy Medical Group, a service of Dignity Health Medical Foundation; Vice President for the Board of Directors for Mercy Medical Group; Medical Director for the Dignity Health Telemedicine Network Executive Steering Committee; and Executive Committee Member for the Mercy Foundation Board of Directors.


Praveen Prasad, MD | Medical Director, Neurosurgery

Board Certified in Neurosurgery and Internal Medicine, Dr. Praveen Prasad leads the Dignity Health Neurological Institute of Northern California’s neurosurgery team. In addition to his role with the Neurological Institute, he is also Chief of Neurosurgery at Mercy General Hospital. A Stanford University alumni, Dr. Prasad went on to complete medical school, as well as his residencies in internal medicine and neurosurgery at University of California, Davis.


Lucian Maidan, MD | Medical Director, Neurovascular Medicine

Lucian Maidan, MD, is a graduate of the Carol Davila School of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest, Romania. Board certified in both neurology and vascular neurology, Dr. Maidan completed his internal medicine residency at the Cabrini Medical Center in New York, NY, and his neurology residency at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. Dr. Maidan completed fellowships in interventional neuroradiology and vascular neurology at Emory.



George Luh, MD | Medical Director, Interventional Neuroradiology

George Luh, MD, leads Mercy Neurological Institute’s interventional neuroradiology team. Dr. Luh completed his medical school and radiology residency at Loma Linda University. He completed a neuroradiology fellowship with the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Dr. Luh currently holds board certifications in diagnostic radiology, as well as a certificate of added qualification in neuroradiology.


Alex Nee, MD | Medical Director, Neurocritical Care

Alex C. Nee, MD, received his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. Completing his internship in internal medicine and residency training in neurology at the University of Washington, Dr. Nee went on to complete a two-year fellowship in neurocritical care at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He is a member of the Neurocritical Care Society, the American Academy of Neurology and the American Medical Association. Dr. Nee has presented to peers and is a published author in topics ranging from microarray studies in ischemic brain injury to clinical management of poor grade subarachnoid hemorrhage.


John A. Schafer, MD | Director, Mercy MS Center

Dr. Schafer, a graduate of the University of Chicago, holds certification both from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in neurology and from the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Chicago and his neurology residency at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition to practicing with Mercy Medical Group, he serves on the clinical faculty of the University of California, Davis Medical Center.

Although Dr. Schafer sees patients with many types of neurological disorders, he has had a particular interest in multiple sclerosis, movement disorders, stroke and dementia. He serves as Director of the Mercy MS Center in Carmichael.


Edwin Cruz, MD | Director, Mercy Epilepsy Center

As a board certified physician from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Cruz has special training in treating patients with epilepsy. A graduate of Saint Louis University, Dr. Cruz completed his internship at the Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and his neurology residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Dr. Cruz went on to complete a two-year fellowship in EEG and epilepsy at the University of California, San Diego Medical Center. Dr. Cruz's approach to care begins with assuring his patients that they have options, and most importantly, an ally.

Dr. Cruz provides leadership for the Mercy Epilepsy Program, including an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at Mercy General Hospital.