Your Care Team

With us, you'll benefit from highly trained professionals. Our team is filled with top-notch surgeons from some of the country’s best medical training grounds including Harvard and the universities of Washington and Michigan. We’ve all had additional specialized fellowship training to further expand our skills.

We operate on patients from all over the region at Virginia Mason's (VM) hospital — one of the best in the nation* — supported by a team of 20+ specially trained clinicians:

  • Four neurosurgeons
  • An orthopedic surgeon specializing in complex spine cases
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Nurses
  • Surgical physician assistants
  • Physical and occupational therapists

The team also partners, as needed, with surgeons from other surgical subspecialties, such as:

  • General surgery
  • Vascular surgery
  • Orthopedic oncology
  • Thoracic surgery

Teaming up with these specially trained doctors, nurses, and clinicians allows us to provide you first-rate neurosurgery care. At Group Health, we’re encouraged to do only what’s best for you.


Our team includes an expert in movement disorders and functional neurosurgery, and masters of minimally invasive spine surgery. We have specialized expertise in vascular neurosurgery, skull base surgery, and many other areas.

  • Vishal Gala, MD

    "I strive to provide my patients with personalized, compassionate, and expert care of their specific condition. This involves both surgical and non-surgical treatment."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

  • Kyle Kim, MD, PhD

    "Getting every test under the sun doesn't necessarily translate into the best care. I came to Group Health because I believe in our model of salaried physicians. We're not incentivized to do more procedures. We're encouraged to do only what is most beneficial for our patients. I individualize treatments based on each patient's needs."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

  • Chong Lee, MD, PhD

    "I have a personal connection with my patients. Each patient's care is individualized specifically for them, and I try to make sure that they know they have choices. I also think it's important that family members are there when patients decide to proceed with surgery, because any type of surgery affects not just the person but their entire family."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

  • Jean-Christophe Leveque, MD

    "When I meet a patient I ask them to tell me what's going on, and then I just listen. That's very important. Only then can I figure out the best tactic for dealing with their specific issue. Whether they need a surgical or non-surgical solution. I can spend time with them to help them understand their options. I don't have to cram 25 patients into a day."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

  • Rajiv Sethi, MD

    "I believe in doing what's in each patient's best interest and in keeping treatments as conservative as possible. Sometimes a patient comes in thinking they need surgery, and I can suggest something as simple as weight loss or a change in medication. I'm not paid by the number of surgeries I perform. I'm paid to do the right thing for my patients. That might be a major spinal deformity operation or something simple like physical therapy."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

Spine Evaluations, Family Medicine

  • Arne Andersen, MD

    "After over a decade in family practice, I joined the neurosurgery team in 1998 to help evaluate patients with spine-related pain. I assess and direct care for patients that are referred here, particularly when surgery is not required. I listen to each patient, review their history, and assess whether all necessary tests have been done and all conservative options for treatment have been exhausted. Many conditions can't be fixed with surgery. In those cases, I guide the patient toward a path that will help them manage their condition and regain control of their life."

    Group Health Capitol Hill Campus, South Specialty Center

Physician Assistants

Our surgical physician assistants (PAs) are selected for their achievements and expertise. They help us assess, treat, and provide excellent care.

They may meet with you at pre- and postoperative visits, as well as provide interim treatment if you don't require immediate surgical care, all under direction of the neurosurgeons.

Their knowledge and ability to help provide a big advantage, allowing everyone to focus on their specialty expertise.

*For the seventh consecutive year, VM has been named a 2012 Top Hospital by The Leapfrog Group — a coalition that improves health care safety, quality, and affordability.

Other sites: Providers | Producers | Employers