University of Colorado Hospital has one of the most respected rehabilitation therapy programs in the Rocky Mountain region.
Our specialists are personable and supportive, and they know the best, proven therapies to help you reach your highest capabilities.
Kelly Albers, PT, OCS, COMT, ATC
Kelly attended Iowa State University for her undergraduate degree in physical education with an option in athletic training. She graduated from Northwestern University with her physical therapy degree in 1990. She has been a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedics since 2003.
She is certified in manual therapy for the spine and extremities through the International Academy of Orthopedic Medicine-US. She is a certified pilates mat instructor. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family and participating in outdoor activities.
Karen Backstrom, PT, MS, DPT, OCS
Karen has been a physical therapist for over 30 years. Since graduating from University of Colorado’s school of Physical Therapy, she worked overseas in Thailand with the Peace Corps and returned to get a Master’s degree in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. She became a board certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist in 1994, and earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Regis University in 2009.
Her career includes 20 years on the physical therapy faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Colorado. Karen enjoys the balance of patient treatment, education, and program development that her current position as Rehabilitation Educator provides. Outside of the clinic, Karen can be found outside in the Fraser Valley with her family or listening to live music.
Karen is a published researcher in the realm of physical therapy and her articles are listed below.
Peer Reviewed Publications
Backstrom KM, Whitman J, Flynn T. Lumbar spinal stenosis-diagnosis and management of the aging spine. Manual Therapy. 2011; 16(4):308-317.
Schenkman M, Jordan S, Akuthota V, Cleary C, Hearty T, Kohrt W, Roman M, Backstrom KM Functional movement training for recurrent low back pain: Lessons from a randomized controlled trail. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2009;1;137-146.
Backstrom KM. Mobilization with movement as an adjunction intervention in a case of complicated deQuervain’s tenosynovitis: a case report. J Orthop Phys Ther. 32(3);2002:86-97.
Backstrom KM, Moore A. Plantar fasciitis. Physical Therapy Case Reports. 2000; Vol 3(4):154-160.
Karen Bourg, OTR, CHT
Karen is a graduate of Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1990. For the next five years, she specialized in the treatment of spinal cord injury, driving rehabilitation, and low vision adaptation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She moved to Denver in 1995 and began her work at University of Colorado Hospital preparing for her Certification in Hand Therapy (CHT). Karen sat for examination and fulfilled certification for her CHT in November, 1997.
She has 15 years' experience here at UCH as an Occupational Therapy Specialist in Hand Therapy/ upper extremity disorders and works closely with our Hand Surgery Clinic physicians to provide a team approach to hand rehabilitation. She has additional experience treating peripheral nerve injury, burns and upper extremity amputation/prosthetic training. When not at work, she enjoys Colorado – hiking, snowshoeing, doing jigsaw puzzles and spending time with her family and her energetic new black Labrador pup.
Amy Callan, OTR, DOT
Amy graduated from Saint Francis University of Loretto, PA in 2004 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Amy worked for Pennsylvania Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia in both hospital and inpatient rehabilitation settings. At Thomas Jefferson, Amy worked with an interdisciplinary team to operationalize a multi-site pilot study regarding exercise and the geriatric heart failure population.
In 2010, Amy completed her Doctorate of Occupational Therapy at Temple University. Amy has worked with a variety of client populations and currently specializes in treating neurological populations. Amy enjoys being outside jogging, hiking, and enjoying the Colorado landscape.
Catherine Cleary, PT
Catherine has been a full-time physical therapist for 21 years. She graduated from University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program in 1991, and has worked in outpatient orthopedics since then, with the last 14 years at University of Colorado Hospital. Catherine enjoys treating the whole person, especially spine disorders and shoulder dysfunctions.
Catherine is a certified APTA Advanced Credentialed Clinical Instructor and currently enrolled in the transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Regis University in Denver, she will complete her studies in December 2013. When not working or studying, Catherine enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and climbing an occasional 14’er.
Mark Derreverre, CHT, OTR
Mark Derrevere received his Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida International University in 1991. He has spent his career treating upper extremity and hand injuries. Mark received his certification as a Certified Hand Therapist in January 1997, and has completed follow-up recertification twice, most recently in November 2011.
Mark has worked in inpatient, outpatient, and work-related injury environments. He is trained in the treatment of traumatic hand injuries, upper extremity burns, and cumulative trauma injuries. Mark enjoys hiking, abstract photography, furniture design, and spending time with his teenage daughter and rambunctious 1-1/2 year old samoyed.
Tara Haas, MSOTR, CHT
Tara is a graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, where she completed her Bachelor’s in Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2000 and her Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2002. In 2006, Tara completed the Evelyn J. Mackin Hand Therapy Fellowship at the Philadelphia Hand Center, and passed her Certified Hand Therapist exam in November 2008.
She has 4 years of experience as the lead OT on the UCH Burn ICU (from 2002-2006), and continues to specialize in treating this population. As well as treating burns and other upper extremity injuries and disorders, Tara also serves as the Supervisor for the Outpatient OT Department at UCH. Tara loves to be outside skiing, hiking, jogging, and spending time with her husband (who is in medical school here at CU!), daughter, and golden retriever.
Real Testimonial From Tara’s Clients: “I owe Tara a great deal for her commitment to my successful recovery. She exemplifies the unique skills that make her patients believe and achieve. Always positive, creative in her approach, and shows the numbers to demonstrate to her patients their hard work paying off. Outstanding UCH representative.” - Donald Keller
Rich Heim, MSPT
Rich graduated from the University Of Colorado Physical Therapy School in 2004, and also holds a bachelor of arts degrees from CU Boulder. He enjoys treating all types of orthopedic disorders across the lifespan. Rich instructs hospital staff in transfer training and ergonomics to decrease the likelihood of injury at work. Outside of work, Rich likes to be active with his wife and kids, bike, and play tennis.
Christine Kittles, MSPT
Christine was born in Panama City, Panama and grew up in East Troy, Wisconsin. She has lived in Colorado for 10 years. She received her Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in 2001 in Kinesiology and Spanish. Christine then continued her education, graduating in 2004 from University of Colorado with her Master’s in Physical Therapy.
Christine holds a unique certification in Pilates from Polestar Pilates which she received in 2007. She enjoys treating spine, general orthopedic disorders, sports-related injuries and women's health. Running, hiking, and pilates are some things Christine enjoys to stay active. She also loves to travel and spend time with close friends, family and most importantly her husband, children and dogs.
Geoff Klein, DPT, PT, OCS
Geoff grew up in Wisconsin and spent most of his professional career in Chicago and Madison before moving to Denver in 2008.
Geoff graduated from the physical therapy school at Northwestern University in 1997. He completed an orthopedic residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison and became board-certified in orthopedics in 2006. He graduated from Regis University's transitional doctorate program in 2010. Geoff's background is primarily orthopedics, with particular interests in manual therapy and treatment of temporomandibular disorders.
Testimonial from Geoff’s client: "Geoffrey Klein goes above and beyond 'normal care and treatment' for his patients! Thank you Geoffrey Klein for outstanding treatment, care, and results!" - Roger Weber
Julie Kelley, PT, DPT
Julie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in recreational therapy from Eastern Kentucky University. She moved to Colorado in 2009 after receiving her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Kentucky.
All of Julie’s experience as a physical therapist has been at University of Colorado Hospital. Her clinical interests include orthopedics, spine, sports related injuries/prevention, and women’s health. Manual therapy is a focus of her practice, and she believes that a unique blend of hands-on treatment in coordination with an individualized exercise program best serves our patients. She likes to spend her free time outside hiking, running, biking, skiing or watching Kentucky basketball.
Guy Lev, PT, DPT, COMT
Guy was born in Israel, lived in Canada, and for the better part of his life, lived near Boston where he received his Bachelors degree from the University of Massachusetts in Political Science and Economics. Guy moved to Vail, Colorado in 1998 to teach adaptive skiing and snowboarding. He returned to academia in 2003 and earned his doctorate in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2006.
Since then Guy has practiced in the field of sports medicine in the Vail valley, at a public rehabilitation hospital in Oakland, California, and for 6 months, setting up a pediatric rehabilitation program in Kampala, Uganda. He is a Maitland-trained certified orthopedic manual therapist whose interests include international health and rehabilitation following amputation. Guy is also certified in intramuscular manual therapy, also known as trigger point dry needling.
Guy is the supervisor of UCH’s physical therapy department at the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion. He continues to harvest as much powder as he can in the winter, and enjoy all that the mountains have to offer in the summers.
A testimonial from one of Guy’s clients: "Excellent service and treatment! Mr. Lev is a very dedicated professional member of the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Team!" - Roger Weber
Jason Minahan, MSPT
Jason earned his Bachelor’s degree in Physiology from the University of Wyoming in 2003 and his Master’s in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado in 2005.
Jason has experience treating patients with spinal dysfunction, sports related injuries and post surgical conditions. He creates custom engineered orthotics (shoe inserts) to treat a multitude of foot and posture disorders.
Renee Peter, DPT, ATC
Renee graduated from Fort Lewis College with a degree in Exercise Science and served as a Certified Athletic Trainer at Grandview High School for 3 years prior to attending PT school. Renee earned her doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado in 2010.
She enjoys treating patients with various musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions. In the past year, she participated in seating and mobility courses as well as vestibular rehabilitation courses to enhance her clinical skills in these areas.
When she’s not in the clinic, Renee loves to hang out with friends and family, go shopping, watch Food Network and sing at her church. If she has a weekend to spare, she’s headed to the mountains to hit the slopes!
Marisa Peyerl, DPT
Marisa grew up in Albuquerque, NM and went to the University of New Mexico for her undergraduate degree in biology. She moved to Boston in 1999 to attend the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, where she earned a doctorate in physical therapy. She moved to Denver in 2004 and worked in a small private practice before coming to University of Colorado Hospital in 2006.
Marisa especially enjoys treating individuals with spine disorders and chronic pain. When she is not in the clinic she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, and playing outside.
Jane Renner, PT, DPT
Jane grew up in Centennial, Colorado. She attended Creighton University in Omaha, NE for her undergraduate studies in Health Sciences and continued her education at Creighton, earning her doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2008.
Jane has been working with outpatient neurological and orthopedic clients at the Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion since 2008. She is particularly passionate about helping neurological and burn patients meet their goals. Jane enjoys the outdoors, hiking and biking, and loves to travel.
Ronnie Rodriguez, PTA
Ronnie is a Colorado native. He went to Arapahoe Community College and received his Associates of Arts degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant in 1991. He also attended Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado and received his massage therapy certification in 2000.
Most of his experience is with acute and chronic patients with musculoskeletal conditions. He works with patients in the pool and on land, with mobility, gait training, modalities and soft tissue mobilization. Ronnie also has some experience with high level neurological and geriatric patients and wound care. He enjoys reading, exercise, hiking, camping and spending time with his family.