Neurology &
Neurological Sciences
Stroke Center Nurses

The Stanford Stroke Center Team


Teresa Bell-Stephens, CNRN Teresa Bell-Stephens, CNRN

Teresa has worked with the Stroke Center since 1990. She has an extensive background in critical care, and her current focus is on coordinating the cerebrovascular surgery program, with a focus on moyamoya disease, vascular malformations and intracranial aneurysms. Teresa is a regular lecturer for Bay Area nurses on various neuroscience nursing topics and has presented many papers at the annual meetings of the American Association of Neuroscience Nurses (AANN) and the World Federation of Neuroscience Nurses (WFNN). She has published peer reviewed neuroscience nursing articles in various journals.

Mary Brethour, PhD, MSN, ACNP

Mary has been an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner since 1998, earning her Masterís degree from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She received her doctorate in nursing in 2011 from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed the NetSmart Program for advanced neurovascular practitioners. Mary joined the Comprehensive Stroke Center in 2014. She worked as a Nurse Practitioner in both Neurology/Stroke as well as Cardiology in Alabama before relocating to California. She is passionate about stroke recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation.

Stephanie Casal, RN, MS, CNSStephanie Casal, MS, RN, CNS
Clinical Nurse Specialist, Stroke Neurology

Stephanie has been an advance practice nurse since 1999 after she earned her master’s degree from UCSF.  She started working with the Stroke Center in 2008 as the Program Manager for the Neurological Emergencies Treatment Trial Network. She managed a number of clinical trials focused on the acute treatment of neurological disorders including stroke.  She joined the Comprehensive Stroke Center in 2011 first collaborating with Neurocritical Care and now with the Stroke Team. Stephanie is most passionate about the quality and continuity of care we deliver, one patient at a time.

Mary Marcellus, RNMary Marcellus, RN
Interventional Neuroradiology Nurse Coordinator

Originally from Connecticut, Mary came to Stanford in 1980. She began as a staff nurse in the ICU and then went on to become an Assistant Nurse Manager for several years before taking on the role of Interventional Neuroradiology Nurse Coordinator in 1993. She has lectured on various cerebrovascular topics as well as published several articles in her area of expertise. Patient advocacy remains the most important part of her daily patient care responsibilities


Ana Luisa (Isa) San Pedro Ana Luisa (Isa) San Pedro, CNRN

Ana Luisa (Isa) San Pedro came to the Stroke Center in November 2012.  She previously worked as a RN for 7 years on G1, the Stanford Neurosurgical Unit.  Isa presently serves as a RN for the patients and Stroke Neurologists in the outpatient setting.  She helps coordinate diagnostics, appointments, and referrals to other services that a patient may need in their post stroke recovery.  Her passion is educating patients on how to prevent a future stroke and maximizing recovery from a stroke that has already occurred.  She is accessible to patients before, during, and  after appointments to help answer questions and coordinate care.


Joli Vavao, MSN, ACNP, CNRN

Joli Vavao, MSN, ACNP, CNRN

Joli joined the Neurosurgical team in 2004. She obtained her masters degree as an acute care nurse practitioner from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked as a nurse for over 13 years specializing in neurosurgery and stroke neurology. She has received national certification in neuroscience nursing. She plays an active role coordinating the care of cerebrovascular patients in both an inpatient and outpatient setting. She participates in lectures to hospital staff and local health care professionals regarding the care of neuroscience patients.


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