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Department of Psychiatry

Department of Psychology

Hal S. Wortzel, MD
            Hal S. Wortzel, MD


Director, Neuropsychiatric Consultation Services
Director, Mental Illness Research, Education, & Clincal Center (MIRECC)Psychiatric Fellowship
Denver Veterans Hospital
1055 Clermont Street
Denver, CO  80220
Email:  Dr. Wortzel


Hal S. Wortzel, MD

Assistant Professor


Academic Appointments:

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM, 2008 - present

Faculty, Program in Forensic Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM, 2007 – present

Faculty, Neurobehavior Disorders Program, Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM, 2008 - present

Instructor/Fellow, Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM, 2005 – 2008


Clinical Appointments:

Attending in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Colorado Hospital, 2005 – present

Staff Physician (Psychiatry), Mental Health Service, DVAMC, 2006 – present

Consulting Psychiatrist, Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, 2006 – present

Consulting Psychiatrist, Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit, HealthONE Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, 2006 - present


Honors, Special Recognitions, and Awards:

Alpha Omega Alpha, New York University School of Medicine

2007 Young Investigator Award, American Academy of Psychiatry and Law

Invited Participant, Practice Recommendations for Treatment of Veterans with Comorbid PTSD, mTBI and Pain Consensus Conference, Department of Veterans Affairs

2009 – Junior Trustee, Colorado Psychiatric Society

2010 – Treasurer, Colorado Psychiatric Society


Memberships in Professional Societies:

Alpha Omega Alpha:  2001 – present

American Psychiatric Association: 2002 – present 

Colorado Psychiatric Society: 2002 – present 

American Academy of Psychiatry and Law: 2005 – present

American Neuropsychiatric Association: 2006 – present

American Medical Association: 2004 – present

American Academy of Forensic Sciences: 2009 – present




     Amherst College
     Bachelor of Arts
     Amherst, Massachusetts
     1992 – 1996


     New York University School of Medicine 
     Doctor of Medicine
     New York, New York
     1997 – 2001



     Orthopedic Surgery
     Department of Orthopedic Surgery
     Lenox Hill Hospital
     New York, New York
     2001 – 2002


     Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM 
     Denver, Colorado
     2002 – 2005

Chief Residency:       

     Consultation-Liaison and Out-Patient Psychiatry
     Department of Psychiatry, UC-SOM
     Denver, Colorado
     2004 – 2005


     Forensic Psychiatry
     Departments of Psychiatry, UC-SOM
     Denver, Colorado
     2005 – 2006

     Behavioral Neurology & Neuropsychiatry
     Depts. of Psychiatry and Neurology, UC-SOM
     Denver, Colorado
     2006 – 2008

     Fellowship in Advanced Psychiatry
     VISN 19 MIRECC, Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center
     Denver, Colorado
     2006 – 2008


Select Publications:

Wortzel HS, Metzner J:  Clark v. Arizona: Diminishing the Right of Mentally Ill Individuals to a Full and Fair Defense. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 34(4):545-548, 2006

Wortzel HS, Anderson CA, Arciniegas DB: Treatment of Pathologic Laughing and Crying. Current Treatment Options in Neurology. 9(5): 371-80, 2007

Wortzel HS, Binswanger IA, Martinez R, Filley CM, Anderson CA:  Crisis in the Treatment of Incompetent to Proceed to Trial: Harbinger of a Systemic Illness. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 35: 357-63, 2007

Wortzel HS, Filley CM, Anderson CA, Oster TJ, Arciniegas DB: Forensic Applications of Cerebral Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 36(3):310-22, 2008

Wortzel HS, Anderson CA, Arciniegas DB: Pathological Laughing and Crying: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Treatment. CNS Drugs 22(7):531-545, 2008

Wortzel HS, Arciniegas DB:  Amnesia and Crime:  A Neuropsychiatric Response.  Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 36(2):218-23, 2008

Wortzel HS, Anderson CA, Frey K, Arciniegas DB: Subtle Neurological Signs Predict the Severity of Subacute Cognitive and Functional Impairments after Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 21(4):463-66, 2009

Wortzel HS, Binswanger IA, Anderson CA, Adler L: Suicide Among Incarcerated Veterans.  Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 37(1):82-91, 2009

Wortzel HS, Gutierrez PM, Homaifar BY, Breshears RE, Harwood JE: Surrogate Endpoints in Suicide Research. Suicide and Life Threatening Behaviors 40(5):500-05, 2010

Wortzel HS, Arciniegas DB: Combat Veterans and the Death Penalty: A Forensic Neuropsychiatric Perspective.  Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 38(3):407-414, 2010


Research Support:

Colorado Research to Improve Care Coordination (CRICC) Pilot Grant Program, Veteran Status and the Risk of Death Following Release from Prison

Principal Investigator: Hal S. Wortzel, MD

This project explores the death rate among veterans released from Washington State prisons, including deaths by suicide, homicide, drug overdose, and cardiovascular death, and investigates if service connection offers any protective effect. 

Study Period:  11/01/09-10/31/10


CDMRP, Department of Defense, PT075168:  A Double Blind Trial of Divalproex Sodium for Affective Lability and Alcohol Use Following Traumatic Brain Injury 

Principal Investigator:  Thomas P. Beresford, MD

This study investigates Divalproex Sodium’s ability to relieve the mood and anxiety symptoms that lead to or sustain heavy alcohol use in a specific group of AA/D persons: those with a history of moderate to severe TBI who have come to use ethanol heavily and chronically in the setting of affective discomfort.

Study period: 9/15/08-9/14/2012.

Role: Co-Investigator


U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Military Operational Medicine Research Program

Blister Packaging Medication to Increase Treatment Adherence and Clinical Response: Impact on Suicide-related Morbidity and Mortality

Principal Investigator:   Peter M. Gutierrez, PhD            

This study will examine blister packaging medications to increase adherence and decrease suicidality.

Study period:  9/29/09-9/28/13

Role: Co-Investigator