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Meet the Team

CU Sports Medicine

Eric McCarty, M.D.
Chief of Sports Medicine & Shoulder Surgery

Dr. McCarty is a board-certified Orthopaedic surgeon and a fellowship-trained sports medicine specialist with a long-time interest in sports medicine and athletics. His passion for treating the active individual stems from his playing days as a linebacker at C.U. where he earned all-conference honors. In addition to his duties as head team physician for the University of Colorado and University of Denver, Dr. McCarty’s specialized practice also involves the care of recreational and highly competitive athletes from the community. His clinical expertise includes arthroscopic and open reconstructive surgery of the knee, shoulder and elbow.

Medical Degree: University of Colorado
Residency: Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Fellowship: Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York

Venu Akuthota, M.D.

Dr. Akuthota serves as the medical director of the Spine Center at University of Colorado Hospital and is responsible for the Runners' Clinic at the University Sports Medicine Center. He is board certified in electrodiagnostic medicine, pain medicine, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Dr. Akuthota's clinical interests include prevention and management of the neck, lower back pain and running injuries.

Medical Degree: Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine
Residency: Northwestern University
Fellowship: Sports and Spine Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Deborah Saint-Phard, M.D.
Founder &Director, CU Women's Sports Medicine Program
UCH Associate Professor
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Department of Orthopedics
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Saint-Phard is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. As the director of CU Women's Sports Medicine, her clinical interests are providing expert sports and spine care to active and athletic women and girls. She also conducts research on stress fractures in female athletes. Dr. Saint-Phard is also a former elite athlete. Dr. Saint-Phar was also co-captain of the Princeton University track and field team. She competed in the shot put at the 1987 World Championships in Rome, Italy and in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She was ranked Top 20 in the world.

Medical Degree: Temple University
Residency: University of Colorado
Fellowship: Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine

Michelle Wolcott, M.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Wolcott is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon who is fellowship trained in Sports Medicine, with expertise in treatment of complex knee, ankle and shoulder problems. An active marathon runner, she also has a special interest in runner's injuries, pediatric sports medicine and women's sports medicine. Dr. Wolcott participates in community education regarding prevention of injuries and proper training techniques. She is dedicated to returning competitive and recreational athletes to their previous level of activity, and serves as a team physician for the University of Colorado Buffaloes and the University of Denver Pioneers.

Medical Degree: Georgetown University
Residency: Loyola University
Fellowship: University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Sourav Poddar, M.D., CAQSM

Associate Professor

Medical Degree: University of Texas-Southwestern
Residency: University of Colorado
Fellowship: University of Colorado 


Dr. William SullivanWilliam Sullivan, M.D.
Associate Professor

Dr. Sullivan is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and pain management. He currently serves as the medical student elective director and Spine Center co-fellowship director at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Prior to relocating to Colorado, he worked at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation. Dr. Sullivan has trained numerous fellows in sports medicine and spine care techniques, including spinal injections.

Medical Degree: Emory University School of Medicine
Residency: University of Colorado  

Armando Vidal, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Vidal is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in sports medicine and shoulder surgery. He is an avid cyclist and runner and enjoys taking care of both competitive and recreational athletes in Denver and Boulder. His clinical expertise includes open and arthroscopic surgery of simple and complex knee, shoulder, hip and elbow disorders. Dr. Vidal serves as a team physician for the University of Colorado and University of Denver athletic programs.

Medical Degree: University of Miami School of Medicine
Residency: Hospital for Special Surgery, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Fellowship: University of Pittsburgh 


Aaron Provance, MD 
Assistant Professor

Dr. Aaron Provance is the medical director of the Sports Medicine Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and also serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Colorado. Dr. Provance is board certified in pediatrics and sports medicine. His specialties include orthopaedic and medical conditions in the young athlete, as well as a special interest in concussions in sports.

Medical Degree: West Virginia University
Residency: West Virginia University
Fellowship: Primary Care Sports Medicine,University of Colorado SOM


CJ Kleck, MD 

Assistant Professor

Medical Degree: University of Arizona

Residency: University of Arizona
Fellowship: University of Colorado Denver


Rachel Brakke, MD

Assistant Professor

Medical Degree: University of Texas Medical Branch
Residency: University of Washington
Fellowship: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Colorado 

Dr. Brakke specializes in the non-operative management of sports and musculoskeletal injuries, as well as back and neck pain including interventional spine procedures and electrodiagnostic testing. Her areas of clinical and research interest including: core strengthening, spine care, the aging athlete, high altitude cerebral edema, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and sports injuries. As a collegiate level cross-country runner and softball pitcher, she has a strong personal and academic interest in sports.


Jonathan Bravman, MD 
Assistant Professor

Medical Degree: UMNDJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers
Residency: University of Colorado
Fellowship: Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery, Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital


 Bravman treats a wide variety of sports, shoulder, knee and ankle conditions, with prior experience as a team physician for the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, New England Revolution and Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, in addition to several college and high school teams. Fellowship trained in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Surgery at Harvard-Massachusetts General Hospital, his research interests have focused on clavicle fracture fixation, biomechanics of ACL and rotator cuff fixation, shoulder instability, as well as injuries in skeletally immature athletes, which has resulted in multiple national level presentations and publications.


Scott Laker, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Laker has cared for athletes at all levels of participation, from adolescents to adults, amateurs to professionals. A founding member of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program, he is a regular lecturer on sports-related concussion, spinal conditions, and sports medicine topics. Trained in the use spinal injections, peripheral joint injection therapy, and EMG/NCS, Dr. Laker treats a large spectrum of non-surgical sports and spine conditions including sports-related concussion, sports injuries, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, herniated discs, and radiculopathy.

Medical Degree: University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Residency: University of Colorado
Fellowship: Sports Medicine and Spine, University of Colorado

Omer Mei-Dan, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Mei-Dan specializes in hip preservation surgery consisting of hip arthroscopy, cartilage regeneration, femur and acetabulum realignment techniques. He is heavily involved in cutting edge research in this field and develops new surgical techniques to treat athletes with hip pathologies. Dr. Mei-Dan travels the world to teach these techniques and to present his advanced work in the filed. He also performs non-operative injections modalities for the conservative treatments for joint and articular cartilage lesions. In addition to his medical career, Dr. Mei-Dan is a world-renowned extreme sports athlete. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in numerous disciplines including mountaineering, wing-suit flying and BASE jumping. His personal interest and curiosity in these sports has led to further research in extreme sports. Recent publications have focused on climbing and BASE jumping injuries as well as observing the mental characteristics and hormonal changes exhibited by extreme sports athletes.​


Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Pascual-Garrido spent two years at the Cartilage Restoration Center with Dr. Brian Cole from Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, performing multiples cartilage cells transplantation and surgical cartilage procedures. She also spent time in Germany-Zurich at Freiburg University and Schulthess Klinik, performing cutting-edge cartilage therapies. She performed multiples studies on biology of the cartilage and prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis. She completed a fellowship in sports and shoulder surgery at the prestigious Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, where she served as assistant team physician for the NBA’s New York Knicks and the Mets. She served as part of the medical staff for the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. She also trained on hip resurfacing at Hospital for Special Surgery under Dr. Ed Su.​


Stephanie Mayer, MD
Assistant Professor

Dr. Mayer is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in pediatric, adolescent and young adult sports medicine. She completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Duke University where she served as an assistant team physician for the volleyball, basketball, soccer, lacrosse and football teams. She then completed a pediatric orthopaedic fellowship at Children’s Hospital Colorado as well as a sports medicine fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City where she served as an assistant team physician for the New York Knicks and New York Liberty. Dr. Mayer has many clinical and research interests in sports medicine and specializes in the treatment of hip injuries and femoroacetabular impingement including hip arthroscopy, knee ligament, cartilage, meniscal, and patellar injuries, and shoulder injuries including labral and rotator cuff tears. A former student-athlete in volleyball at Texas Christian University and current marathon runner, Dr. Mayer is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of injuries in active patients, and returning them to activities of all levels. ​

Medical Degree: University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Residency: Duke University Medical Center

Fellowship: Hospital for Special Surgery and Children's Hospital Colorado


Ashley Chrisman, MPAS, PA-C
Physician Assistant

Ashley Chrisman is a Physician Assistant specializing in Orthopedic Sports Medicine. She works in the operating room assisting CU Sports Medicine surgeons in addition to diagnosing and treating patients in the clinic at both Denver and Boulder locations. Ashley received her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies graduate degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. As an undergraduate, she attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln majoring in Exercise Science and competed as a heptathlete on the track and field team. Ashley earned multiple All-American, Academic All-American, and Big 12 Conference honors highlighted by capturing the 2005 NCAA National Championship in the pentathlon. Her clinical interests include diagnosis and treatment of sports related injury with an emphasis on a safe and successful return to activity.

Masters of Physician Assistant Studies: Univ. of Nebraska Med Center
NCCPA Certification: PA-C, January 2011
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

John C. Hill, D.O., FAAFP, FACSM
Associate Professor, Director of Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship

Dr. Hill is a board certified family physician with sub-specialty boards in primary care sports medicine. His clinical areas of interest revolve around Women’s Health and Wellness. He has delivered over 1000 babies and has in depth knowledge in prenatal care and exercise as it relates to pregnancy. He is the team physician at the University of Denver . He is a popular speaker nationally in the areas of sports medicine and obstetrics.

Medical Degree: Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
Residency: Truman Medical Center-East, University of Missouri at Kansas City
Fellowship: University of Colorado Denver


igo San Millán, PhD

Director, Excercise Physiology Lab

Dr. San Millán is an exercise physiologist from Basque Country, Spain. He has vast experience working with professional athletes and teams. He worked with and advised 6 Pro Tour cycling teams, 1 Tour de France winner and several podium finishers, world class triathletes, runners, rowers, swimmers, professional basketball players and many other athletes and teams. He also advised and trained coaches and physiologists worldwide. At present, Dr. San Millán is directing our Exercise Physiology and Human Performance lab where, with the most advanced equipment, he is applying the latest testing protocols, approaches and methods to a wide variety of athletes of any level. He is also applying new scientific methods in lactate metabolism, substrate utilization, and overtraining and obesity prevention programs. Dr. San Millán obtained his bachelor degree from Colorado State University and his Doctorate from the University of the Basque Country, Spain.


Stephanie Chu, M.D.
Assistant Professor

Dr. Chu's areas of special interest include dance medicine, gymnastics and the female athlete, which stems from growing up involved in ballet and gymnastics. Currently she serves as Team Physician for the University of Colorado Buffaloes. She is also an active member of the Education Committee of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. She enjoys running and taking in all sporting events. Outside of sports she enjoys reading, music, and the company of friends and family and traveling.

Medical Degree: Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine
Residency: University of Connecticut
Fellowship: Sports Medicine, University of Connecticut 

Joy Anderson, PT, ATC, CSCS
Physical Therapist & Certified Athletic Trainer

Joy is a licensed physical therapist, certified athletic trainer, and certified strength and conditioning specialist. She has served as a trainer for the United States Figure Skating Association. Joy’s clinical interests include adolescent sports medicine, strength and conditioning for youth athletes and orthopedic sports medicine. Her research interests are ACL prevention, rehabilitation, return to play programs and adolescent sports medicine. Joy attended the University of Nebraska. 


Laura King, MS, ATC, CSCS
Certified Athletic Trainer

Laura joined the University Sports Medicine Center staff in 2006. After obtaining her Bachelors Degree from the University of New Hampshire and her Masters Degree from Washington State University, she worked as a collegiate athletic trainer for 11 years at the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin and the University of Denver. Laura looks forward to helping patients return to a high level of activity. 


Denise Knutson, MA, MEd, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer, Medical Assistant

Denise is a Certified Athletic Trainer, from the Chicago, Illinois area. Denise graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. She also attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she worked as a graduate assistant and obtained her Master’s degree. Denise has worked with athletes and individuals of all ages and abilities, including coordinating a high school and community outreach program in the Boulder, Colorado area.


Andrea Lenz, MS, ATC
Certified Athletic Trainer

Andrea is a certified athletic trainer. Originally from the Midwest, Andrea attended the University of Iowa, where she obtained her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in exercise science and athletic training. Andrea also has recently become certified as a Sportsmetrics™ instructor and offers ACL prevention training. 


Jane Fish, A.T.C
Certified Athletic Trainer

Jane joined the CU Sports Medicine staff in 2010, and has been an employee and patient with CU off and on since 1998. She has a Kinesiology Degree from the University of Northern Colorado and earned her Athletic Trainer Certification from Metropolitan State College of Denver. Prior to joining the CU Sports Medicine team, Jane's passion was working with athletes at the high school level, as she worked with several high schools throughout Jefferson County. 


Susan Cartwright, RN, BSN, OCN
Registered Nurse and Certified Orthopedic Nurse

Susan joined the CU Sports Medicine staff in 2008 and has been with the University of Colorado Hospital since 2003. Originally from Georgia, Susan earned her Diploma in Nursing from the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Brenau College. Since joining the CU Sports Medicine team, she has earned her certification in Orthopedic Nursing through the Orthopedic Nurses Certification Board.


Doug Jowdy, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, Sports Psychologist

Dr. Jowdy is a licensed psychologist in Colorado and has worked for the U.S. Olympic Committee serving as the team psychologist for U.S. Speed Skating. He assisted the coaches and athletes prepare for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, U.T. Prior to working for the Olympic Committee, he was a Co-Director of a Mental Health Treatment Program at Denver Health Medical Center. Dr. Jowdy was also employed as the Department Head of the Exercise/Sport Psychology Programs at Argosy University in Phoenix, AZ. He has coached and played icehockey at the college level.

His areas of specialization are: performance enhancement, coaching education, coach and athlete relationship development, coping with the emotional aspects of injury rehabilitation and working with team dynamics. Dr. Jowdy also specializes in the treatment of some medical conditions, anxiety disorders, depression, weight normalization and problems with alcohol/drug use. 

Master’s Degree: Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D.: Virginia Commonwealth University
Clinical Internship: Denver Health Medical Center
Postdoctoral Training: Stanford University Medical School


Nancy Pudwill


Nancy has been a registered dietitian in private practice since 1986. She earned her undergraduate degree at Kansas State University and did her internship at Kansas University Medical Center. Nancy is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the Colorado Dietetic Association and works with athletes at the University of Denver and throughout Colorado.


Robyn Thompson-Etzel
Certified Athletic Trainer, Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant

Robyn is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant originally from Illinois. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Corporate Fitness/Athletic Training from Western Illinois University. In 1991 she graduated from the University of Iowa after obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Exercise Science and serving as a graduate assistant in the department of athletics. Robyn has worked in various sports medicine settings from physical therapy to high school and collegiate levels including working at the Air Force Academy.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


Lori Nacius, BS, MPAS, PA-C

Lori Nacius is a Physician Assistant specializing in Orthopedic hip preservation. She works in the operating room assisting Dr. Omer Mei-Dan in addition to diagnosing and treating patients in the clinic at both Denver and Boulder locations. Lori received her Masters of Physician Assistant Studies graduate degree from the Baylor College of Medicine. As an undergraduate, she attended Southern Illinois University. Her clinical interests include establishing excellent patient-practitioner rapport and providing treatment and care that allow patients to return to athletics and active lifestyles. In her spare time, Lori can be found cycling, running or backpacking.​​​​​​​