Our History

buildingWhat started as a goal to operate an independent practice has grown into a regional spine, pain management and neurosurgery center.  

Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod specializes in the treatment of disorders of the brain, spine and peripheral nerves, with particular emphasis on minimally invasive techniques and complex spinal instrumentation. Our surgeons utilize the latest computer assisted image guidance systems to help us navigate the delicate structures of the brain and spine to safely perform microscopic surgery.

Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod was founded in 1971 in Hyannis, Massachusetts, by Dr. Robert Leaver, who served at Walter Reed Army Hospital and in the Vietnam War. In the early 1980’s, Dr. Leaver was joined in the practice by his fellow army surgeon, Dr. Al Martins, who was Chief of Neurosurgery at Walter Reed. In honor of his memory, the conference center at Cape Cod Hospital was dedicated after he passed away.

In 1992, Dr. Patrick Murray, a professor of Neurosurgery from Vancouver, Canada, and an accomplished surgeon practicing in Maine, joined Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod.  During Cape Cod Hospital’s surgical teaching program with Boston University, he met Paul Houle as a third year medical student. After Dr. Houle graduated from medical school and completed his neurosurgery residency, he came to the practice in 2002. A year later, Dr. Achilles Papavasilou, who studied with Dr. Houle at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, became the fourth neurosurgeon of the practice in 2003. Dr. Leaver retired later that year after seeing the practice he started grow from a needed surgical specialty on Cape Cod into the first choice for spine and pain management in the region.

To round out the team of neurosurgeons, the doctors recruited Dr. Gordon Nakata, who was practicing in California, but had an affinity for the area during his neurosurgery residency at Brown University. To head up the Pain Center at Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod, they added Dr. Kevin Kelley, who was in private practice and completed a pain management fellowship with Harvard University.

Over the past 30 years, Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod has grown in size and stature. Its 10,500 square foot, state-of-the art building at 46 North Street is complete with an integrated pain management facility. From a one-man practice to now five doctors, two physician’s assistants, and a full team of support staff, Neurosurgeons of Cape Cod has become a center of excellence for neurosurgery and pain management.

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