Diamond Headache Inpatient Unit

Saint Joseph Hospital
The Diamond Headache Inpatient Unit
2900 North Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60657
877-RES-INFO (877-737-4636)

The 28th Annual Practicing Physician's Approach to the Difficult Headache Patient Registration Form

Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago (SJHC) Diamond Headache Inpatient Unit is nationally known for its expertise in treating chronic disabling migraine, cluster and tension headaches which fail traditional outpatient treatment and draws patients from a wide geography across the United States and some from other countries.


The Diamond Headache Inpatient Unit was founded in 1981 by the physicians of the Diamond Headache Clinic, the first comprehensive, private headache clinic in the world, established in 1972. The physicians and inpatient units are nationally and internationally recognized for its expertise specializing in the care of severe and chronic headache disorders. The first inpatient unit was opened in 1981 and has been at Saint Joseph Hospital since 2001.

The special strength of the Diamond Headache Clinic stems from a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to headache management. The multi-disciplinary team on the SJHC Diamond Headache Unit includes physicians, nurses, a psychologist, pharmacists, dietitians, physical therapists, recreational therapists, and counselors, who provide such therapies as medication, dietary modification, biofeedback training, lifestyle modification and psychological counseling.


Merle L. Diamond, M.D. President, Managing Director, Diamond Headache Clinic

Dr. Diamond graduated with high honors from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and received her medical education from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago.

She completed residencies in Emergency Medicine/Internal Medicine at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. She has received Subspecialty Certification for Headache Medicine from the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties. She also is a former fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and currently is a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Diamond joined the staff of the Diamond Headache Clinic in 1989 after serving as an attending physician and clinical instructor at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago, and as an attending physician at Evanston and St. Francis Hospitals, both in Evanston, Illinois. She currently is an attending physician in Internal Medicine at Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago and Director of the Diamond Inpatient Headache Unit.

In addition, Dr. Diamond is a Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science /Chicago Medical School and a Lecturer in the Department of Medicine (Neurology), Loyola University Chicago/Stritch School of Medicine. She has contributed numerous articles to the medical literature, and has lectured extensively on various headache subjects; in particular, the treatment of headache in the emergency department and hormones and headache. With Dr. Glen Solomon, she co-edited Diamond and Dalessio's Practicing Physician's Approach to Headache, 6th edition (1999).

Dr. George Urban is a native of Presov, Czechoslovakia. He graduated from Safarik University Medical School in 1974, and completed a residency and fellowship in Neurology at the Municipal Hospital, Kosice, Czechoslovakia. Dr. Urban came to the United States in 1985, first settling in San Francisco, and then moving to the Midwest to pursue a residency in Internal Medicine at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. He joined the staff of the Diamond Headache Clinic in 1990, and since has taken a strong interest in the treatment of headache with Botox. He is currently an attending physician at Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago and a Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine, at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. In addition, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Medicine (Neurology), Loyola University Chicago/Stritch School of Medicine. He has lectured on various headache subjects throughout his career, and is actively conducting research at the clinic.

Dr. Alex Feoktistov is a practicing Internist with fellowship training in pain management. Dr. Feoktistov earned his MD and PhD in Russia where he completed his residency in neurology and was certified in Ericksonian Psychotherapy and Hypnosis. Dr. Feoktistov came to the US to participate in the Diamond Headache Clinic Research and Educational Foundation and subsequently completed his Internal Medicine residency at Saint Joseph Hospital Chicago and a fellowship in Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. He is an experienced researcher, has extensive publications and is fluent in Russian. His special skills include Botox injections, nerve blocks, facet blocks and other interventional pain procedures. He joined the practice in July, 2011.

Dr. Bradley Torphy graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with a double-major Bachelor of Arts in Biology and History. Prior to attending medical school, he held numerous positions with The Johnson & Johnson Corporation. He graduated from Xavier University School of Medicine, where he was the recipient of the President's Scholarship. He completed his residency at The University of Illinois College of Medicine - Family Medicine Residency Program at Saint Joseph Hospital, where he served as Chief Resident. Prior to joining Diamond Headache Clinic, Dr. Torphy practiced at MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, IL, where he was named Physician of the Year by the inpatient nursing staff.

Read a letter from one of our patients


  • Newly renovated unit coming October 2015
  • Dedicated Unit
  • Renovation Project - To be completed in October 2015
  • Mixed with neurology patients without a separate headache unit

National and International Referrals

The program is nationally known for its expertise in treating migraine, cluster and tension headaches. Patients are admitted from all over the United States and some from other countries. The map depicts below the geographic outreach of the Diamond Headache clinic. Patients come from numerous zip codes beyond the traditional primary service area.

Call 877-RES-INFO for Nurse Advice, Doctor Referrals or Class Registration Monday - Friday 8 am to 8 pm • Weekends 8 am to 4pm

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