Headache and Migraine Program

The Pediatric Headache Program is a specialized clinic for children up to age 18 years who have been diagnosed with headaches or migraine. The goal of the program is to provide a comprehensive, evidence based approach to the treatment and management of headaches and migraines in children. We strive to achieve optimal headache control through a combination of traditional medication approach and lifestyle changes. Emphasis is placed on educating the patient and family about headache and migraine to enable them to take more control of their headaches. Educational and referral resources include lifestyle, diet, stress management, biofeedback, physical therapy, behavioral health, acupressure and acupuncture.  

Do many children get migraine headaches?

Headaches can be a common problem in children. As many as 4 -10% of children have migraine headaches. During the high school years as many as 20% of adolescents get migraines. These headaches are more common in girls than boys. Most headaches in children are benign, meaning they are not symptoms of a serious disorder or disease.

What is a migraine?

Migraine headaches are recurrent headaches that occur at intervals of days, weeks or months. Symptoms include throbbing or pounding that starts in the forehead, one side of the head or around the eyes. Nausea and vomiting are common. There may also be light/sound sensitivity. Any movement or activity tends to make the headache worse. These episodes may last up to 72 hours. Many children find relief with sleep.

How is migraine diagnosed?

The diagnosis of migraine is based on the symptoms the child describes, the medical history and a physical examination.

How are migraines treated?

At the first appointment in the Headache Clinic the patient and family meets with both the Provider and the Nurse educator. Patients are evaluated on all aspects of their lifestyle, including their diet, fluid intake, sleep patterns, meal schedules, and stress and activity level. Patients and parents are instructed on ways to look for triggers that may contribute to the headaches. Personalized recommendations are then made to the child's lifestyle and additionally, referrals may be given for physical therapy, biofeedback, behavioral health and acupuncture. Medications may be prescribed for the treatment of migraine. Medications may be preventative, those given on a daily basis, or rescue, those give only at the occurrence of the headache.

Appointments are made on a referral basis only from a Primary Care Provider. 

Please call 717-531-8790 or 717-531-1442.

Rowena Rivera, MD

Harry P. Bramley, D.O.- Dr. Bramley is a board certified pediatrician who also serves as a pediatric hospitalist and rehabilitation specialist with the Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital and is medical director of the Penn State Concussion Program. Prior to his arrival at Penn State Hershey, Dr. Bramley spent six years as a pediatric trauma consultant. 

John Dossett, MD

 Alyssa K. Weller, D.O .-Alyssa ‘Kate' Weller graduated from the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her residency here at Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center before joining us as faculty. She is a native of Staunton, Virginia. In addition to maintaining practice in primary care, she specializes in pediatric headache and concussion. She is married and currently resides in Linglestown. 


Kathy McGeorge, BSN, RN - Coordinator and Nurse Educator of the Pediatric Headache Program. Registered Nurse with over 25 years of experience in Pediatrics with specialization in Pediatric Neurology and strong interest in development of patient education programs. Member of Association of Child Neurology Nurses.