ACUTE Eating Disorder Specialists

ACUTE’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Philip S. Mehler, has dedicated his career to the research and care of patients suffering from severe eating disorders. As one of the only internal medicine doctors with a Certified Eating Disorder Specialist certification, he has set the bar for the program’s high quality care.

The most respected treatment facilities in the country entrust us with their patients, knowing we are the only program that can successfully treat these severely compromised patients and return them with the physical and mental strength necessary to continue recovering. At ACUTE, our eating disorder specialists are highly trained and fully committed to working with patients suffering from the most severe eating disorders. We are passionate about what we do, and it shows.

Meet the ACUTE Team

ACUTE Leadership Team

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Board-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
Founder and Executive Medical Director, ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders 
Glassman Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado 
Certified Eating Disorder Specialist

 

Mehler Philip SDr. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 30 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine. He was Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for 10 years until he was promoted to its Medical Director, a position he held until his retirement in 2014. He is also the Glassman Professor of Medicine at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine, and has conducted research into the optimal medical treatment of the most severe cases of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia. He founded ACUTE at Denver Health, the country’s center of excellence for those with the most extreme forms of Anorexia Nervosa, and continues to serve as its Executive Medical Director.

 

Dr. Mehler has authored 425 scientific publications, including 3 textbooks, Medical Complications of Eating Disorders, published by Johns Hopkins University Press and is now in its third edition.  His newest book was just released in November 2017. Dr. Mehler was the recipient of the Academy of Eating Disorders 2012 Outstanding Clinician Award, has been recognized among the “Best Doctors in America” for the past 22 years in a row, and was voted the “Top Internal Medicine physician in Denver” multiple times by 5280 Magazine.

 

Dr. Mehler is a member and fellow of the Eating Disorders Research Society and the Academy of Eating Disorders, as well as a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Eating Disorders. He has lectured extensively on a national and international level as the leading medical expert on the topic of the medical complications of eating disorders. 


Margherita Mascolo, MD
Board-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
Medical Director, ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders
Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado

Margherita Mascolo MD ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersDr. Mascolo is the Medical Director at the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health, where she has been a member of the ACUTE team since its beginning in 2008. She has trained under Dr. Philip S. Mehler to become one of the country's leading experts in the medical care of patients with severe eating disorders.  She initially served on ACUTE as a Lead physician, subsequently moved up to the role of Associate Medical Director and was promoted to Medical Director following a national search. 

Dr. Mascolo completed her undergraduate work at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas and earned her medical degree at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver and has been on the Denver Health Staff since 2008.

Dr. Margherita Mascolo is board certified in Internal Medicine and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado. She is actively involved in resident teaching and research in the medical complications of malnutrition.  Dr. Mascolo has published multiple peer reviewed articles on the medical complications of eating disorders, travels nationally and internationally to speak on these complications, and has earned her Certified Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS) certification.

  

ACUTE Internal Medicine Physicians

Carrie Brown, MD

ACUTE Carrie Brown MD635774200948320000Board-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
ACUTE Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado

Dr. Brown completed her undergraduate work at University of Portland and earned her medical degree from the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Brown completed her residency here at the University of Colorado. Dr. Brown is board certified in Internal Medicine and works as a hospitalist at Denver Health.


Anne Drabkin, MD

Board-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
ACUTE Attending Physician

Anne Drabkin Schade MD ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersDr. Drabkin is a hospitalist in the Department of Internal Medicine at Denver Health and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She has a special clinical interest in women’s health, endocrinology and pain management. She completed her undergraduate training at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon and earned her medical degree at Christian-Albrechts-Universitaet in Germany. She completed her internal medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina and is board certified. Dr. Drabkin is a Denver native and became interested in a career in medicine through her first experience at Denver Health (then Denver General) as a high school student during a career development rotation.


Elissa Rosen, MD

Elissa Rosen MD ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersBoard-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
ACUTE Attending Physician
Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Colorado

Dr. Rosen completed her undergraduate work at Wake Forest University and earned her medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency here at the University of Colorado. Dr. Rosen is board certified in Internal Medicine and is a hospitalist at Denver Health.


Katherine Sachs, MD

Katherine Sachs MD ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersBoard-Certified Internal Medicine Specialist
ACUTE Attending Physician

Dr. Sachs completed her undergraduate studies at Brown University, and earned her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She completed her residency here at the University of Colorado. Dr. Sachs is board certified in Internal Medicine and works as a hospitalist at Denver Health.

ACUTE Registered Dietitians

Our registered dietitians (RD) work with each ACUTE patient on a daily basis to develop an individualized menu plan. All meals are eaten privately, under the support and supervision of an ACUTE team member.

Meghan Foley, Lead Registered Dietitian
Registered Dietitian

Meghan Foley RD ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersMeghan completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from The Pennsylvania State University. She completed her dietetic internship with the Virginia/Maryland WIC program.

Meghan has clinical experience that includes severe eating disorders, nutrition support and diabetes. She also has experience in outpatient nutrition counseling for pediatrics.

 

Shelby Victory, RD
Registered Dietitian

Shelby Victory, RDShelby completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Central Michigan University. Shelby also completed her Dietetic Internship through Central Michigan University. Shelby specializes in the nutritional rehabilitation of patients with severe eating disorders as well as diabetes and nutrition support.

 

Carrie Schimmelpfennig, MS, RD
Master of Science (MS) Degree in Nutrition Science & Registered Dietitian

Carrie completed both her undergraduate degree in Biology and Masters of Nutrition Science from Indiana University. Carrie also completed her Dietetic Internship at Penrose-St. Francis Health Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Carrie specializes in nutritional rehabilitation of patients with severe eating disorders and nutrition support. Most recently Carrie decided to expand her career by supporting the nutrition needs of patients on the general medicine floors of Denver Health.

ACUTE Clinical Social Workers

Jacqueline Voigt, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker

Jacqueline Voigt LCSW ACUTE Center for Eating DisordersJacqueline Voigt completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Buffalo in New York State. She has been here in Denver, CO since 2008 and has grown to learn much of the community of Denver and the supports and resources surrounding Denver Health. Jacqueline has worked in a multitude of social work settings and has a genuine interest in building healthy and positive relationships with those she works with. She works closely with the ACUTE patients to listen and acknowledge wishes of the patient and motivations that will assist in attaining goals for recovery. Jacqueline is responsible for assistance in seeing a smooth coordination of care from ACUTE to after treatment and is a support to the individual and family while here on ACUTE.

Sara Nieder, LCSW
Clinical Social Worker

Nieder Sara LSara Nieder is a Colorado native who completed her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Denver on 2004. She has had the pleasure of working at ACUTE since 2015. She has a passion for social work and prior to working at ACUTE, has covered a wide range of services at Denver Health Medical Center including general medicine, psychiatry and outpatient services. Sara is dedicated to helping patients create and discover an individualized plan of care that will best serve them. Additionally, she provides support to patients and their families to make their experience as smooth and comfortable as possible. When not at work, Sara enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.


Jacqueline Grant, Lead LCSW

Jacqueline Grant is the Lead LCSW for the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders, where she has worked since 2013. Jacqueline completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Buffalo in New York State in 2008 and moved to Denver shortly thereafter. Jacqueline has worked in a multitude of social work settings and has a heart for social work. Providing advocacy, resources and support to our patients and their families is of extreme importance to Jacqueline. She works closely with the ACUTE patients to listen and acknowledge wishes of the patient and motivations that will assist in attaining goals toward recovery. Jacqueline oversees coordination plans for patients here on the unit & works to assist in outreach and partnership with programs throughout the country to grow the opportunity for recovery in the patients served on ACUTE.


Tammie Williams, LCSW

Tammie completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Nebraska, and quickly moved to Colorado! She has specialized in working with adolescents and their families for several years, and is excited to expand that expertise to include patients with eating disorders. Tammie recently transferred to the ACUTE unit from the Adolescent Unit at Denver Health Medical Center where she has worked for the past 8 years. Tammie has a passion for working within a multidisciplinary team, in order to ensure that her Patients receive the best care possible. She looks forward to supporting patients and their families during their hospitalization, and ensuring that they have a very smooth transition to their next level of care.

ACUTE Nursing & Ancillary Staff

The ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders has a specialized staff of experienced and compassionate nurses with more than 65 years combined nursing experience. The nursing staff works closely with each patient to provide a coordinated, comfortable and productive stay.

ACUTE's ancillary staff is comprised of Physical and Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, and Certified Nurse's Assistants who work with patients to provide a safe experience while on ACUTE while also ensuring that patients are physically prepared for ongoing treatment after ACUTE.

Anne M. Karna BSN, RN-BC
Nurse Manager

Anne M. Karna BSN, RN-BC is the inpatient nurse manager for ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health Medical Center. Anne has been with Denver Health Medical Center for 8 years but brings 10 years of nursing experience to ACUTE.  Anne is a Colorado Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse with extensive experience in Adult and Adolescent psychiatry. She has taught nursing students and registered nurses the field of psychiatric nursing and believes that education is the key to excellent patient care.

 

Brad Tepper, RN, BSN, BSc, Bed
Associate Nurse Manager

Brad completed his undergraduate work in Biology and Education at the University of British Columbia.  He received his Bachelor in nursing at Metro State University of Denver.  Brad is currently working on his MBA in Healthcare management at Western Governors’ University.


Michelle Laging, PT, DPT
Lead Physical Therapist

Originally from Indiana, Michelle obtained a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree at Ball State University.  She moved to Denver in 1997 and worked as a landscape architect for several years.  Her love of health and fitness lead her into a career of physical therapy and she achieved her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 2008.  She has enjoyed working at Denver Health ever since graduation.  Patients on the ACUTE service have largely been a mainstay on her caseload and she has had the opportunity to define the scope of physical therapy in severely malnourished individuals on the ACUTE unit.  Outside of work, Michelle enjoys spending time in the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and 2 small children.   

ACUTE Outreach & Admissions

Rachael Harriman Byrne, BS
ACUTE Administrative Director

Rachael Harriman ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders2Rachael has been with the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders since March 2011. Prior to joining ACUTE, Rachael spent three years gaining valuable experience and knowledge through her work at a residential eating disorder treatment program. She joined the ACUTE team as the Outreach Manager, responsible for program marketing, public relations and professional outreach. She later transitioned into the Program Manager role, where she began managing the marketing, outreach and admissions team, and most recently became ACUTE's Administrative Director overseeing the strategic growth & business development initiatives for ACUTE.

Through her various roles with ACUTE, Rachael has had the opportunity to personally visit treatment centers and private practice clinicians around the country, which has allowed her to educate others about ACUTE and provide the ACUTE team and patients with valuable insight during the treatment and discharge planning process.


Nadine Squirek

Intake Coordinator is one of the first points of contact for patients and their families in the admissions process. Nadine is passionate, kind and thoughtful and helps patients feel assured and supported through one of the most important steps in their recovery.


Sarah Taylor

Intake Coordinator is also part of our intake team, supporting patients and their families throughout in the admissions process. Sarah's warm and friendly nature provides a sense of comfort and reassurance to patients during the admission process. Sarah also serves as an advocate for eating disorder awareness, education and treatment both professionally and in her local community.

Marketing

Teresa Tipton

Regional Marketing Manager - East

Teresa Tipton recently joined the ACUTE team as the Regional Marketing Manager, based in Wilmington, North Carolina and working with providers all along the East coast. Teresa is passionate about being a resource in the community and giving individuals and their loved ones hope that recovery is possible.  

Teresa is a graduate of The University of Akron with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Organizational Communications and works remotely from her home office in the Wilmington, North Carolina. She has more than 19 years of marketing experience with the previous nine working specifically in the field of eating disorders.

She is honored to be a part of a team comprised of the world’s leading experts providing life-saving medical stabilization for patients suffering from severe eating disorders and the resultant medical complications. In her spare time Teresa enjoys spending time with her husband, walks on the beach, yoga and experimenting with new recipes.


Debra Spector
Regional Marketing Manager - Central

Debra Spector recently joined the ACUTE team as the Regional Marketing Manager, based out of Chicago, Illinois and working with providers in the Midwest. Debra believes in the importance of building relationships with providers in order to connect their patients with medically and clinically appropriate eating disorder care. in this role, Debra will serve as a resource for hospitals and treatment centers in her region, and help patients needing medical stabilization, access the expert care available at ACUTE.
Before joining ACUTE, Debra worked in various outreach capacities for both non-profit and for-profit healthcare providers, including the largest Substance Use Disorder treatment system in Illinois, a Chicago area community hospital, and a Chicago-based eating disorder facility. In her free time, Debra enjoys boating and snowmobiling, and keeping her social calendar full with invites to live music events
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Melissa Achurra
Regional Marketing Manager - West

Over the last two and a half years at ACUTE, Melissa has led ACUTE outreach efforts, providing support and education to providers, referring partners and hospitals systems nationwide. As a result of Melissa's extensive network and relationships with providers across the country, she has become a valuable resource for the eating disorder community.

She brings this expertise to her new role focusing on providers, hospitals and treatment programs in states west of Colorado, and looks forward to continuing her career connecting and educating the community. Melissa is based from her home office in Reno, Nevada, and in her free to enjoys exploring different cities and countries with her friends and family.