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PM&R News


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


The DAWN of an Integrated Health Clinic

20 January 2016

The DAWN Clinic (Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs) promotes a vision of PM&R of integrated health care delivery by bringing CU health science students together to work as a team focused together to promote health and wellness.

Read more

Right Replenishment for Muscles

20 January 2016

Iñigo San Millán, PhD, Director, Excercise Physiology Lab at CU Sports Medicine and PM&R Assistant Professor discusses the development of MuscleSound, a way to guage and provide recovering muscles the right amount of glycogen to promote recovery. The benefits are for anyone from elite athletes to patients recovering from accidents.

Read more


9News Highlights Work by Dr. Carollo with Cerebral Palsy Patients

19 January 2016

Denver's Channel 9News had a segment on work Dr. James Carollo is doing on gait in cerebral palsy patients. The work highlighted is being done at the Center for Gait and Movement Analysis (CGMA) at Children's Hospital Colorado Orthopedics Institute as part of the Cerebral Palsy Adult Transition (CPAT) study.

The 9News story, complete with video is available here.

PM&R Faculty Lead the Way in SPiRE Grant Funding

12 January 2016

VA Rehabilitation R&D has awarded SPiRE (Small projects in Rehabilitation Research) grants to three PM&R faculty:

Lisa A. Brenner, Ph.D., Principal Investigator; Director, Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention
Biological Signature and Safety of an Immunomodulatory Probiotic Intervention for Veterans with Co-Occurring Mild TBI and PTSD
Exaggerated inflammation in the body and brain is thought to play a role in the vulnerability to and aggravation and perpetuation of adverse consequences among those with co-occurring mild TBI (mTBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The proposed study begins the process of investigating the use of a natural immunoregulatory/anti-inflammatory probiotic to treat chronic symptoms associated with co-occurring mTBI and PTSD among Veterans. By looking at the impact of probiotic supplementation on biological signatures of increased inflammation, as reflected by the gut microbiota, gut permeability, and biomarkers of peripheral inflammation, this study may lead to the identification of a novel intervention for the treatment of symptoms associated with these frequently co-occurring conditions.
Christopher A. Lowry, Ph.D.; Associate Professor, University of Colorado Boulder
Major Andrew J. Hoisington, Ph.D., PE; Assistant Professor, United States Air Force Academy
Stephen D. Bartlett, R.Ph., M.S.P.H.; Research Pharmacy Manager, Denver VAMC
Teodor T. Postolache, M.D.; Professor and Director, Mood and Anxiety Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Rocky Mountain MIRECC Research Investigator
Total Budget: $199,960
Cory Christiansen, PT, PhD, Principal Investigator; Associate Professor, University of Colorado Denver, Eastern Colorado GRECC
Physical Activity Behavior Change for Older Veterans after Dysvascular Amputation
The population of Veterans with dysvascular amputation is characterized by: 1) low levels of physical activity and 2) high rates of disability. Such poor physical activity and disability outcomes are likely linked to chronic physical activity behaviors that Veterans adopt before dysvascular lower limb amputation and carry over after amputation. Therefore, the primary aim of this pilot study is to determine the feasibility of using a physical-activity behavior-change (PABC) intervention for increasing physical activity and reducing disability in Veterans 1-5 years following dysvascular lower-limb amputation. This pilot study addresses an understudied and growing population of older Veterans characterized by complex health conditions. The outcome will significantly advance current research by providing critical feasibility data related to improving the chronic low physical activity and high levels of disability experienced by this population of older Veterans.
Ryan Stephenson, DO; Medical Director Polytrauma and Brain Injury, Denver VAMC
Thomas Fields, PT; Physical Therapist, Denver VAMC
Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD; Professor, University of Colorado Denver, Eastern Colorado GRECC
Susan Bray-Hall, MD; Associate Clinical Director, Eastern Colorado GRECC Matthew Miller PT, Study Coordinator; University of Colorado Denver
William Sullivan, MD, Safety Officer; Outpatient Medical Director for Rehabilitation Services, Denver VAMC
Total Budget: 195,000.00
Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD; Principle Investigator; Professor, Eastern Colorado GRECC
Shifting rehabilitation paradigms in skilled nursing facilities
This study focuses on two prevalent and understudied problems for medically-complex, older Veterans: inadequate recovery of physical function and low rates of community discharge after a skilled nursing facility (SNF) stay. This investigation has high potential to change current rehabilitation paradigms by addressing the preponderance of low-intensity, non-specific rehabilitation interventions, which contribute to long-term deficits in physical function and risk for institutionalization. We propose to change rehabilitation practice by applying principles of high-intensity to strengthening and functional activities to improve physical function and community discharge rates for Veterans receiving SNF care.
Rebecca Boxer, MD; Co-Investigator; Associate Professor
Amy Nordon-Craft, PT, DSc; Co-Investigator; Assistant Professor
Russell Glasgow, PhD; Co-Investigator; Professor, Department of Family Medicine

PM&R Residency Announcements

11 January 2016

Venu Akuthota, MD, announced, "We are happy to make several announcements regarding the residency. The residency will be expanding over the next several years. We have now procured funding through our UCH hospital partners to sponsor 2 more residents there, and hope to have a 3rd resident slot funded through the VA move and expansion in 2018. In effect, we will have 5 residents per year in addition to the combined PM&R/Pediatrics residents. The implementation of additional residents will stagger over several years. This is a significant milestone for the residency!

"In addition, Adele Meron and Chris McMullen (see them on the PM&R Current Residents page, click on the 2017 tab) have been chosen chief residents for the next academic year. They will serve as assistants to Jessica Pruente until February 22, when they will take over duties."

From Dr. Adele Meron's biography: "I spent the majority of my life on the east coast, growing up in Albany, NY, studying engineering and playing soccer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and attending medical school at Albany Medical College. I spend my free time chasing my two year old son around the beautiful outdoor spaces that Colorado has to offer.”

Dr. Chris McMullen grew up in Houston but Baltimore has been his second home, where he went to college at Johns Hopkins University and medical school at the University of Maryland, and “most importantly, met his wife there.” Chris and his wife are new parents to daughter, Adelaide, who recently celebrated her 2 week birthday.

Important dates to remember:

  • January 13th: 5pm - Rank Night (AO1-7000)
  • January 29th: 12:30pm - Self Assessment Exam for all residents
  • March 1st : New resident rotation start date

PM&R Faculty Cited for "Near Perfect" Paper in Review

29 December 2015

A paper co-authored by CU PM&R Professor and Director Rocky Mountain MIRECC for Suicide Prevention, Lisa A. Brenner with Andrew J. Hoisington, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, US Air Force Academy, Kerry A. Kinney, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas, Austin, Teodor T. Postolache, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, and Christopher A. Lowry, Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder, entitled The microbiome of the built environment and mental health received a glowing review by Jonathan Eisen. Dr. Eisen's titled his review "Near perfect balance in a microbiome paper – hopeful yet no hype". Dr. Eisen is one of the leading voices in the area of microbiome research. He also has an impressive reach with over 33,000 followers on Twitter @phylogenomics.

Read the full article The microbiome of the built environment and mental health

Read the review Near perfect balance in a microbiome paper – hopeful yet no hype

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Pilot Competition

Updated: 16 December 2015

The Department of PM&R is accepting proposals for research pilot projects. 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 PM&R populations
  • Enhance the patient experience of care (including quality, access and reliability)
  • Provide departmental researchers the opportunity to collect quality data to leverage future funding

Proposals will be accepted from any PM&R faculty member (regular track or research series - including Senior Instructors).

New Application Deadline: February 1, 2016, 6:00 p.m. MST

Download proposal document

Iñigo San Millán Publishes in December Issue of Critical Care

15 December 2015

Paul Wischmeyer, MD, Professor, Anesthesiology and Iñigo San Millán, PhD, Director, Excercise Physiology Lab at CU Sports Medicine and PM&R Assistant Professor have published ,Winning the war against ICU-acquired weakness: new innovations in nutrition and exercise physiology in the December 2015 Critical Care.

Read the full article here

PM&R Faculty Publish in November Edition of PM&R Journal

2 December 2015

CU PM&R faculty Cory Christiansen, PT, PhD, Ryan Stephenson, DO and Jennifer Stevens-Lapsley, PT, PhD along with Thomas Fields, PT and Guy Lev, PT, DPT published an artivle entitled "Functional Outcomes After the Prosthetic Training Phase of Rehabilitation After Dysvascular Lower Extremity Amputation". Read the article.


Katherine Payne, M.D., appointed Medical Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Services at the University of Colorado Hospital

19 November 2015

Please join us in congratulating Katherine Payne, MD, who has been appointed Medical Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation Services at the University of Colorado Hospital. She has been serving as the Interim Director since August 2015. Dr. Payne is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and has been with the department since 2012.

Learn more

Dr. Meredith Mealer at the 34th Annual Nurses and Research in Perspective Conference and a Piece on Resiliency

6 November 2015

Dr. Meredith Mealer, PhD, RN recently gave the keynote address and the Pfizer lecture at the 34th Annual Nurses and Research in Perspective Conference in Montreal, Canada, at McGill University Health Center. Read her interview about this experience and follow a link to a video related to Nurse Career Resiliency.

Read more

The Power of Twitter

29 October 2015

Earlier today at the annual American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine conference @ACRMTweets captured Dr. Patricia Heyn as she gave her talk on preventing cognitive decline. I bring this up to show the power of Twitter to promote your work. @ACRMTweets has almost 2,000 followers, which means that 2,000 people were sent this image and message. In the coming months you will hear us talking about the benefits PM&R faculty can find through social media.

If you would like to get started now, please contact and @hugginsjoe.

Drs. Hebert, Brenner, Forster Publish in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

14 October 2015

Jeffrey Hebert, PT, PhD, Lisa A. Brenner, PhD, ABPP, and Jeri E. Forster, PhD are co-authors on the manuscript Cognitive-motor related brain activity during walking: differences between men and women with multiple sclerosis published earlier this month in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. From the abstract, "Results from this study provide pilot data for larger studies aimed at identifying underlying mechanisms responsible for accelerated disability in men with MS."

Read more

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

New resident rotation start date
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Grand Rounds: Informed Consent for the Future of PM&R Spine Care presented by Jason Friedrich, MD Wednesday, 3 February 2016, 6-7PM, Academic Office Building 1, room 7000, Anschutz Medical Campus.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Research Pilot Competition Applications Due by 6PM MST. Download proposal document.
12:30pm - Self Assessment Exam for all residents.


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.