Lutheran Spine Center at Denver West

It’s important to seek help when you have neck or spine pain.

Our Team

A Higher Level of Coordinated Care

Our philosophy of care is based on the strong belief and commitment that we are here to provide care FOR YOU and WITH YOU, because this is ABOUT YOU. We are all passionate about spine care and every member of your care team is dedicated to designing the care plan that’s right for you. All members of your treatment team meet regularly regarding your care, which we recognize as an extremely valuable process in reaching the best outcome.

Ensuring you are informed and involved every step of the way is essential to your care and healing. We pride ourselves on listening to YOU.


Susan Hillary Nack, DO
Medical Director, Physiatrist

Board Certified Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

After graduating from Boulder High in Colorado, Dr. Nack attended the University of Arizona where she double majored in Chemistry and Physiology. She completed a research internship at Steadman Hawkins in Vail, Colorado and went on to receive a Masters Degree in Biomedical Sciences. She earned her Doctoral Degree in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern College in Ft Lauderdale, FL.

Dr. Nack completed a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC)/Northwestern University - which has been the number one rated Rehabilitation Hospital in the world for the past 26 years. Dr. Nack then accepted an attending physician position at RIC where she subsequently became an Assistant Professor. Dr. Nack gained experience in several areas of rehabilitation medicine including: pain management, spine care, musculoskeletal injuries, and neuro-rehabilitation.

“Being a doctor of Osteopathic Medicine I believe in treating the whole person with a focus on prevention by gaining a deeper understanding of your lifestyle and environment, rather than just treating your symptoms.“

Having loved growing up in Colorado, she and her husband wanted to move back here to raise their three young boys in the great Colorado outdoors.

145x200BrianAltmanLMCSpineBrian Altman, MD

Board-Certified Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Altman earned his medical degree from Sackler School of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel and completed a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. His fellowship in Spine and Sports Medicine was completed at Spine West in Boulder, CO where he gained expertise in neuromusculoskeletal medicine and ultrasonography for both musculoskeletal diagnostic evaluations and therapeutic injections. In addition, Dr. Altman is both personally and professionally passionate about nutrition, medicine and fitness.

145x200KarenKsaizekLMCSpineKaren Ksiazek, MD

Board Certified Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 

Board Certified Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physiatrist, Dr. Ksiazek, has served as the Clinical Assistant Professor of Physiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and worked as a clinical physiatrist and medical director at several medical campuses and in private practice.

Trained in physiatry, Dr. Ksiazek has a background in mechanical engineering. As such, she has an interest in the role connective tissue injury plays in the functional mechanical linkage and its dysfunction, such as back and neck pain. Trained in the use of lifestyle alteration and medical acupuncture, as well as, other office-based modalities, Dr. Ksiazek takes a functional restorative approach to managing musculoskeletal dysfunction.

Dr. Ksiazek strongly believes in partnering with her patients for the best results, because when patients are involved and prepared to assist, outcomes are optimized.

145x200MelodyFerrisLMCSpineMelody Noe, PA
Physician Assistant

As a Physician Assistant, Melody has specialized in Spine Care, Neurosurgery, and Pain Management. She enjoys the challenge of putting the clinical puzzle pieces together, identifying the primary pain source, and then developing a multi-disciplinary patient care plan that focuses on improving function and quality of life.

Melody’s greatest satisfaction comes from partnering with patients in this process, and watching them become empowered as they are able to enhance their lives.

145x200StrzelinskiMMelissa Strezelinski, PT, PhD
Lead Physical Therapist

Melissa Strzelinski, PT, PhD brings over 11 years of clinical experience in orthopedics, sports and dance medicine to the Lutheran Spine Center. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in Journalism and dance, she returned for her Master’s of Physical Therapy degree. Melissa served as a staff physical therapist to the Joffrey Ballet, Joffrey Academy of Dance, and River North Dance Chicago prior to moving to Vail, Colorado in 2014. During her years at Howard Head Sports Medicine she had the opportunity to work alongside world renowned surgeons at the Steadman Clinic. Her interest in continuing her professional education took her down the path of attaining a PhD in Orthopedic and Sports Medicine from Rocky Mountain University in Provo, Utah. Her doctoral research evaluated the influence of hip pain on muscle performance in dancers. She has presented her research nationally and internationally through the American Physical Therapy Association, the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science and the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Melissa instructed first year graduate students in Carroll University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program in her role as Clinical Assistant Professor during the 2018-19 academic year, but couldn’t stay away from the bluebird skies of Colorado. The mountains called her back, and she took on her current role at the Lutheran Spine Center. Melissa serves as a peer-reviewer for the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, Medical Problems of Performing Artists and as a part-time staff physical therapist to the Colorado Ballet. Outside of her professional life, Melissa enjoys cooking, traveling, yoga, and maintaining an active lifestyle -  hiking, skiing, snow shoeing, paddle boarding, and exploring all Colorado has to offer.

145X200 DHubbardDeb Hubbard, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

Originally from Connecticut, Deb graduated from Ithaca College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy.  Upon graduation, she moved to Denver and has worked in many settings including Acute Care, Neuro Rehabilitation, Sports Medicine, and Occupational Medicine and most recently at the Spine Center.  Continuing her passion for learning, Deb earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine in 2010 and her certification in Trigger point Dry Needling.   She has a strong interest in Spinal and Orthopedic Manual therapy, in conjunction with Therapeutic exercise and Functional training.

Her philosophy in treatment is to use evidenced based medicine to improve patient’s quality of life, maintain their physical function and to help people achieve their goals.  She is excited to become proficient in the use of the Multi-Cervical unit, a new piece of equipment to this clinic, which will help with testing and strengthening clients with whiplash and neck pain. 

When not working, you may find Deb bicycling in the foothills to prepare for the MS 150 benefit ride or in the winter, skiing the Bumps at Mary Jane.  She also enjoys reading a good book and curling up with her black lab, Tucker.

145x200SaraLandgravesPTDPTSara Landgrave, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist

Sara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in kinesiology in 2007 from Regis University. In 2011, she earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Regis University’s Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions in Denver. Since graduating, Sara has worked primarily in an orthopedic outpatient setting treating all types of musculoskeletal injuries in adults.

Sara continues to have a love of learning. She has taken multiple continuing education classes with a focus on manual techniques and is certified in dry needling. Her goal with physical therapy treatment is to provide quality personalized care with a hands on approach in order to get patients back to enjoying what they like to do.

Growing up, Sara moved every four or five years before landing in Colorado in 2003. She has since planted roots and enjoys taking advantage of Colorado's outdoor activities, the ever growing food scene in Denver, and spending time with her husband and their two English bulldogs.

Jessica Lane 200x140Jessica Lane, PT
Physical Therapist

Jessica graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2010. She earned a Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Mayo School of Health Sciences in 2015. Since graduating, she has worked in outpatient orthopedics, working with a wide variety of individuals with conditions ranging from work comp injuries, post op recovery, and chronic back pain. Her treatment approach utilizes evidence-based practices which include manual therapy, functional dry needling and exercise to provide the best possible outcomes for her patients. 

Jessica obtained a certification in Lymphedema in 2016  followed by a certification in Functional Dry Needling in 2019. She has a strong interest in manual therapy and plans to pursue a manual therapy certification over the next couple of years. 

In her free time, Jessica enjoys photography, training for half and full marathons and spending time with her family and golden retriever, Mollie.



Matt Pokorny, DPT
Physical Therapist

Matt Pokorny has over 20 years of experience in the field of orthopedics, sports medicine, and spine care.  He began his training as a kinesiology and athletic training major at Penn State University and went on to pursue his Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.  The majority of Matt's career has focused on outpatient manual physical therapy.  He has spent several years treating patients in both private and hospital-based outpatient clinics where he had the opportunity to work closely with doctors, chiropractors, professional athletes, and people from all walks of life.  Over the years, Matt sharpened his skills in manual therapy, sport-specific rehab, orthopaedic care, and individualizing home programs to meet the special needs of each client.  

One of Matt’s jobs included working in a medically-based chiropractic office where he gained a wealth of experience specializing in the treatment of the spine.  Life has drawn him back to that skill set and he is excited to be on the team at Lutheran Spine Center.  Matt enjoys the collaborative approach, working closely with the doctors, psychotherapists, and other PTs to help patients reach their highest potential in work, daily activities, sports, and recreation.   
Matt is a Certified Athletic Trainer and has been board certified in orthopedics since 2006 by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists.  He is certified in Functional Dry Needling, is a Certified Ergonomics Assessment Specialist, and is trained in the Graston Technique.  His areas of interest include manual therapy, spine care, and post-operative rehabilitation of the shoulder, hip and knee.

145x200PaulBaileyPaul Bailey
Physical Therapist

After graduating from D'Evelyn High School in Colorado, Paul attended Regis University where he majored in Neuroscience with a minor in Exercise Science in 2013. He completed his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Regis in 2017

He went on to gain experience in outpatient physical therapy and gained experience treating a multitude of orthopedic conditions which were managed conservatively as well as post operatively. He has specific experience in post op rehab for the lumbar and cervical spine. His treatment approach utilizes evidence-based practices which include manual therapy, functional dry needling and exercise in order to create a therapeutic alliance and enable patients to be their best selves. He obtained his Orthopedic Clinical Specialist designation in 2020 in order to continue to pursue excellence in Orthopedic Physical Therapy Paul has a strong interest in manual therapy and plans on continuing to pursue manual therapy certifications, further dry needling certifications, as well as he hopes to train in golf swing analysis in order to help fellow golfers manage their pain!

When Paul isn't working, you can find him golfing, playing tennis, climbing, and being with his wife and 2 children.

145x200JenniferLustigLMCSpineJennifer Lustig, PTA
Physical Therapy Assistant

Jennifer is a Colorado native.  She graduated with her B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado in 1997. She went onto get her Physical Therapist Assistant degree from Arapahoe Community College graduating in 2001. She is trained in Pilates Rehab and is also a Certified Lymphedema Therapist. She enjoys treating all orthopedic diagnoses, as well as, Lymphedema. 

Jennifer strongly believes in patient education.  The better informed her patients are to be able to care for themselves, the less living they miss out on.  Educating them on preventative and post care is also important.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, their two daughters and their Golden Doodle, Peyton.  As a family, they enjoy hiking, skiing, and traveling.

Kidder_EElizabeth Kidder
Exercise Physiologist

She is a Colorado native with a love for outdoor recreation. In her spare time, Elizabeth can be found on mountain bike adventures, paddle boarding in mountain lakes or on the ski slope.Elizabeth studied Exercise Physiology at Metropolitan State Collage of Denver and has clinical experience in outpatient orthopedic rehabilitation with specialty certifications in Pilates, Yoga, SilverSneakers and corrective exercise programming. She continues to expand her knowledge with course work in functional training and rehab exercise. Elizabeth uses her background in nutrition as a complement to here exercise based foundation.

145x200AmyMilkavichLMCSpineAmy Milkavich, Psy. D.
Licensed Psychologist
ASCH Certified in Clinical Hypnosis

Dr. Amy Milkavich is a licensed psychologist who specializes in treating adults coping with pain. She has worked in a variety of settings with individuals struggling with the many challenges that come with changes in physical abilities. Dr. Milkavich particularly enjoys helping her clients to reconnect with their pre-injury lives and resume the happiest and most fulfilling lives possible. She uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and other evidence-based treatments, and believes strongly that we each have the ability to bring about the positive changes that we seek in life. Dr. Milkavich incorporates medical hypnosis into psychotherapy, and finds it a particularly powerful tool as an adjunctive treatment strategy for pain.

She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, and is an officer and founding member of the Colorado Society of Clinical Hypnosis. Dr. Milkavich is also trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I). She enjoys using CBT-I with patients and watching as both their sleep and quality of life improve. Dr. Milkavich earned her PsyD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado in 2009, and her MA in Clinical Psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 2004. She is a native Texan, but since moving to Colorado in 2005 has loved spending time in the mountains with her family, particularly on skis.

Ahlers_E005Elizabeth Ahlers, Psy. D.
Licensed Psychologist

Elizabeth Ahlers is a licensed psychologist who treats adults with chronic health concerns, and specializes in the treatment of adults coping with pain.  She has workedin a variety of healthcare settings assisting individuals with health conditions in living a healthy and more meaningful life. 

She focuses on helping individuals reconnect with their values and passions in order to create a more fulfilling and meaningful life.  She uses Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence-based treatments.  Together she works with individuals to rediscover meaning and purpose in their lives.

Dawn Powell-LondonoDawn Powell-Londono, L.Ac

Dawn is nationally certified in acupuncture, Chinese herbology and is a registered acupuncturist in the state of Colorado. Dawn has worked for SCL Health Lutheran since 2006. Dawn is experienced in treating acute and chronic pain, sports injuries, headaches, women's issues (including fertility, PCOS, hormonal issues, hot flashes, night sweats, menopause, and menstrual problems), stress and overall wellness. Dawn also works with neurological conditions which can respond well to acupuncture. These conditions include dizziness, vertigo, movement disorders and pain syndromes involving the nerves. She is certified in oncology acupuncture through the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and has a true passion for helping patients through the oncology journey.

Dawn enjoys time with her husband and dog, mountain biking and kiteboarding.

Aileen Sanders, MHA, MBA
Operations Manager

Aileen has over 20 years of experience in health administration and health management. Originally from New York, she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and has master’s degrees in Health Administration and Business from the University of Pittsburgh. She moved to Colorado in 2007 from Pittsburgh, PA and has worked at a number of prominent health care facilities in various leadership roles since then. She excels most in the areas of management, finance and clinical operations. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, running, reading, sewing and spending time with her husband and two daughters. In her current role, she manages and coordinates the day-to-day operations of the center and works closely with the physicians and staff to continue to develop the Spine Center program.

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