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Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship

Craig Hospital and the University of Colorado Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation offer a fellowship opportunity in the field of spinal cord injury medicine, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME).

The spinal cord injury fellow will participate in inpatient care, outpatient clinics and research related to spinal cord injuries in a world-renowned environment dedicated to neurorehabilitation.

The majority of the 12-month fellowship experience will be spent at Craig Hospital, a 93-bed center for specialty rehabilitation and research for people with spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury. The fellowship will also include the opportunity to work with acute spinal cord injuries in the ICU of a level 1 trauma center and a variety of outpatient experiences involved in the lifetime care of individuals with spinal cord injuries.

Craig Hospital is designated by the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR) as a Model System Center for spinal cord injury and is home to an active research department currently conducting a wide variety of ongoing studies.

For further information regarding the University of Colorado Graduate Medical Education Program and eligibility requirements:

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SCI MEDICINE FACULTY

All faculty are board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, as well as Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. Dr. Maerz is also board certified in Brain Injury Medicine.

Team Members

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

APPLICATION AND CONTACT INFORMATION

Interested Candidates should email Jeni Exley, Program Coordinator, to obtain an application at jexley@craighospital.org or call her for further information at 303-789-8432.

Applications are accepted beginning in March of each year for the following academic year’s fellowship. Applications, along with all requested documents/references, must be in to the program no later than July 31 of each year.

All applicants must be registered with The Match program (National Resident Matching Program) to be considered.

The dates for the 2019 Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowship Match for 2020 appointments are as follows:

  • Match Opens August 14, 2019
  • Ranking Opens September 11, 2019
  • Quota Deadline October 2, 2019
  • Ranking Closes October 16, 2019
  • Match Day October 30, 2019