Spina Bifida








Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States.  An average of 8 babies every day are born with Spina Bifida or a similar defect of the brain and spine.

Penn State Hershey's Spina Bifida program is a combined team of Neurosurgeons, Orthopaedists, Urologists, Psychiatrists and Therapy Services. 

Our team is here to help you find the answers about Spina Bifida and health related topics.

Therapy Services:
      • Physical Therapy
           o PT in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
           o PT in Wheelchair Clinic
      • Occupational Therapy
      • Speech Therapy
      • Developmental Therapy
      • Wheel Chair Clinic

Both Dr.'s Dias and Iantosca are members of the Spina Bifida Association of America.

To make an appointment, please call 717-531-7311.

Neurosurgeons, Orthopaedists, Urologists, Family Medicine physicians and pediatric specialists work together, as appropriate, to develop a care plan.

Pediatric Spina Bifida Medical Director - Dr. Mark Dias

Transition and Adult Spina Bifida Medical Director - Dr. Stacy Stark






  • Stacy Stark, D.O.

Physical Therapy

  • Liz Kelly

Occupational Therapy

  • Lori Benner

Social Services

  • Pat Boerger

Nurse Coordinator

  • Cindy Hulse


The following links are all useful websites which will provide you with further information:


Parent to Parent is a great resource and is currently helping us with linking patients for peer mentoring


Services (this is for Elks Nurses which we always use)

www.childdevelopmentinfo.com (basic info for all children)

Learning Disabilities

Assistive technology or home modifications for people with disabilities

Free medical care

Information on government disability benefits on children

Clearinghouse for information for post secondary education for people with disabilities

Information on learning and behavior problems (this is not just spina bifida but has good intervention ideas,,,has a good link to executive dysfunction which is common in spina bifida)

Adolescent health transition project...resources to help teens with special needs transition to adulthood

Penn State Hershey Spina Bifida Clinic Receives National Grant

The Penn State Hershey Spina Bifida clinic has been selected as one of only seventeen clinics nationwide for inclusion in the National Spina Bifida Registry Demonstration Project, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to track long-term outcomes for children and adults with spina bifida and to perform research into these disorders. The three-year grant was awarded to Mark Dias, M.D.,neurosurgery, and Stacey Stark, M.D.,Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is coordinated through the Penn State Institute of the Neurosciences. Dias is serving his second term as the pediatric neurosurgical consultant to the Professional Advisory Council of the Spina Bifida Association of America. Physical therapist Lizabeth Kelly also serves on the Professional Advisory Council.

The Penn State Hershey Spina Bifida clinic evaluates and treats both children and adults with spina bifida and other congenital disorders of the spinal cord. Spina bifida is the most serious birth defect of the nervous system, and children with spina bifida have a multitude of complex medical issues involving multiple surgical and medical specialties. The Penn State Hershey Spina Bifida clinic is multidisciplinary and involves pediatric specialists from neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, as well as physical and occupational therapists and a social worker. The clinic is directed by Dias and Stark, and is coordinated by Cynthia Hulse R.N., B.S.N.