Trauma Leadership Team

Trauma Surgeons DH Background

Our trauma surgeons are nationally and internationally renowned for both their clinical and research expertise. In 2019 alone, our surgeons gave over 175 presentations and published over 130 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.

To learn more about our orthopedic partners click here, and for a full list of provider bios and details, use our Find a Provider search.  

Our Leadership

Frederic Pieracci

Frederic Pieracci, M.D. FACS
Interim Director of Surgery
Chief of Thoracic Surgery

Fredric Pieracci, MD, MPH, FACS is from Chicago, Illinois. He received both his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and his medical degree from The University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Pieracci completed residencies in both general surgery and general preventive medicine at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City. During this time, he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Columbia University. Additional fellowship training in Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, and Surgical Critical Care was completed at the University of Colorado and Denver Health Medical Center. He is currently the Trauma Medical Director, Medical Director of the Denver Health Surgical Weight Loss Program, and the Medical Director of the Thoracic and Pulmonary Nodule Clinics at Denver Health. He also maintains busy elective and acute care surgery practices. Dr. Pieracci is board certified in general surgery, general preventive medicine, and surgical critical care.

Research interests of Dr. Pieracci include trauma, surgical critical care, and bariatric surgery. Specific areas of current research include surgical stabilization of rib fractures, ventilator-associated pneumonia, and emergency department thoracotomy. Dr. Pieracci is active in many national surgical societies, including the American College of Surgeons, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American College of Chest Physicians, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Surgical Infection Society, Chest Wall Injury Society, and the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Ryan Lawless

Ryan Lawless, M.D. FACS
Trauma Medical Director
Surgical Director of Progressive Care Unit

Dr. Ryan Lawless is the Trauma Medical Director and Surgical Director of the Progressive Care Unit at the Ernest E. Moore Shock Trauma Center at Denver Health. He is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

He completed his General Surgery Residency at Lehigh Valley Health Network, and his Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Lawless holds a number of specialty certifications and is highly involved in advanced training programs as the Course Director for ATLS and ASSET programs, and as a Course Instructor for the Rural Trauma Team Development Course and STOP the Bleed. He is an active participant and member of several committees and national trauma societies, including the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Dr. Lawless is board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

K. Barry Platnick

K. Barry Platnick, M.D. FACS
Associate Trauma Medical Director

Dr. Barry Platnick is the Associate Trauma Medical Director at Denver Health Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. Dr. Platnick is Board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care.

He attended medical school at Oregon Health Sciences University and completed an internship and general surgery residency at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, California. In addition, Dr. Platnick completed a Trauma Surgery fellowship at St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center, as well as a Surgical Critical Care fellowship at the University of Minneapolis. He has been part of the Denver Health Medical Center Trauma and Surgery team since 2006, and is an active participant and member of several committees and national trauma societies, including the Society of Critical Care Medicine, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, American Association of Physician Leaders, and the Colorado State Committee on Trauma. 

Denis Bensard

Denis Bensard, M.D. FACS
Chief of Pediatric Surgery
Pediatric Trauma Medical Director

Dr. Bensard was born and raised in Colorado. He grew up in the Denver area and attended Mullen HS. Subsequently, he attended the University of Colorado and graduated with distinction earning a BA in Biology. In 1986, he graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine with honors. Dr. Bensard completed his residency in General Surgery in 1992. During this time, he performed NIH funded studies in post-traumatic immuno-modulation as a research fellow in the Halstead Surgical Laboratory. In 1993, he completed additional training in critical care and vascular surgery culminating in board certification in Surgical Critical Care. In 1995, he completed a two-year fellowship in pediatric surgery at the Columbus Children’s Hospital. In 1995, he returned to the University of Colorado as a member of the surgical faculty and served as Chief of Pediatric Surgery at DHMC for eleven years. Dr Bensard served as the Director of Trauma at the Children’s Hospital from 1995 to 2006 until his departure to the midwest. He was appointed Professor of Surgery at the School of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati, and named Director of Pediatric Surgery at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. In 2009, Dr. Bensard returned home to join the Acute Care Surgical Faculty at DHMC and resume his previous position of Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Trauma. He is a visiting Professor of Surgery in the Department of Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine. Dr. Bensard is Board Certified in General Surgery Surgical Critical Care and Pediatric Surgery by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Bensard is engaged in basic, clinical and outcomes research with special interest in pediatric injury and pediatric surgery. Dr. Bensard is a member of many regional and national societies including the American Association of Pediatric Surgeons, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Surgeons, Western Trauma Association, and the Denver Academy of Surgeons. He is extensively published in peer reviewed journals, has written multiple book chapters, and spoken in multiple venues as an invited lecturer in the fields of trauma, pediatric surgery, and minimally invasive surgery. He has been named to 5280 Top Doctors, America’s Best Doctors, America’s Best Surgeons, and Best Doctors in America. He has received the outstanding teaching award from both medical students and general surgery residents.

Eric Campion

Eric Campion, M.D. FACS
Director of Surgical Patient Safety and Quality

Eric M. Campion, MD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine and a Trauma and Acute Care Surgeon at Denver Health Medical Center. Dr. Campion began his medical career as a paramedic in Ann Arbor, MI. He then attended the University of Michigan where he received his doctorate in Medicine in 2006. Dr. Campion is Board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. He serves as an instructor for Advanced Trauma Life Support and Tactical Combat Casualty Care. Dr. Campion is very active in many professional societies including the Eastern Association for Surgeons of Trauma, National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, Southwestern Surgical Society and the Association for Academic Surgery to name a few. He is an avid teacher and lecturer to medical students and residents and has numerous publications and presentations.

Ernest 'Gene' Moore

Ernest 'Gene' Moore, M.D. FACS
Director of Surgical Research
Editor, Journal of Trauma

Ernest E. “Gene” Moore, M.D. is an internationally renowned trauma surgeon and the Director of Surgical Research at Denver Health Medical Center. Dr. Moore has been editor of the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery since 2012, and was the Chief of Trauma at the Denver Health for 36 years, Chief of Surgery for 28 years and the first Bruce M. Rockwell Distinguished Chair in Trauma Surgery. He also serves as Vice Chairman for Research and is a Distinguished Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Moore began his career at Denver Health in 1976, where he helped pioneer one of the nation’s first academic Level I trauma centers. Under Dr. Moore’s leadership, Denver Health’s Level I Trauma Center became nationally and internationally recognized for innovative care of the injured patient, and its trauma research laboratory has been funded by the National Institutes of Health for 30 consecutive years.

Dr. Moore has served as president of nine academic societies, including the Society of University Surgeons, American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, International Association for the Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care, and the World Society of Emergency Surgery; and as Vice President for the American Surgical Association.

Awards and recognition include: the Robert Danis Prize from the Society of International Surgeons; Orazio Campione Prize from the World Society of Emergency Surgery; Philip Hench Award from the University of Pittsburgh; Florence Sabin Award from the University of Colorado; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of University Surgeons; the Lifetime Achievement Award for Resuscitation Science from the American Heart Association; the Distinguished Investigator Award from the American College of Critical Medicine; the Distinguished Investigator Award from the Shock Society; and the Lifetime Service Award from the International Association for Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care.

Dr. Moore has honorary fellowships in the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand, and the American College of Emergency Physicians; and is an honorary member of the Brazilian Trauma Society, Colombian Trauma Society, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, European Society for Trauma and Emergency Surgery, and Trauma Association of Canada.

Dr. Moore is coeditor of the textbook Trauma, now in its 8th edition, Surgical Secrets in its 7th edition, and the textbook Trauma Induced Coagulopathy; he has more than 1,650 publications and has lectured extensively throughout the world.

Daniel VanDerPloeg

Daniel VanDerPloeg, MD
Trauma/Acute Care Surgeon
Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine

Dr. Daniel VanDerPloeg grew up in a small town in southeastern Kentucky. He completed his undergraduate studies in biology at Eastern Kentucky University. He then attended medical school at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in Lexington, KY under a merit scholarship. He obtained his MD in 2015 and moved to Colorado to complete a general surgery residency at the University of Colorado. He finished residency in 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to advance his training with a fellowship in surgical critical care. The critical care fellowship also provided additional experience within the field of trauma surgery. After fellowship, he is excited to continue his career at Denver Health as a thoracic and trauma surgeon. His career interests include improving outcomes and increasing access to thoracic surgery and healthcare equality for the LGBT+ community. In his free time he enjoys reading fantasy books, spending time with his family, and running.

Nicole Werner

Nicole Werner, M.D.
Associate Professor of Surgery

 Dr. Nicole Werner is an Associate Professor of Surgery at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine and a Trauma Acute Care Surgeon at Denver Health Medical Center. Prior to completing her Doctor of Medicine, Dr. Werner completed her Master in Science in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Her engineering experience includes the development of implantable defibrillators and electronic devices to assist with Parkinson’s disease rehabilitation. After completing medical school at Case Western Reserve University, she completed her general surgery residency and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Michigan. Dr. Werner recently completed her Trauma and Acute Care Fellowship at the University of Colorado Denver. She is Board certified in General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care. Dr. Werner has contributed to a variety of publications, book chapters, and patents, and is an active member in several professional memberships including the Association of Women Surgeons, the American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and the American College of Surgeons.

Trauma Services Team

Our Trauma Services Team Members

Its takes a versatile team to navigate the complex world of Trauma

Administrative Staff

Sherrie Peckham, BSN, RN
Clinical Director of Trauma

Sherrie Peckham

Kerri Wenke, BSN, RN
Pediatric Trauma Program Manager

Kerri Wenke

Missy Anderson, MBA, BSN, RN
Injury Prevention Coordinator


Kathy Carroll, BS, BSN
Trauma Process Improvement Nurse & Registry Supervisor

Kathy Carroll

Rachel Ross
Senior Trauma Administrative Assistant

Rachel Ross

 

Trauma Nurse Specialists

Katie Abel, RN, BSN, CCRN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Katie Abel

Jenica Alfano, RN, BSN, CEN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Jenica Alfano

Sara Chapman, RN, BSN, CEN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Sara Chapman

Kent Collins EMT-P, RN, BS, MBA
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Kent Collins

Brent Lewis, RN, BSN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Dianne McGinnis, RN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Dianne McGinnis

Tiffany Moore, RN, BSN, CEN, TCRN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Tiffany Moore

Jim Naumiec, RN, MSN, CSTR
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Jim Naumiec

Maggie Savely, RN, MSN
Trauma Nurse Specialist

Maggie Savely

Alison Wise, RN, BSN
Trauma Nurse Specialist



Trauma Nurse Registrars

Colleen Duero, MS HSA, CSTR CAISS CPHQ
Trauma Data Specialist

Colleen Duero

Sulynn Kuykendall, BSN, RN, CSTR
Trauma Nurse Registrar

Sulynn Kuykendall

Chris Provost, RN, BSN, CAISS
Trauma Nurse Registrar

Chris Provost

Trauma Advanced Practice Providers

Jill Chisolm

Jill Chisolm

Aaron Hebenstreit

Aaron Hebenstreit

Jeanne Havens

Jeanne Havens

Lisa Montoya

Lisa Montoya

Marina Payne

Marina Payne

Lizbeth Zerwas

Lizbeth Zerwas