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Jaclyn Arends, MD  - Medical Director appointment

15 March 2019

We are pleased to announce that Jaclyn Arends, MD, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado
School of Medicine, has been named Medical Director of the acute inpatient rehabilitation unit at UCHealth Broomfield Hospital, a joint venture between Boulder Community Health and UCHealth. This unique 18-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit is slated to open July 1, 2019. 

Dr. Arends is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has an academic appointment at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM). She has served as rehabilitation medicine consultant and teaching attending at UCH- Anschutz Medical Campus since 2015. Prior to joining CU SOM, Dr. Arends spent 10 years of practice in the acute inpatient rehabilitation unit at Boulder Community Health.  She is in the unique position to bring her experience in working with both health systems together to help create an expert-based, multidisciplinary program which brings specialized inpatient rehabilitation care to patients recovering from complex medical, orthopedic, and neurologic conditions.

Dr. Arends earned her BS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the prestigious Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, now the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab at Northwestern University.

Rachel Brakke Holman, MD- Medical Director appointment

15 March 2019

We are pleased to announce that Rachel Brakke Holman, MD, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has been named Medical Director for the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center in Boulder, Colorado. The Center is a multidisciplinary clinic with both surgical and non- surgical sports medicine providers, a large physical therapy group, and an innovative sport science program on the CU Boulder campus. The Center is a joint venture between Boulder Community Health and CU Medicine.

Dr. Brakke Holman is triple board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation; Sports Medicine; and Pain Medicine.  She has been an active faculty member of the PM&R department at the University of Colorado School of Medicine since 2010. She became a member of the CU Sports Medicine Clinic in Boulder in 2011 and was a founding physician member of the new CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center that opened on the CU Boulder campus in its Champions Center location at Folsom Field in August of 2015.

Dr. Brakke Holman earned her BA from Swarthmore College and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. She completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington and completed her fellowship in Pain and Sports Medicine at the University of Colorado.  Dr. Brakke Holman has served in several leadership roles including fellowship program director. She also currently serves in national leadership roles through her specialty organization, AAPM&R, where she serves as Chair of the Program Planning Committee.  She is a recognized national expert in sports medicine injuries with particular expertise in musculoskeletal ultrasound, therapeutic injections, spine, and women’s sports injuries.

PT Faculty Member Awarded National Recognition in Orthopaedics

25 January 2019

Congratulations to Paul Mintken, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, CU Physical Therapy Professor, who was awarded the 2019 James A. Gould Excellence in Teaching Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (OPT).


Dr. Susan Apkon joins CU PM&R and Children's Hospital Colorado

as Chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine
14 December 2018

CU PM&R is thrilled to announce the recruitment of Dr. Susan Apkon to serve as Chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado as well as Vice Chair of PM&R at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Apkon will begin in January 2019 to oversee a Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine program known across the world. She succeeds Dr. Dennis Matthews in one of his many leadership roles. Dr. Apkon returns after a tour de force at Seattle Children’s, where she served as Director of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Neuromuscular Program. Dr. Apkon attained the status of full Professor at University of Washington School of Medicine.

After an initial career as a Speech Language Pathologist, Dr. Susan Apkon graduated from University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1994. She completed a combined residency in Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado. She began her academic career as a faculty member at CHCO and CU where she remained until 2009. Her clinical and research interests are in the care of children with neuromuscular conditions. Dr. Apkon is an avid clinical researcher and has participated in numerous clinical trials focused on the use of novel drug therapies to improve the lives of children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Congratulations to our PM&R Research Core pilot awards

Please join us as we congratulate the 2018 awardees:

Michael Bade, PT, PhD ("Multimodal Edema Management Program Post TKA")
Mark M. Manago, DPT, PhD (“Instrumented motion analysis of hip and trunk movement compensations for people with multiple sclerosis”)
Maryam Tahmasbi Sohi, MD (“Short term Effects of Intraarticular Triamcinolone Acetonide Injection on Serum Testosterone, LH and FSH Levels in Cohort of Male Veterans with Osteoarthritic Glenohumeral Joint”)

Read more...​

Should a 13-year-old play youth football?

16 July 2018

"It is not medically reasonable to disqualify him based on the available literature and the current standard for disqualification," writes Scott Laker of the University of Colorado in a corresponding article.


Annual Gersten Day

The Department celebrated its 31st Annual Gersten Day Rehabilitation Symposium on June 15, 2018. The graduating PM&R Residents presented their work on a wide-range of topics including overuse injuries in high school athletes, pelvic pain and hypermobility, and mindfulness and its implications on pain. Sruthi Thomas, MD, PhD, one of our combined Pediatrics/PM&R residents, won the Annual Resident Research Award for her presentation, “Cerebral Palsy All Grown Up 2.0: What Adult Outcomes Can Teach Us About Pediatric Management.” The symposium also highlighted the research of our Pain Medicine and Spinal Cord Injury Fellows as well as Jean Marie Berliner, PT, DPT, NCS, and PhD Candidate with the Rehab Sciences program. Dr. Berliner’s presentation was titled, “Visual, Vestibular, and Oculomotor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease: Are they related to Fatigue.” The day concluded with two outstanding lectures from faculty. Sarra Nazem, PhD presented on the importance of assessing sleep in clinical research populations, and Michael Zuscik, PhD presented on Bifidobacteria and role it can plan in the development of osteoarthritis. Dr. Zuscik is coming into the Department of Orthopedics as the Mack Clayton (Endowed Chair) Visiting Professor and will be the Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center.

Join us in Avon for a Conference on Physician Burnout

CU PM&R faculty member Dr. Deborah Saint-Phard is hosting a conference on clinician burnout at the Westin Riverfront Resort May 10-11. This conference will feature Kathy Gibney PhD, Christine Sinsky MD, Matthew Wynia MD. CME credits are available. Register today

Dr. San Millàn featured in Washington Post article on Metabolic Inflexibility

30 April 2018

Dr. Iñigo San Millàn, director of the Sports Performance Program at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine Center in Boulder spoke with the Washington Post about metabolic efficiency in athletes. According to Dr. San Millàn, metabolic efficiency is the body's ability to switch between fat and carbohydrates to fuel exercise​.

Read more about Dr. San Millàn's work

Dr. Aaron Powell Named Provider of the Month at Childrens Hospital

​28 March 2018

This Childrens Hospital initiative celebrates members of our Faculty Medical Staff each month for their accomplishments. Dr. Aaron Powell, A CU PM&R faculty member, "is being recognized for his exceptional leadership in the Rehab Team, improving team dynamics through his open communication and professionalism. These skills combined with his ability to consider others’ perspectives make him a valued and appreciated mentor, garnering excitement for his guidance for years to come!" Dr. Dennis Matthews adds, "Aaron got a well-deserved recognition. He has been a great new leader of the in-patient team."


Dr. Akuthota Helps Patient Rise Above the Pain:

27 March 2018

Dr. Akuthota, chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, was part of team of specialists who assisted Patrick Gaines recover and thrive despite chronic pain. While Akuthota couldn’t offer a miracle cure for the nerve damage Patrick had suffered, he did ask a critical question. “He said, ‘I know you’re in pain. Tell me about your life before this happened.’” Patrick uses intense physical activity to overcome his pain.

Read more about Patrick's story

Patricia Heyn Given First Ever ACRM Women in Rehabilitation Science Award!

20 March 2018

Earlier this week American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine named Dr. Patricia Heyn the first ever, ACRM Women in Rehabilitation Science Award. This award was created in 2018 and is given to acknowledge world-class rehabilitation research conducted by a female scientist in the rehabilitation science. The award presentation, where she will receive the prestigious award, will be made during the ACRM 95th Annual Conference, Progress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR) ACRM Henry B. Betts Awards Gala, on Tuesday, 2 October 2018 at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, Texas.

Congratulations for wonderful acheivement Dr. Heyn!

Conference - Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders

26 February 2018

May 10 - 11, 2018
Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa at Beaver Creek Mountain, Avon, CO
Presented by University of Colorado School of Medicine Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Sponsored by University of Colorado School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education.

This conference is directed towards physicians and allied health professionals who are interested in the complex subject matter of physician burnout. The objective of this conference is to focus on the root of physician burnout as well as provide tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to physician wellness. This conference will provide extensive educational content over the course of two days while also incorporating a number of wellness activities throughout the program.

Learn more and register

Dr. Lisa Brenner, the 2018 Roger G. Barker Distinguished Research Contribution Award Recipient!

26 February 2018

The American Psychology Association Division 22, Rehabilitation Psychology awarded Dr. Lisa Brenner with the 2018 Roger G. Barker Distinguished Research Contribution Award. This annual award is conferred upon an individual who is judged to have made an outstanding lifelong contribution to rehabilitation psychology through empirical research, conceptual/theoretical development or both. The award was announced at the Rehabilitation Psychology Mid-Winter Meeting during the Awards Ceremony.

Drs. Carollo and Heyn are ACRM Rock Stars!

11 February 2018

ACRM (American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine) announced their "Rock Star" faculty for the 95th Annual Conference in Dallas, 30 September - 3 October. Drs. Carollo and Heyn will be presenting at the Special Symposium: Neurodegenerative Disease. Dr Heyn will also be presenting at Special Symposium: Cross-Cutting as part of the 2nd Annual Women in Rehabilitation Science Symposium.

For more about this conference please visit

9News wants to Know about Altitudes Effect on Athletes - They Ask Inigo!

6 February 2018

Denver's Channel9News program Verify posed this question after the Super Bowl (spoiler alert: the Eagles won!) Sunday "Does Denver's mile high altitude really affect the outcome of sports games?" When it comes to sports know-how there is one go to guy - CU PM&Rs Dr. Inigo San Millan, Director of the sports performance program at the University of Colorado’s Sports Medicine and Performance Center in Boulder.

Watch the video


CU PM&R and RSVP Colorado

29 January 2018

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is proud to partner with Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project (RSVP) Colorado, a nonprofit volunteer run rehabilitation clinic.

Per the RSVP website: Recognizing that uninsured individuals with disabilities in our Colorado community lacked access to rehabilitation services, a group of rehabilitation professionals joined together in early 2015 with the hope to create a clinic where they could volunteer their time and skills to provide care to these patients.
The vision of Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project (RSVP) is a community in which people with disabilities lead lives of maximum independence, inclusion, and meaning. Recognizing that rehabilitation can contribute to this outcome, our mission is to provide outpatient services and medical equipment to people who lack access to these services.
After obtaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and receiving an angel donation from the Lanig Family Fund, the clinic opened its doors on April 2, 2016.

Visit their web page to learn more about their story, ways to get involved, or schedule a visit

Drs. Hoffmire and Mohatt Receives Funding for a Suicide Prevention Collaborative

2 January 2018

Congratulations to PM&R Drs. Claire Hoffmire and Nate Mohatt, who along with Dr. Monteith (also from the Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Veteran Suicide Prevention) are part of a team led by Drs. DeBeer (VA VISN 17 Center of Excellence) and Benzer (Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA) who received notice of funding for a Patient Safety Center of Inquiry VA Suicide Prevention Collaborative (PSCI-VASPC). “The overarching mission of the PSCI-VASPC [will be] to develop, implement, and evaluate practical solutions to reduce suicide among Veterans who are not receiving VA care.”

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

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.

Video: Aspen Ideas Festival | CU Anschutz Medical Campus

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.



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.