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Articles / 2011

Neurologist joins hospital group

Camarillo Acorn
Friday, 01/21/2011
By Roxanne Estrada

Dr. Neda Heidari When the hiring committee from Community Memorial Health System set out last year to find a neurologist and a urologist for its medical group, the recruiters never expected to send offers for both jobs to the same household.

But that's exactly what happened when Ventura- based CMHS hired husband and wife Seyed Khoddami, a urologist, and Neda Heidari, a neurologist.

Heidari recently began keeping office hours at the Center for Family Health in Camarillo on Arneill Road, one of nine health clinics in West County that are part of CMHS, which also includes Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura and Ojai Valley Community Hospital.

A Camarillo resident, Heidari said she comes from a family of doctors and was interested in medicine from an early age.

"I saw how they helped people," she said. "It's very rewarding when you do something to help people be happy and have a good life with less pain."

Heidari and Khoddami met in medical school at Tehran University in Iran and moved to the U.S. for education and greater political freedom.

"We didn't like the political environment because there's no real democracy in our country," Heidari said. "It's sad for the country because most educated people leave because they can't tolerate the situation and don't go back."
Heidari specialized in neurology during her fellowship at USC. She focused on movement disorders such as epilepsy seizures and Parkinson's disease.

"The brain has always been fascinating to me because it controls everything," Heidari said.

Jones said Heidari fills a void at the Ventura hospital and the Camarillo health clinic because she has cutting-edge knowledge of specific diseases.

"She has extra training that the other neurologists don't have," Jones said. "Neurology medicine has changed tremendously, and there are newer methods and medication. That's what she brings to the table."

Heidari said new research points to an increase in movement disorders such as epilepsy, but the general public isn't informed about the causes and the treatments.

To help educate the community, she will present a free seminar on Feb. 1 in Ventura about peripheral neuropathy, a common disorder caused by nerve damage.

"I want to give people awareness about symptoms, signs, treatments and let them know I'm here to help them," Heidari said. "I make it easy and comprehensible for the public."

Although Heidari treats patients at both the Center for Family Health in Camarillo and at CMH, she primarily works at her private practice on Loma Vista Road in Ventura.

Khoddami's private practice is also on Loma Vista in Ventura.

Heidari said her goal as a doctor is to "mix compassion with expertise."

"You should have a good relationship with your patient and really love your patient," Heidari said. "They need to trust you and you need to trust them. I try hard to help with the best advancement in medicine."