Meet Our Neuromuscular Team

The multidisciplinary clinic is a “one stop shop” that will provide you with access to many different healthcare professionals in one visit. We will work with you and your families to provide symptomatic relief, ensure safety, maintain optimal independence, and provide counseling and emotion support. We can also provide a wide variety of educational material on your disease. This can include the latest treatment options, clinical trials, and referrals to various agencies that may be helpful. Drs. Vota, Wong, and Pearson make sure they are familiar with all clinic patients to ensure optimal care in case one of the physicians is not available at your clinic visit.

Scott A. Vota, D.O.
Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Neurology
Residency Director
Director of the Neuromuscular and ALS clinics at VCU

Jason Wong, MD

Assistant Professor of Neurology

Kathleen Pearson, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology

Nursing & Other Staff:

Michelle Gebhardt, RN, C.N.R.N.
Nursing coordinator for VCU Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS clinics
Registered nurse with many years of varied nursing experience, including care of persons with neurological disorders

Mandy Butler, DPT
Physical therapist with many years of physical therapy experience in individuals with neuromuscular disease. Joined the VCU Muscular Dystrophy and ALS clinics in 2011.

 “As the physical therapist in the muscular dystrophy and ALS clinics, my role is to help make the individual as independent as possible.  Whether it’s developing a home exercise program, assisting with the procurement of equipment, or recommending additional therapy services, the goal is to improve the individual’s quality of life.  Our team is committed to helping individual’s with neuromuscular disorders lead a fulfilling life.”


  • D.P.T. in Physical Therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Masters of Physical Therapy, Old Dominion University
  • B.S. Kinesiology, Exercise Science, James Madison University


  • Virginia Physical Therapy License


  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Neurological Disorders
  • Pediatrics
  • Durable Medical Equipment

I am currently developing the Alternative Drive Control Program for pediatric clients who are new to power wheelchair mobility.

 Recent Achievements 

  • 2013 - Awarded a grant through the Children’s Miracle Network Mini Grant program obtaining funds to establish the Alternative Drive Control Program at CHoR.
  • 2010 - Presented at the Building Bridges Conference, Boston, MA; “Developing a Model for an Equipment Clinic for a Pediatric Long Term Care Facility.”
  • 2000-present - Served as the camp physical therapist at the pediatric Muscular Dystrophy Association camp held annually in Wakefield, VA.

Rebecca Rhodes, R.D.
Dietician with many years of experience in patients with neurological disorders in the acute inpatient setting who joined our VCU Muscular Dystrophy and ALS clinics in 2012.

Paula Brockenbrough, RT
Respiratory therapist with VCU for many years, specializing in patients with spinal cord and severe head injuries. She joined the VCU Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS clinics in 2010.

Tamika Walthour, BS
Clinical Research Coordinator with over 10 years of clinical research expereince. She joined the neuromuscular team in late 2016.
(804) 827-2869

Kathy Haut, MPS, MS
Patient Counseling, Chaplain
Patinet and family support for the emotional, spritual, and psychological care of persons with ALS.

Melissa Byrne, MSW, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker II with experience supporting and empowering individuals with neurological conditions. She joined the neuromuscular team in 2016
(804) 827-0078

Palliative Care:

This is arranged through Michelle Gebhardt. A Palliative Care Specialist can be available during your visit if requested as part of the multidisciplinary focus.

MDA representative:

Niki Benfield
Family Care Specialist
Greater Virginia Muscular Dystrophy Association
1503 Santa Ross Road, Suite 120
Richmond, VA 23229
(804) 285-2961
fax (8040 282-1038

ALS Representative:

Emma Denat, MSW
Care Services Manager
DC/MD/VA Chapter
8100 Three Chopt Road, Suite 147
Richmond, VA 23229
(804) 836-1750 ext. 102
fax (804) 297-1954

Access MyVCUhealth
If you have not registered, you can do so at your next visit.
VCU Medical Center For more information about the Neuromuscular Clinics at VCU, call (804) 828-9350.