Anthony M. Martino, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Associate Professor and Chair
USA Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. Anthony M. Martino joined the Department in 2005 as Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and became Interim Chair on April 1st, 2011. He became Chair in 2012.

His special interests are the care and treatment of pediatric and adult neurosurgery, head injury, spinal injury, compression fractures and osteoporosis.

Born in Zagarise, Italy, Dr. Martino speaks fluent Italian. He earned his medical degree from Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, Italy. Dr. Martino completed his internship at Columbus Hospital in Chicago and his residency at the State University of New York in Syracuse, New York. In addition, he completed a fellowship at the University of California in San Francisco.

Prior to his appointment at USA, he was in private practice at the Harbin Clinic in Rome, Georgia. He has served on the medical faculty at the University of California at San Francisco, Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Dartmouth Medical School.

Dr. Martino is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the International Society of Pediatric Neurosurgery and the Neurosurgical Society of America.

Featured Procedure:

Dr. Martino is offering patients a new non-invasive alternative to conventional surgery using a new tool called the CyberKnife. With this tool, Dr. Martino is able to treat diseases of the brain and spine with extreme accuracy.

CyberKnife is a robotic radiosurgery system that delivers high doses of radiation with extreme precision. According to Dr. Martino, it can be used to treat both tumors and other pathologies of the nervous system such as arteriovenous malformations and intractable facial pain. It offers new hope to patients who have inoperable or surgically complex lesions, or who may be looking for a non-surgical option.

"With CyberKnife, we are able to perform bloodless surgery allowing patients to immediately return to their normal activities. There is no incision, pain or hospitalization associated with the procedure," said Dr. Martino. "The bottom line is that with CyberKnife, we are now able to perform surgery with much higher degree of precision and with much less stress to the patient."

For more information on CyberKnife, visit To make an appointment with Dr. Martino, call 665-8290 or Cyberknife coordinator Denise Bunch at 445-9614.



W. George Rusyniak Jr., M.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Neurosurgery

Dr. W. George Rusyniak Jr. joined the Department in 2008 as Associate Professor of Neurosurgery.  He has advanced training and special interest in the surgical treatment of epilepsy.

Prior to joining USA, Dr. Rusyniak practiced in upstate New York, where he served as president and founder of the Adirondack Neurosurgical Specialists, P.C. While in Utica, Dr. Rusyniak was head of neurosurgery at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare.

From 1993 to 1999, Dr. Rusyniak was in private practice in Rome, Georgia., and established a surgical epilepsy treatment program at the Redmond Regional Medical Center also in Rome, Georgia.

Dr. Rusyniak is a native of Syracuse, New York. He earned his medical degree from the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. He also conducted his neurosurgery residency training at the Strong Memorial Hospital, where he served as chief resident. In addition, he completed a neurosurgery fellowship at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland.

Featured Procedure:

The front-line treatment for patients suffering from epilepsy is medication, but for some difficult cases surgery is the only approach that provides patients with effective relief from seizures.

According to Dr. Rusyniak, more than 2 million people in the United States have epilepsy. "Despite better drugs to treat the disease, 10 to 20 percent of patients - even with medication -still have breakthrough seizures. For this subgroup of patients, surgical intervention provides an effective treatment option."

Dr. Rusyniak, has advanced training and experience in the surgical treatment of epilepsy. He is currently collaborating with faculty in the USA department of neurology to identify epilepsy patients who are candidates for surgery.

Using a variety of neurosurgical techniques, including electrode implants, Dr. Rusyniak operates at both USA Medical Center and USA Children's and Women's Hospital.

At this point, patients are referred by the epilepsy specialists in the department of neurology. To make an appointment, call 660-5108.



Sharon Pelekanos, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Department of Neurosurgery

Sharon Pelekanos joined the Department of Neurosurgery in 2007 as a Physician Assistant. She assists the doctors in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as assisting in surgery.

Having been a military brat throughout her life and living in Europe and the southern United States, she has settled into the Gulf Coast area. After attending Louisiana State University and graduating with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Zoology and Secondary Education in 2001, she taught at Capitol High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She then attended the University of South Alabama Physician Assistant Program and earned her Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 2007.



Backbone of Neurosurgery (the Staff)

Lizabeth- Appointment Clerk

Rhonda- Appointment Clerk

Christy- Secretary

Brittany- Medical Assistant

Shirley- Registered Nurse


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