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PM&R News


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.”

Dr. Inigo San Millan featured on Denver Channel 7 News

27 December 2017

The Channel 7 News story is titled "Want to get fit in the new year? Focus on becoming more ‘metabolically flexible,' CU professor says." From the story, "San Millan has developed a non-invasive way to test a person’s metabolic flexibility and starting next year, some insurance companies will cover the test. He’s also working on a portable, commercial version that would allow someone to test their flexibility with a single drop of blood. A study published in June showed that San Millan’s blood test accurately measures mitochondrial health."

See the story here.

Venu Akuthota, MD, Named Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation!

18 December 2017

Important announcements from Dennis J. Matthews, MD, Professor and Outgoing Chair, and John J. Reilly Jr., MD, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and Dean, CU School of Medicine.

Dennis J. Matthews, MD, announced today he will be officially stepping down as Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Venu Akuthota, MD has accepted the Chair position starting January 1, 2018. Dr. Matthews expressed his enthusiasm about the selection of Dr. Akuthota and has stated the future of the PM&R Department is unlimited. On behalf of Dr. Matthews:

I want to thank each and every one of you for all the support and help that you have provided me as the Chair of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. It has been an amazing 21 years. You, the people, are what makes this such a great Department. I am honored that I have been able to serve as your Chair, and I look forward to the great accomplishments that lie ahead. I want to wish you the very best and happiest of holidays.

Dr. Reilly announced today Venu Akuthota, MD, has been named chair of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation effective January 1. Venu, who has been with the School of Medicine since 2002, is vice chair and professor of the department and medical director of the Spine Center at the University of Colorado Hospital. He has also served as the department’s residency program director. Venu succeeds Dennis Matthews, MD, who became chair in December 1996 and who has had a distinguished and pioneering career.

Effect of High-Intensity Treadmill Exercise on Motor Symptoms in Patients With De Novo Parkinson Disease: A Phase 2 Randomized Clinical Trial

14 December 2017

Dr. Schenkman, Professor, Program Director of Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with Charity G. Moore PhD, MSPH; Associate Professor of Medicine, Biostatistics, and Clinical and Translational Science at the University of Pittsburgh, Wendy M. Kohrt, PhD; Associate Director of CWHR and Scientific Council member at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair In Women's Health Research and et al describe the results from a phase 2 randomized clinical trial which established that high-intensity treadmill exercise as a safe and feasible treatment for patients with Parkinson disease. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that endurance exercise can modify the disease severity with high-intensity exercise compared to moderate or low.

Read the article in JAMA here | Read the CU Anschutz Today article here


Dr. Meredith Mealer, co-chairs a new panel on moral resilience for the American Nurses Association (ANA)

28 November 2017

CU Connections posted an article on Dr. Meredith Mealer titled "Mealer co-chairs panel on moral resilience". Read the CU Connections article at and then download the American Nurses Association's (ANA) building individual capacities for moral resilience at

You can also listen to a podcast Dr. Mealer recorded called "PTSD and the ICU Nurse: Bolstering Resiliency in the Helping Professions". Listen now or visit the website for more.

CU PM&R Grand Rounds: Assessing and Addressing Phantom Pain in the Amputee by Noel So, MD

6 October 2017

CU PM&R Grand Rounds: Assessing and Addressing Phantom Pain in the Amputee by Noel So, MD

View this PM&R Grand Rounds


Jeff Hebert part of $5.7 Million PCORI Award Research Funding for MS Study

1 October 2017

"Researchers studying methods of exercise delivery and their effects on people living with multiple sclerosis have been awarded $5.7 million in funding by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The study, “Comparative Effectiveness of an Exercise Intervention Delivered via Telerehabilitation and Conventional Mode of Delivery,” will evaluate the effectiveness of different types of exercise programs for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The project will compare exercise programs provided at gyms or rehabilitation facilities with a telerehabilitation program available to patients at home. The goal is to increase the accessibility and sustainability of exercise options for people with MS."

Read more

The Gerontologist Names Dr. Patricia Heyn as the New Associate Editor for Review Articles

19 September 2017

Press release: "The Gerontologist has appointed Dr. Patricia Heyn as a new Associate Editor, Review Articles, to join our leadership team. Dr. Heyn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus. With extensive expertise in research synthesis methodologies, Dr. Heyn has been actively involved in the advancement of evidence-based methods standards and guidelines for synthesis, critical appraisal, and review procedures. She is currently guiding several national taskforces related to the review and synthesis of current emergent aging research areas. Dr. Heyn has already begun her efforts to revamp the new Review Article section by revising the description of the section to formulate a clearer set of guidelines for review article submissions. I encourage all of you to review the Author Guidelines ( to learn more about the new Review Article section."

CU PM&R Grand Rounds: "Clio in the Clinic" by Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD

10 September 2017

CU PM&R Grand Rounds: "Clio in the Clinic": What the History of Pain Without Lesion Reveals about Present Chronic Pain Management by Daniel Goldberg, JD, PhD

View this PM&R Grand Rounds


Video Tribute: Dennis Matthews, MD, Rehabilitation

17 August 2017

The Chair of our Rehabilitation Program, Dr. Dennis Matthews, says his mental health is refreshed by spending time with kids in clinic. Learn more about why he chose to work in pediatrics and what he hopes for his patients.

Watch the video

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.

Coming Up

CU PM&R Brown Bag Research Presentation
CU Dept of PM&R Dennis J. Matthews Lectureship with Visiting Professor Ross Zafonte, MD from Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
Dennis J. Matthews Lectureship with Visiting Professor Ross Zafonte, MD
31st Annual Gersten Day

For Resident Seminars please RSVP by email to For Craig Residents/Faculty: Presentation can be viewed live via Zoom link here:

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Contact Info

Phone: 303-724-1264
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

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