All About Armonk

North Castle Daily News

Jennifer Costello Werely
Byram Hills Alumnus Advances the Field of Neurology
By Jackson Harrower

July 8, 2016
Jennifer Costello Werely is a clinical neurologist and a proud member of the Byram Hills Class of 1999. She lives and works in Stamford, CT but still has multiple family ties to Armonk and sees many Armonk patients.

Dr. Werely is fellowship trained in clinical neurophysiology. Neurologists treat patients with diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. Some common diseases are epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, neuropathies, and muscle diseases. The most common neurological condition Dr. Werely treats is migraines. Concussions are also very common. Dr. Werely explains that the goal of a neurologist “is to make all patients as functional as possible.” From reducing pain, to minimizing seizures, to increasing strength — optimizing functionality can mean many different goals depending on the patient.

What makes Dr. Werely’s practice unique is that she conducts a large amount of clinical research. The practice is constantly searching for novel therapies for neurological conditions including migraines, stroke, Alzheimer's, and dystonia among others. One current trial of her practice involves injecting stem cells into the brains of stroke patients so that they can recover from their weakness. Dr. Werely’s team most commonly conducts dosing and efficacy trials in which safety profiles have already been established. Interested patients and community members can visit the New England Institute For Neurology and Headache website to learn more.

One of Dr. Werely’s favorite parts of her job is the opportunity for her to teach medical students and residents. She teaches through multiple medical affiliations and won Teacher of the Year at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, CT. Her fascination with neuroscience began during her time at Cornell University. She explains, “The brain is the only organ that when not properly functioning can change the way you perceive or interact with your environment. By helping a patient with a brain problem you can have a huge impact on their quality of life.” Her interest in science goes back to her time in the Byram Hills Science Research Program at Byram Hills. She credits Dr. Robert Pavlica for helping to spark her interest.

What advice would she give to a current Byram Hills student interested in medicine? “There’s a lot of negative press around the way medicine has changed and even around physicians. Students should not be discouraged by that. There’s no better job in the world than to be able to take care of people and make them feel and function better. It’s a long road but it’s worth the commitment, and I would encourage anyone who’s interested in medicine at the high school to reach out to me. I want to be a resource and a mentor for interested students.”

Along with being a prominent neurologist, Dr. Werely is also the mother of three boys aged 5, 3, and 1. She says, “They are the most important thing to me.” She takes pride in her work-life balance and cherishes the opportunity to practice medicine at the highest level and raise a family at the same time.