SPECIALIZED CARE WITH A PERSONAL TOUCH

As the regional authority in surgical and conservative care, the Spine Center in Glenwood Springs is a comprehensive provider of spine care with the most advanced technologies available. Our philosophy is that surgery should always be the last resort as a treatment option, but if non-surgical treatments are not successful, we can work with the patient to determine the appropriate surgical options and discuss them with our patients before undergoing surgery. We take pride in being available for our patients when they need us most, with same-day appointments for most spine care needs and providers who are always on-call and available in emergency situations.

Our Providers


Wade Ceola, MD, FACS, FAANSWade Ceola, The Spine Center

Dr. Wade Ceola is board-certified in Neurological Surgery. He trained at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and practiced for 14 years in Springfield, Missouri at the Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute (SNSI). During his tenure at SNSI, he was principal investigator in bringing the first cervical artificial disc to FDA approval. Dr. Ceola has also been involved in numerous scientific studies including spinal joint replacement, spinal cord injury, facet replacement, and the MISTI III for minimal access evacuation of intracranial hemorrhage.

Dr. Ceola says, “My personal view for patient care is to treat everyone as though they are family. I treat each patient with respect and dignity. I work with patients to better understand their individual needs to better guide them to the right decision. My goal as a surgeon is to help patients regain their quality of life.”

Michael D. Campian, DOMichael Campian, The Spine Center

Dr. Michael Campian is board-certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Non-Operative Sports Medicine. He specializes in the care of musculoskeletal injuries in the athlete and non-athlete. This includes musculoskeletal ultrasound, electrodiagnostics, and interventional spine. He has a special interest in the care of endurance sports-specific injuries, particularly with runners, climbers, mountaineers and skiers. His conservative approach revolves around using exercise as medicine and avoiding other, more invasive, procedures when possible.

Dr. Campian obtained his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Following medical school he completed a transitional internship at Naval Medical Center San Diego. After internship, he underwent further training in hyperbaric and diving medicine and was an Undersea Medical Officer in the US Navy where he worked for Naval Special Operations/SEALs. He subsequently completed his Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency and Sports Medicine fellowship at the University of Utah. Outside of work, he enjoys ultramarathon running, climbing, alpine skiing and ski mountaineering. He has a daughter with his wife, Andrea, who is a physical therapist.

Stanley Gertzbein, MD

Dr. Gertzbein is a board-certified, internationally recognized spinal surgeon, with decades of clinical experience and author of research that is still cited as the international medical standard. He has provided leadership in academia as a full professor at Baylor College of Medicine, University of Toronto, and University of Texas in Galveston. Additionally, he has lectured extensively around the country and the world.

Dr. Gertzbein specializes in conservative spine care. For most people, conservative therapy is a preferable alternative to invasive spinal surgery, and Dr. Gertzbein is the only provider in the Colorado mountains who offers this specialty with a surgical background.

Companion to Dr. Gertzbein’s extensive experience and knowledge of spinal care is his orientation for compassionate listening. “I spend a lot of time with my patients, up to an hour. I figure out what’s wrong and give people a sense of what to do to get better,” says Dr. Gertzbein. “I work closely with individuals to determine what treatment I can provide that will be effective. Historically, 90 to 95 percent of patients with sore backs will get better, with a commitment from the patient to follow through with the recommended treatment.”

Ehrich Bean, PA-C

Ehrich Bean is the newest certified physician’s assistant at Valley View’s Spine Center. He brings 23 years of experience to VV with him, 22 of those year in spinal surgery. “I really love being in the operating room,” he says. “Even after decades seeing the same pathologies over and over, it just never gets old. There are always new things to learn and new ways to improve patient outcomes despite the similar conditions you see and treatments you use.”

Even though much of Ehrich’s experience lies in the operating room, he also values his relationships with patients. “There’s two sides to the equation, the clinical and the surgical,” he says. “The clinical side has its own set of rewards. Meeting new people and helping them understand their conditions, getting them to where they want to be, is incredibly satisfying. You get to help improve their quality of life.”

Before joining the VV team, Ehrich worked at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO as well as the Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center in Golden. He is originally from Longmont, and served as a student athletic trainer during his time at the University of Colorado. “My desire to take care of patients developed very early in my sports medicine days, and just progressed from there,” he says with a laugh.

Ehrich is a born-again drummer, having started playing at age 11. “I played all the way through high school and into my 20s, in garage bands and such,” he says. “Then I got away from it for a while. I picked it up again in my 40s to jam with friends and remembered how much I love it. It’s the best outlet I’ve found.”

Ehrich also enjoys the outdoors, where he tends to “keep things on the mellow side.” He enjoys skiing, as well as hiking with his wife of 22 years and their dog. Their daughter is currently attending Northwestern University and applying to medical school herself, looking to carry on the family tradition of patient care and medical expertise.

 

Dawn Kopf, MMS, PA-CDawn Kopf, Valley View Hospital

Dawn Kopf – MMS PA-C, is a board-certified physician assistant who cares for patients at Valley View’s Spine Center, working closely with neurosurgeon Dr. Wade Ceola in the operating room and the clinic. Prior to joining Valley View, she worked in Aspen Valley Hospital’s ER and the Colorado Bariatric Surgery Institute in Denver. Dawn finds her medical calling is in the operating room, and she has been eager to work in that environment once again, assisting with surgeries like posterior lumbar fusion, cervical fusions, and cervical disc replacement.

An Aspen native and a lifelong learner, Dawn’s career as a certified physician assistant is her second one. A series of her own knee surgeries piqued her interest in medicine and led her to pursue a double bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, where she graduated with honors. She then earned her master’s in medical science from Midwestern University.

Immediately after high school, she studied fine arts at the University of North Carolina and danced professionally for several years with both the Berlin State Ballet, and as a founding member of the acclaimed Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. She finds that her intrinsic focus and dedication, both required in the discipline of dance, have naturally transitioned to her medical practice and aptitude for surgery.

“When I worked in the ER, I had the opportunity to get to know Dr. Ceola. I would speak to him for consulting on cases and he was amazingly responsive when I would call,” says Dawn. “When I saw this position open, I applied immediately. Now I’m back in a place where I see patients post-operatively, and to see them afterward knowing I’ve made a real difference in their life is gratifying.”

Dawn not only loves her work, but the Valley View organization itself. “Everyone is so friendly, and the campus is so beautiful.”

When she isn’t in the clinic or operating room, she may be hiking with her partner Jonathan and her dog Duke. The couple also love cycling and long road bike rides on the trails and passes in the Colorado mountains.

Lara Kroepsch – PA

Lara Kroepsch is a physician’s assistant in Valley View’s Spine Center. She joined the VV family in 2021, having worked most recently as a pediatric orthopedic surgical assistant in Seattle Children’s Hospital. She also spent a three-year stint at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine, where she worked treating injuries for athletes of all ages.

Lara graduated from Yale’s School of Medicine in 2011, after spending the first decade of the 2000s racing for the USA National Cycling Team, as well as working as a mentor, coach, and trainer in her sport. “I love being a PA, love the variety in my daily work, helping people, the constant learning,” she says. “But I’m an athlete down to my core, and as such, I love to help people heal and recover so they can get back to doing the things they love to do.”

“Being a parent also promotes a deeper understanding of patient care,” she continues. “I feel like I have a deeper understanding of the care and comfort that a child needs during illness or injury. My goal is to always extend this support and empathy to my patients and their families.”

Lara and her husband are both Colorado natives, and are thrilled to be back. “We spent six years in Seattle, but the mountains called us home,” she says. “We’re just so glad to be back among our families and friends again.” They currently live in the Roaring Fork Valley with their two young children.

“I guess it’s a bit stereotypical, but I love everything the Valley provides. I look forward to exploring it further, and maybe even discovering some new hobbies in this amazing place!”


Valley View Hospital | 1830 Blake Avenue | Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 | Fax: 970.384.8120 | 970.384.8060