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CNS Medical Group

Craig Hospital has nine on-site physicians who belong to the CNS Medical Group P.C. and whose full-time practice is in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation. They average 14 years at Craig and are among the world leaders in the field. With offices in the hospital, our physicians are readily accessible to patients, families, and staff. Each patient at Craig has a primary physician, and a team of therapists and nurses that work with each physician. The CNS physicians direct the clinical interdisciplinary treatment teams and are supported by 216 consulting physicians representing the full spectrum of medical specialties.

Craig Hospital Admissions

Phone: 303-789-8344
Fax: 303-599-3990
admissions@craighospital.org

Contact the CNS Medical Group

Phone: 303-789-8220
Fax: 303-789-8470

Team Members

  • Thomas E. Balazy, MD Medical Director

    Thomas E. Balazy, MD, has been at Craig since 1987 and for 17 years Dr. Balazy was Craig's Medical Director at the Multitrauma unit at Swedish Medical Center.

    Dr. Balazy received his medical degree and completed his residency at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and completed a fellowship in spinal cord and brain injury at Craig. He is also an assistant clinical professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In 2006, Dr. Balazy received the Jerome Gersten Clinical Teaching Award from the Dept. of PM&R at the UCHSC School of Medicine.

    Most recently, Dr. Balazy created the TRAC (Teenage Rehab at Craig) Program to provide a comprehensive patient and family rehabilitation plan of care for this age group.

    Dr. Balazy is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. He is also the author of a widely read publication on chronic pain in spinal cord injury.

  • Jeffrey C. Berliner, DO Physician

    Jeffrey C. Berliner, DO, joined the medical staff at Craig Hospital after working as Clinical Director of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at TIRR Memorial Hermann.

    He completed his fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine after graduating from residency at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine in June 2008. He received his medical degree in 2004 at Nova Southeastern University, College of Osteopathic Medicine.

    Dr. Berliner's primary focus is on caring for patients recovering from spinal cord injuries. His clinical and research include current concepts in neurorecovery, treatment of paraplegic and tetraplegic patients, and prevention of secondary complications related to spinal cord injury.

    He is a member of the American Spinal Cord Injury Membership and Program Committee, Association of Academic Physiatrists, American Academy of Physiatrists, International Spinal Cord Society, and the NeuroRecovery Network Health Committee. Clinical interests include spinal cord injury, dual diagnosis injuries (brain and spinal cord), general rehabilitation, spasticity management and pain management.

    In Denver in 2015, Dr. Berliner founded the Rehabilitation Service Volunteer Partnership (RSVP), a not-for-profit clinic that provides free compassionate health care for persons with catastrophic injury, and serves as its executive chairman.

  • Morgan Brubaker, DO Physician

    Morgan Brubaker, DO, joined the CNS Medical Group in 2016 after completing her fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at Craig Hospital. She leads one of the inpatient spinal cord injury rehabilitation teams.

    Dr. Brubaker earned her medical degree at Midwestern University, Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Mayo Clinic. She served as chief resident for her PM&R residency program and was honored with the Earl Elkins Mayo Resident Award for outstanding patient care, teaching and research.

    She is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the subspecialty of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. She is a member of the American Spinal Injury Association Membership Committee, Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals, and American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

    Most recently, Dr. Brubaker was a physician leader in the implementation of a new electronic health record (EHR) for Craig Hospital and continues to be the physician point of contact for further enhancements to the EHR.

  • Mark R. Johansen, MD Physician; Spinal Cord Injury Program Medical Director

    Mark R. Johansen, MD, has served as Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program at Craig Hospital since 2011 and has been the Chair of the SCI Program Committee since 2005. He was elected President of the CNS Medical Group in 2013 and continues to serve in that role.

    Dr. Johansen graduated as an MD with honors from the University of Utah School of Medicine and also completed his residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at the University of Utah, where he was appointed Chief Resident. He was awarded subspecialty board certification in Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine in 2003 and was honored with the American Board of PM&R Outstanding Performance Award. Dr. Johansen is an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and has been presented with the Jerome Gersten Clinical Teaching Award multiple times over his tenure.

    He joined the CNS Medical Group in July 2001 following a subspecialty fellowship program in Neurotrauma Rehabilitation at Craig Hospital.

    Dr. Johansen has been honored as "Top Doctor" in SCI Medicine by 5280 Magazine numerous times beginning in 2015. He is a member of the American Academy of PM&R, American Spinal Injury Association, and the Academy of SCI Professionals, where has served on several committees. Dr. Johansen has multiple publications and presentations, but has special interest in the clinical management of individuals with catastrophic SCI, as well as more focused interest in pain and spasticity management following SCI and brain injury (BI).

  • Gary A. Maerz, MD, MBA, PE Physician

    Gary A. Maerz, MD, MBA, PE, joined CNS Medical Group in 2001 after completing a year-long Neurotrauma Rehabilitation Fellowship at Craig Hospital.

    Dr. Maerz previously completed medical school and subsequent residency training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed an internship in General Surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Denver.

    He is board certified in the specialty of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is further board certified in the subspecialties of Spinal Cord Medicine and Brain Injury Medicine. He has additional degrees in engineering and business and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado.

    Dr. Maerz is the medical director of the Craig Hospital Combined Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program. He has a special interest in these complex injuries, as well as spasticity management and metabolic changes after spinal cord injury.

  • Michael Makley, MD Physician

    Michael Makley, MD, joined the CNS Medical Group in 2013 and leads one of the brain injury treatment teams.

    Dr. Makley is a neurologist, researcher, teacher and inventor with 20 years of experience taking care of people with brain injuries.

    Prior to Craig, Dr. Makley was the Medical Director of a 38-bed specialized brain injury rehabilitation unit at the Kernan Hospital at the University of Maryland. In addition to Dr. Makley's clinical, research and administrative work at Kernan, he was the Co-Director of the Multidisciplinary Spasticity Clinic and led an Outpatient Brain Injury Clinic. He served for many years as Chair of Kernan's Biomedical Ethics Advisory Committee.

    Dr. Makley is the author of several publications and has given invited lectures both nationally and internationally.

  • William M. Scelza, MD Physician; Outpatient Program Medical Director

    William "Bill" Scelza, MD, joined the CNS Medical Group and Craig Hospital in 2011 and serves as the Outpatient Program Medical Director.

    Dr. Scelza also serves as Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine's Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) and as the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Medicine Fellowship Program Director at Craig Hospital/University of Colorado.

    Prior to joining CNS, he was the Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Program at Carolinas Rehabilitation in Charlotte, N.C.

    Dr. Scelza completed his medical training at Case Western University in 1998. He then went on to his residency training in PM&R at the University of Michigan followed by a Fellowship in SCI Medicine at the Kessler Institute in 2002-03.

    Dr. Scelza has a wealth of personal and professional spinal cord injury experience, having lived with paraplegia since 1988. He is active with his family, recreation and disability advocacy.

  • ​Eric T. Spier, MD Physician; Brain Injury Program Medical Director

    Eric T. Spier, MD, serves as the Brain Injury Program Medical Director and Outpatient Brain Injury Medical Director at Craig Hospital. He also serves as Neurorehabilitation Consultant at St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver, a Level I Trauma Center.

    Dr. Spier earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School in Houston and completed his residency at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is boarded in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and Brain Injury Medicine.

    He joined the medical staff at Craig Hospital in 2016 after building and serving as the Medical Director for Mentis El Paso, a 24-bed post-acute neurorehabilitation program that served West Texas, New Mexico and surrounding areas.

    Dr. Spier serves as the Medical Director for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado and also serves as the Medical Director for the Board of Governors of the Academy of Certified Brain Injury Specialists.

    He has co-authored textbook chapters in the field of brain injury medicine.

  • Alan H. Weintraub, MD, FACRM Physician

    Alan Weintraub, MD, FACRM, served as Medical Director of the Brain Injury Program at Craig Hospital from 1986 to 2020. Dr. Weintraub also served as Medical Director for the Rocky Mountain Regional Brain Injury System, a federally-designated Model System of Care focusing on extensive clinical, research and dissemination activities.

    Over his tenure in the field of Brain Injury Care and Rehabilitation, Dr. Weintraub has served as Medical Director of several post-acute residential brain injury and long-term subacute brain injury programs. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a Consultant to the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation Medical Treatment Guidelines TBI Task Force.

    In 2011, Dr. Weintraub received the prestigious North American Brain Injury Society Award for Innovative Clinical Treatment. In 2017, he was honored by the Brain Injury Association of America, receiving the Sheldon Berrol Award for Clinical Excellence. In 2018 and again in 2019 he received Becker's Healthcare Top 100 Hospital Health System Physician Leaders Awards. From 2012 through 2020, Dr. Weintraub has been recognized as a "Top Doctor" in his specialty by 5280 Magazine and Castle Connelly/U.S. News & World Report.

    As a Brain Injury Medicine Certified Subspecialist and ACRM Fellow, Dr. Weintraub has special interests in predictive biomarkers for recovery, neuroimaging, disorders of consciousness, pharmacologic rehabilitation, sports-related concussion and the long-term consequences of brain injury. He is active in local, regional and national organizations and is devoted to the aging and long-term needs of brain-injured survivors and their families. For over 35 years, Dr. Weintraub has lectured extensively to broad audiences and written on a number of specific clinical and research topics related to both traumatic and acquired brain injury.

  • Grace Nolde-Lopez, NP Nurse Practitioner

  • Jeremy Rieks, PA Physician Assistant

Consulting Services

Craig has 41 active primary physician consultants and an additional 175 other physician consultants. These consulting physicians have expertise in SCI and TBI and work with Craig patients as consultants to the attending medical staff.

Referring Physicians

If you are a physician anywhere in the U.S. and you want to refer a new patient to Craig for inpatient rehabilitation or outpatient evaluation, ask your discharge planner or office staff to call our Admissions Department directly (303-789-8344). If you would like to discuss your referral with one of our Craig doctors, we encourage you to call our CNS Medical Group (303-789-8220) and ask for the On-Call Referral physician. One of our doctors will speak with you personally, take the referral information, discuss the patient's condition, and facilitate the referral process with our Admissions Department. We recommend that the referral be called in as soon as possible to expedite admission. If you would like to receive physician reports from Craig during the patient's treatment at Craig, please obtain the necessary authorization from the patient and give your mailing address to the CNS Medical Group or our Admissions Department. Request that your information appear on the patient's Craig "Face Sheet."

If you are a physician treating a former Craig patient

If you are a doctor and you want to discuss your patient with his/her Craig doctor, or you want to refer a former Craig patient for an Interdisciplinary Outpatient Evaluation (IOE) rehabilitative neurosurgical consultation, skin evaluation, etc., please call our CNS Medical Group and ask for the patient's former Craig physician. Your call is not mandatory, but encouraged. For IOE scheduling, former patients have been told to contact our Outpatient Admissions Department directly, but you are encouraged to call as well. Craig offers a 4-5 day comprehensive IOE program for patients with spinal cord injury, and other individually-tailored evaluations or clinic services. If you would like to receive physician reports from Craig during the patient's treatment at Craig, please obtain the necessary authorization from the patient and give your mailing address to the CNS Medical Group or our Admissions Department. Request that your information appear on the patient's Craig "Face Sheet."

If you are a physician needing clinical information about SCI or TBI

If you need any clinical information about SCI or TBI, feel free to call our CNS Medical Group. One of us will take your call, or call you back if we are not immediately available. Depending on the nature of your questions, we may also refer you to others at Craig who have specific expertise: nurses, research professionals, therapists, etc. If you need any brochures or information describing Craig's programs for your office or patients, Provider Relations can help (303-789-8490). We invite you to utilize Craig as a resource for patients with SCI and TBI, regardless of whether we have a patient in common. We cannot diagnose or recommend treatment for patients for whom we haven't seen, but we can offer helpful guidance and direction on clinical issues or concerns.