The Stroke and Neurovascular Center of Central California

The Stroke and Neurovascular Center of Central California is dedicated to providing excellent care to patients with complex neurovascular diseases and stroke. We have the expertise and tools to deliver quality treatments to those individuals who have been diagnosed with a stroke, a complex neurovascular disease, certain brain tumors or traumatic brain injuries. Furthermore, we strive to provide our patients with exceptional neurocritical care so they may have the best outcome possible. Our experience with the latest technologies enable us to provide neurovascular treatments that are comparable to major research universities. With our 24 hour on-call service, we aim to offer our community and the surrounding areas access to first-rate treatments of neurovascular diseases and stroke.

meet our physicians


Alois Zauner, M.D.

A native of Austria who received his medical degree from the University of Vienna, Dr. Zauner spent three years in research on cerebrovascular diseases and brain metabolism at the National Institutes of Health, NINDS, and at the Medical College of Virginia. He completed his surgical internship and neurosurgical residency at the Medical College of Virginia. This was followed by a combined fellowship in neuroendovascular surgery and diagnostic and interventional Radiology at UCLA. Following his training, Dr. Zauner directed the neuroendovascular services at the University of Miami in Florida, while serving as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and Radiology.

Dr. Alois Zauner, the Medical Director of the Stroke and Neurovascular Center of Central California performs over 600 combined endovascular and open cranial surgeries annually to set the pace for state-of-the-art neuroendovascular techniques and for microsurgical cranial procedures. Among the most experienced and qualified neurosurgeons in his field in the United States, Dr. Zauner actively researches the latest breakthroughs in neuroendovascular surgery. He is also focused on minimally invasive approaches to the brain and skull base and studies in cerebral oxygenation and brain metabolism in critical neurosurgical patients. Under his supervision, new neuromonitoring techniques and neuroprotective measures are applied to patients who suffered severe traumatic brain injuries, strokes or brain hemorrhages.  He is the author or co-author of more than 100 papers and book chapters and presenter of more than 200 abstracts, presentations and lectures.


Robert A. Taylor, M.D.

An expert in the management of cerebrovascular disorders, Dr. Taylor has served as director to the Vascular Neurology Fellowship and the Endovascular Surgical Neuroradiology Fellowship Site at the University of Minnesota/Fairview Hospital and the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

He practices Neurointerventional Surgery, Neurocritical Care, and Vascular Neurology. He was voted Best Doctors in America® in 2013, and is a member of the American Stroke Association (ASA), American Academy of Neurology (AAN), Neurocritical Care Society (NCS), senior member of the Society of Neurointerventional Surgery (SNIS), and founding member of the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology (SVIN).  Dr. Taylor has published and given numerous lectures on the latest treatments of ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, and neuroendovascular techniques and protocols.

Dr Hou

Samuel Hou, M.D., PhD

Dr. Samuel Hou is a board certified Neuro-Interventional Surgeon at the Stroke and Neurovascular Center of Central California. Dr. Hou was raised in Chicago, Illinois and is a graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Chemistry. Dr. Hou was one of four students selected to the prestigious MD / PhD program in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated with both MD and PhD degrees.

After medical school, Dr. Hou moved to Southern California where he was selected as one of five physicians to pursue his residency in Radiology at the University of California at Irvine. Following completion of his residency, Dr. completed his fellowship in Diagnostic Neuroradiology at UCLA. Dr. Hou is a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Radiology with specific subspecialization in Neuroradiology.

Because of his exceptional training as both a physician and scientist, Dr. Hou was the only candidate in the country selected to advance his training at the University of Massachusetts in Neuro-Interventional Surgery. At the University of Massachusetts, he received extensive training in the most advanced neuro-endovascular techniques, including procedures that are minimally invasive but yield maximum results for his patients.

Dr. Hou’s surgical techniques specialize in the endovascular treatment of brain aneurysms, arteriovenous malformations and arteriovenous fistulas of the brain and spine. As both a clinician and scientist devoted towards the well being of his patients, Dr. Hou’s interests are focused on how to advance and optimize patient care and management in the treatment of complex neurovascular diseases through techniques that are minimally invasive.

During his training, Dr. Hou exhibited extraordinary surgical skills and advanced techniques and he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Radiology at the University of Massachusetts. Because of his advanced and unique skill set, Dr. Hou was recruited to the Stroke and Neurovascular Center of Central California for his expertise and advanced patient care and management. He has been an invited speaker and lecturer at numerous national meetings and has presented his research at many international conferences for other neuro-interventional surgeons to advance the field for the betterment of patient care.

Dr. Hou is a senior member of the Society of Neuro-Interventional Surgery, the American Society of Neuroradiology, the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.

Dr Hou

Thomas Clark, M.D.

Dr. Clark is a New Jersey native, who obtained his undergraduate degree at Columbia University after working for years in New York in food packaging, food distribution and restaurant service.  He obtained his D.O. at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1991, completed an internal medicine internship at Cabrini Medical Center in New York in 1992 and a residency in Neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx inn 1995.

After practicing for twelve years in the midwest and western Arizona, he relocated to San Luis Obispo in 2007 to develop a stroke program at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center.   Currently on the medical staff of five community hospitals in the region, Dr. Clark has been collaborating with the local physicians and staff to streamline and upgrade the care and treatment of acute stroke in the region.

In his role as Regional Stroke director, Dr. Clark will serve as the liaison  to stroke coordinators, emergency department and stroke medical directors as well as hospital administrators in the effort to improve stroke care throughout the region and to ensure the expeditious and appropriate transfer of candidates for neuroendovascular treatment provided by his talented and distinguished colleagues.

Dr. Clark is Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.


meet our staff

Robert T. Thielscher DDS, MBA, Administrator
Veronica Moreno RN, MSN, APRN-BC, (Cottage Hospital), Acute Nurse Practitioner
Jennifer Herz RN, BSN, CCRN, MSN, ACNP-BC, (Cottage Hospital), Nurse Practitioner
Jessica Aguirre, Patient Care Coordinator
De’Adra Peart, Patient Care Coordinator