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.

 


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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
Physiatrist
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. 


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Karen Ksiazek, MD
Physiatrist

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 Ferris, 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.


145x200SusanGatesLMCSpineSusan Gates, PT, MPT
Rehabilitation Manager, Physical Therapist

Susan Gates, PT, MPT graduated from Ohio University with her bachelor’s in Biological Sciences in 1996 and her master’s in physical therapy in 1998. While at OU she ran track and cross country as well as being involved in several service organizations. She has practiced in a variety of treatment settings including outpatient orthopedic, sports medicine, neuro rehabilitation, and vestibular and balance settings. She has attended extensive continuing education training on the treatment of spine, SIJ and hip injuries. In addition she has taught some continuing education courses on the treatment of running injuries.

Susan is originally from Ohio, and has lived and worked as a PT in Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Utah and now Colorado. Her treatment approach includes combining an individualized hands on approach along with therapeutic exercise and extensive education to allow patients to recover and take control of their conditions in order to return to a more active life style.

When not working, Susan and her husband John enjoy doing anything outdoors including running, skiing, hiking, and scuba diving as well as spending time with their animals.


145x200DebHubbardPTDPTDeb 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 Landgraves, 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.


145x200ChuckWarnerLMCSpineChuck Warner, DPT
Physical Therapist

Chuck Warner graduated from Marquette University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and went on to receive his doctorate in physical therapy in 2007. He was a member of a highly successful club volleyball team while attending Marquette University. Chuck returned home to Illinois where he worked for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (now the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) for 11 years in an outpatient clinic treating pediatric orthopedic injuries, geriatric patients, as well as orthopedic and neurologic patients. He participated in continuing education courses focusing on Mechanical Diagnosis and Treatment (MDT) and biopsychosocial pain science. 

Chuck enjoys working with patients and seeing the rapid improvements for those that respond to MDT. He is also passionate about working with patients who have chronic pain conditions and witnessing the breakthroughs those patients make over time, with individualized care and attention.

Chuck and his family moved to Colorado in October 2018. Outside of work, you can find Chuck playing volleyball and spending time with his wife and two daughters. 


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.


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Elizabeth Kidder
Exercise Physiologist

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.

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.


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Amy 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.


145x200CatherineJacksonLMCSpineCatherine Jackson, BS
Operations Manager

Cathie has been a part of SCL Health since 2006 and has worked at three of the SCL Health Denver metro area hospitals. Since 2010, Cathie has utilized her degree in Health Services Management to facilitate change and innovation at Bridges Health and Wellness at Lutheran Medical Center. She excels at planning, program development and building relationships to promote health and wellness to associates, patients and the community. 

Joining the Lutheran Spine Center in 2018, Cathie coordinates the day to day operations of the clinic. Working closely with the physicians and staff to continue to develop the Spine Center program, she has stepped into this role with a deep knowledge of the SCL Health system and the unique needs of our patients. 

Cathie is a founding member of the Destination Wellness team, championing the associate wellness, appreciation and recognition work at LMC. She is currently pursuing a MBAHM at WGU. 

 

 

 

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