I treat people not diseases. Everyone has unique perspectives, priorities, strengths and weaknesses that are important to understand in working towards their health goals. Good communication is critical to this relationship, especially my ability to really hear patients and to communicate my thoughts in a way that is understandable. I am open to admitting when I don’t have the answers and enjoy working with a team of other clinicians. As the director of the neuropalliative care program I want to make sure our care is always patient and family-centered, meaning that the patient and family direct our goals and plans of care.
In my spare time I enjoy reading, creative writing, music, lifting weights, meditation and professional wrestling.
Qualifications and experience
- Neurology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Brain and Nervous System, Brain and Nervous System - Parkinson's Disease, Brain and Nervous System - Movement Disorders, Brain and Nervous System - Alzheimer's Disease
- Languages spoken
University of Colorado - Boulder (CO) (1997)
University of Florida (2008)
University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine (2001)
University of Colorado (University Hospital) Program (2002)
University of Colorado (University Hospital) Program (2005)
University of Florida Program (2005)
- Clinical interest for patients
I direct the University of Colorado’s Neurology Supportive and Palliative Care clinics. These team-based clinics are open to any patient or family affected by a neurologic or neurosurgical condition. The goals of this clinic are to improve the quality of life and reduce suffering for patients and families by helping them with difficult to treat medical symptoms (e.g. pain, fatigue), psychiatric symptoms (e.g. depression), psychological issues (e.g. guilt, grief), caregiver support, spiritual wellbeing and planning for the future. My specific clinical interests include movement disorders (e.g. Parkinson's disease, tremor, dystonia, chorea) and disorders of thinking and memory. I also perform botox injections for pain, muscle spasms, dystonia, headaches and other neurologic conditions.
- Research interest for patients
My primary research interest is in applying palliative care approaches to reduce the suffering and improve the lives of patients and families affected by neurologic illnesses. This includes improving our understanding and ability to manage fatigue, problems with thinking and memory, and other difficult symptoms. We are using brain imaging to study these problems and we are trying both medications and non-medical means like acupuncture to treat them.
- Volunteer activities
I volunteer my time working with the American Academy of Neurology, Davis Phinney Foundation, Parkinson's Association of the Rockies and Huntington's Disease Society. I give talks to support groups for Parkinson’s disease and other patient populations.