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PM&R News


CU researchers take aim at PTSD, burnout in the ICU

13 May 2016

Dr. Meredith Mealer and colleagues found ICU nurses have PTSD rates similar to those of veterans of the war in Iraq. In an article from UCHealth Today, Dr. Mealer discusses how she came to conduct reseach related to ICU nurses with Marc Moss, MD, the School of Medicine’s vice chair for Clinical Research and a professor of pulmonary sciences and critical care medicine.

The complete article is available here.



Dr. Lisa Brenner Teaching at US Military Matters - A Free Resource

30 April 2016

The American Association of Suicidology is offering FREE webinar trainings for service members and their families who have served or are currently serving in any of the National Guard or Reserve components of the Military. The training is also available for mental health providers who want to help. It’s science-based behavioral training created by people who truly understand.

Dr. Lisa Brenner will be offering a two day session in San Diego, 16-17 June, 2016 entitled "Advanced Skills in the Assessment and Management of Traumatic Brain Injury".

For more information on this seminar click this link.

CU PM&R Announces the Dennis J. Matthews, M.D. Excellence in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Fund

27 April 2016

This fund, established in the 19th year of Dr. Matthews’ leadership in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, will provide support of PM&R Scholarship through visiting professor lectures, workshops, and national presentations. This year also inaugurates the Dennis J. Matthews, M.D. Lectureship featuring Visiting Professor Michael Boninger, M.D., Professor and Endowed Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Director, UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

Dennis J. Matthews, M.D., a living legend of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, attended medical school at the University of Colorado and went on to train in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Frederic Kottke, one of the founding fathers of the field. In 1997, Dr. Matthews was recruited back to Denver by Dr. Jerome Gersten to be the 4th Chair of the Department.

Dr. Matthews’ work with pediatric muscle disease, cerebral palsy, and rehabilitation is internationally known and has identified him as a pioneer in his field. Dr. Matthews’ remarkable work with pediatric rehabilitation and practice development has laid the foundation for pediatric subspecialties and the advancement of major medical associations in the field of rehabilitation.

Dr. Matthews is Department Chair and Professor of the University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine as well as PPAARDI-in-Chief and Fischahs Chair Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado.

For information on how to donate to the Dennis J. Matthews Fund, please go to:

You may also contact the CU Foundation Office at 303-813-7935.

PM&R's Nazanin Barhraini Receives Top Honors at the VA Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion conference

25 April 2016

Congratulations to Nazanin Bahraini, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and physical medicine and rehabilitation, who was part of a team of researchers who shared top honors at the Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion conference sponsored by the VA Center for Innovation and MyVA Partnerships. The goal of the national summit was to explore innovative ways to assist veterans living with mild traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Nazanin’s team pitched a voice-based assistant designed to help veterans connect to the services they need.

Read more

Two PM&R Faculty Named to Academy of Medical Educators

20 April 2016

Drs. Heather Baer, MD and Paul Mintken, PT, DPT were named to the prestiguous Academy of Medical Educators Dr. Baer will also be in the Teaching Scholars Program.

The Academy of Medical Educators provides a home base for teachers and a visible mechanism to support and enhance all educational programs and teachers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The primary goal of the Academy is to create an environment that promotes and rewards teaching excellence and enhances the education of our students, residents, fellows, faculty and community.

Iñigo San Millán Publishes in Two Popular Magazines

18 April 2016

Recently, Iñigo San Millán, PhD, Director, Excercise Physiology Lab at CU Sports Medicine and PM&R Assistant Professor, published articles in two popular articles. The first is in Men's Jopurnal is titled "How to Build a Better Knee" and finds Dr. San Millán discussing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and over-training. The online version of the article can be found here.

The second article is in Bicycling magazine and titled "Ride Your Gut Off with These 3 Training Tips: Here’s how to use your bike to shed that dangerous spare tire". In the article Dr. San Millán cautions against over-training. He is quoted in part as saying “Most recreational cyclists are doing too much high intensity training and they’re not getting leaner or faster”. Read more of the online article.


CU PM&R Faculty, Dr. Meredith Mealer, Publishes in Journal of Nursing Measurement

12 April 2016

CU PM&R faculty Meredith Mealer, PhD, RN, along with co-authors Sarah J. Schmiege, PhD and Paula Meek, PhD, RN saw their article The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale in Critical Care Nurses: A Psychometric Analysis published in the Journal of Nursing Measurement. The article explores resiliency "as a capacity to cope with traumatic or stressful events by finding meaning in adversity or suffering."

To read the abstract.


CU Connections Profile on Richard Weir

17 March 2016

CU Connections ask 5 questions of Dr. Richard Weir. He is director of the Veterans Administration Biomechatronics Development Laboratory, is a research healthcare scientist with the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, an associate research professor with the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Anschutz, and an adjunct professor with the Department of Integrative Physiology at CU-Boulder.

Read more


Scott Laker, M.D., the PM&R Research Pilot Award Recipient for Spring/Summer 2016 Cycle

7 March 2016

Dr. Dennis Matthews writes, "Please join me in congratulating Scott Laker, M.D., the PM&R Research Pilot Award recipient for this cycle. Dr. Laker’s proposal entitled “Factors Influencing Parental Return-to-Play Decisions in Post Adolescent Sport-Related Concussions: A Mixed-Methods Exploratory Study” was selected for the Spring/Summer 2016 Cycle."

The objective of this opportunity is to enhance the value and effectiveness of pilot research conducted within the Department to accomplish three objectives:

  • Improve the health outcomes of the rehab population
  • Enhance the patient experience of care (including quality, access and reliability)
  • Provide departmental researchers the opportunity to collect quality data to leverage future funding

Denver's Channel 9News Also Highlights CU's Sports Performance Lab

25 February 2016

Denver's Channel 9News highlighted the CU Sports Performance Lab in a short video broadcast. The story highlights the work that the performance lab is doing with the Boulder Valley Shool District on developing protocols to reduce sports concussions. The story also notes the integrated approach championed in the Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department as a way for athletes to recover more quickly.

View the video


The Denver Post Highlights the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center

20 January 2016

Iñigo San Millán, PhD, Director, Excercise Physiology Lab at CU Sports Medicine and PM&R Assistant Professor was part of an artice on the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center. The Denver Post article discusses how the center employs an "integrated approach to sports performance and healing".

Read more and see a video


Video: Aspen Ideas Festival | CU Anschutz Medical Campus

13 July 2015

Here at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, ideas flow freely between curious minds, skilled practitioners, collaborative data geeks and groundbreaking researchers. The result? Future-changing advances in personalized medicine, chronic disease and patient-centered care. Welcome to the New West. Here, the good guys wear the masks. Watch the video on YouTube.



Coming Up

Graduation Day Dinner - Please RSVP and make dinner choices at by: May 20th
29th Annual Gersten Day
Town Hall: Concussion Treatment Today for a Better Tomorrow; 8:30 – 12:00 at the Girls Athletic Leadership Institute in Denver, CO; Register here
Please join us for Resident Seminar "Robotics in Rehab: Robotic Exoskeletons" presented by Stephanie Cowherd, MD. Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 6-7PM, Academic Office One, 7th floor, rm 7000


Contact Info

Phone: 303-724-7408
Fax: 303-724-0863

Physical Address:
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
12631 East 17th Avenue, Academic Office 1, Room 2513
Aurora, Colorado 80045
  (Please use the physical address for all mailings from carriers other than the United States Postal Service)

Mailing Address:
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Mail Stop F-493
12631 East 17th Avenue, Academic Office 1, Room 2513
Aurora, Colorado 80045

Map to Our Location
UC Denver PMR Admin Offices


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The Spine Center at University of Colorado Hospital

The Spine Center at the University of Colorado Hospital specializes in treating people with lower back and neck pain using proven therapies and cutting-edge technology.

Patient's services include physical therapy, medication, spinal injections or surgery, or any combination of these treatments. A collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach among orthopaedic surgeons, physiatrists, physical/occupational therapists, psychologists, integrative medicine, and anesthesiologists fits within the model first espoused by Dr. Gersten.

As the sole academic medical center in the region, the Spine Center is the only provider in the Front Range to take such a comprehensive approach to spine and neck care. In fact, because of our high levels of experience, we are regularly asked to evaluate cases as a second opinion.

Learn More about The Spine Center > >

Physical Therapy Program at the University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine

The mission of the Physical Therapy Program is To provide Colorado and the nation with programs of excellence in education, clinical care, research & scholarship, and community service.

Learn More about the CU Physical Therapy Program > >

CU Sports Medicine

Competitive and recreational athletes of all types and ages receive comprehensive care for sports and related injuries at CU Sports Medicine. Covering the full range of sports injuries throughout the Front Range, we encompass care for hip & knee, hand, foot & ankle, elbow & shoulder, and spine.

At CU Sports Medicine, patients can have​ diagnostic tests and a physician's evaluation on the same day in the same location. Our multidisciplinary team has two goals: a timely and accurate diagnosis, and the fastest recovery possible.

Learn More about CU Sports Medicine > >

History of the CU Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department (PM&R)

Founded in 1946, The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is one of the oldest departments of PM&R in the United States. The first chairman was Dr. Harold Dinken, who was also the first physiatrist in Colorado. He quickly expanded the department and accepted Dr. George Twombly as the first resident in PM&R in 1947. That same year, Dr. Carl Hoffman was recruited as the first Director of PM&R at the Denver VA Hospital. Dr Dinken went on to establish the Rehabilitation program at General Rose Hospital.

Having joined the faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1949, Dr. Jerome W. Gersten became Chairman in 1957. Under Dr. Gersten's leadership, the Department expanded tremendously in clinical service, education and research. Dr. Gersten was one of the first, true "academic physiatrists".

He conducted basic science research on the use and effects of physical agents; muscle and nerve function; effects of stress on muscle function; cardiopulmonary rehabilitation; electromyography; and the delivery of rehabilitation health services. The Department was a nationally recognized Research and Training Center in cardiac rehabilitation. Dr. Gersten was a visionary expanding the concept of the Rehabilitation Team.

Today, the CU Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has three primary focuses: Education, Research and Clinical Care.