Ian Eisenhauer, MD ’17, (on the right) is a Center for COMBAT Research fellow and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy. After three years as a garrison and deploying primary care physician for a naval special warfare unit in Hawaii, he returned to Colorado as an emergency medicine resident. Photographed with Sergeant First Class Cory McEvoy, COMBAT Scholar 2021-2023, Brig Gen (Ret) Kathleeen Flanty, DNP, PhD, deputy director of the Center for COMBAT Research.


Campus center provides advanced medical scholarship and training

By Colleen Miracle

April 2024

With Colorado home to six military bases, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has become a hub for active-duty medical students, fellows, and collaborators. With a commitment to providing a supportive learning and work environment, the CU Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield (COMBAT) Research has grown its research scholar and fellow programs along with supporting active-duty and National Guardsman research collaborators.

The COMBAT scholar program mentors and guides student investigators through the research process with a lens on militaryrelevant research and care. The COMBAT fellow program fosters research partnerships with residents and fellows in various departments across campus, many of whom are active duty, guard, and reserve military personnel.

“Beyond our goal to solve the U.S. military’s toughest clinical challenges through research, the Center for COMBAT Research serves as a liaison for military students and collaborators,” says Vik Bebarta, MD, professor of emergency medicine and director of the Center for COMBAT Research. “If you deploy, we understand what that means and how to help meet your needs. We are always open to supporting our military health care collaborators and to learning alongside you.”

This report features a COMBAT fellow, scholar, and research collaborator to share their journeys navigating career and research goals on campus while serving in military roles.


For Ian Eisenhauer, MD, a Center for COMBAT Research fellow and lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, working in Colorado as an emergency medicine resident is a homecoming. He graduated from the CU School of Medicine in 2017.

Eisenhauer worked as an internal medicine intern after earning his medical degree, then spent three years as a garrison and deploying primary care physician for a naval special warfare unit in Hawaii. He provided care for the U.S. Navy Divers and SEALs aboard submarines during workups and deployments.

“It was a long time to be away from family, but fun to be out on my own and learning in the field,” he says. “In these types of confined and limited-resource settings, known as austere settings, you don’t have the types of support that you would in a hospital. While there were few major injuries, I always had to be prepared for the worst.”

Near the end of his time undersea, the U.S. Navy was encouraging physicians to pursue specialties in emergency medicine to gain a broad combat-relevant skillset. Eisenhauer began pursuing residency opportunities, and with the advocacy of the U.S. Navy’s emergency medicine consultant, the Center for COMBAT Research, and the Denver Health residency director, he landed at Denver Health.

“One of the highlights of coming back to Colorado for residency and beginning research as a Center for COMBAT Research fellow was being able to reach back out to my colleagues undersea and connect with their medical needs,” he says. Eisenhauer stays connected with the U.S. Pacific Fleet surgeon as part of his fellowship in the Center for COMBAT Research.

“Serving active duty as a resident has its pros and cons,” Eisenhauer explains. “The upside is that I get treated like every other resident. I get to a lot of freedom to develop my own path, find my niche, and develop my skills as a physician and a leader, but it’s a challenge being away from the military because I’m not as connected to the current needs of my military family. One of the highlights of working with COMBAT is interacting with other active duty military personnel on a weekly basis.”

Eisenhauer recently led research on hypothermia that was published in the journal Military Medicine and is evaluating current approaches to non-compressible torso hemorrhage. He is now examining intracranial hemorrhage management in prolonged casualty care settings.

Alongside his duties to the center and residency, Eisenhauer completes routine active-duty work throughout the year while juggling being a new father.

“There is a lot that I’m excited for in continuing to build the COMBAT fellow program,” he says. “But I’m really excited to get to know my son these next couple years.”

Eisenhauer will complete his residency and return to naval service in December 2024.


One scholar working with Center for COMBAT Research has taken a diligent path in advancing her education and research in veteran and military health.

Since beginning her service in the U.S. Army in 2010, Raiza Deyto has earned two bachelor’s degrees, a master’s in nursing through the CU College of Nursing’s Veteran and Military Health Care program, became a captain in the Colorado Air National Guard, works as a nurse at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, and began research in suicide prevention with a focus on veteran and military health. She’s not stopping there.

Deyto began her Doctor of Nursing Practice program in January 2024 and plans to graduate in December 2025. Brig Gen (Ret) Kathleen Flarity, DNP, PhD, deputy director for the Center for COMBAT Research and director of the scholars program, met Deyto at the CU College of Nursing’s Partnerships for Veteran & Military Health Conference in 2022 and immediately connected her with the center to discuss research opportunities and interests. Flarity introduced Deyto to Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and director of the CU Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative, whose research on veteran and military populations overlaps closely with the Center for COMBAT Research. 

Deyto has worked with Betz’s qualitative team, coding, recruiting, and pulling data.

She also presented on military spouse and partner views on lethal means safety at the 2023 National Research Conference for the Prevention of Firearm-Related Harms.

Raiza Deyto sitting on a bench outside a door at NATO

Raiza Deyto at NATO. Her service began with the U.S. Army in 2010. She became a captain in the Colorado Air National Guard and works as a nurse at the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System.

“I learned that military suicides increased from 75 in the first quarter of 2022 to 95 in the first quarter of 2023, and that was something that immediately struck me as a dual-military spouse,” she says. “I had zero experience in this field of research prior to meeting Drs. Flarity and Betz, so my range of motion working with this initiative feels experimental and unlimited.”

Deyto is also looking forward to assisting with NATO’s largest military medical exercise in Hungary, Vigorous Warrior, in April 2024.

“I would like to work with the Center for COMBAT Research to support global engagement projects like Vigorous Warrior,” she says. “Through international travel in my National Guard unit, interaction with foreign partners is as effective as it is gratifying. I’d also like to find a way to integrate more nurses into combat casualty research.”


As a long-time research collaborator with Center for COMBAT Research, Steven Schauer, DO, MS, a lieutenant colonel and active-duty physician in the U.S. Army, is deeply immersed in multiple trauma and critical care research projects. He is also a fellow in anesthesia critical care medicine.

For LTC Schauer, his work with the Center for COMBAT Research encompasses more than a platform to launch trauma research projects.

“Military communities are a motivating group to serve,” Schauer says. “The camaraderie in the military health care system is unmatched, and you always have something in common with those who have volunteered to serve. It’s a different atmosphere than working in a civilian emergency department.”

Schauer first met Bebarta in 2011, prior to the launch of the Center for COMBAT Research, when Bebarta was a faculty member during Schauer’s residency at the San Antonio Military Medical Center, now called Brooke Army Medical Center. In 2012, they collaborated on the first randomized controlled trial using ketamine for pain. The two began collaborating on a regular basis through the Center for COMBAT Research starting in 2016.

The next year, while working at the Army Institute of Surgical Research, Schauer expanded his research partnerships by working with Center for COMBAT investigators Nee-Kofi Mould-Millman, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, and principal investigator for the Cape-Colorado-Combat (C3) Global Trauma Network; and Adit Ginde, MD, professor of emergency medicine and principal investigator for the Airway, Trauma, Lung injury, and Sepsis (ATLAS) Research team.

With Mould-Millman, Schauer worked on methods to better train prehospital trauma care protocols, such as “EMS-TruShoC”, a prospective trial of low-dose, high-frequency, on-site training to improve trauma field care in austere settings. With Ginde, Schauer studied optimizing oxygen in trauma settings. Schauer deployed 2016- 2018 while simultaneously working with Ginde on the Strategy to Avoid Excessive Oxygen (SAVE-O2) pilot trial. 

There were two major factors that played a role in Schauer deciding to return to campus as a critical care fellow in 2023: “The Center for COMBAT and skiing; that’s what drew me to Colorado. Of course, the quality of the anesthesia critical care medicine program was also a major factor.”

Schauer is paving the way for new trauma studies, some of which involve collaboration with the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, where Schauer completed his residency. He is working with a team to investigate a novel ultrasound algorithm that interprets chest injuries and studying medicine that can prevent coagulopathy, a bleeding disorder, in trauma patients. Schauer is also leveraging social media to emphasize the importance of sharing new trauma, critical care, and military research and has amassed 10,000 followers across his platforms.

“As competent as physicians in our field are, it’s impossible to stay up to date on the tens of thousands of journals out there,” he says. “I like to focus on getting the message out to my military health care community about relevant studies and research coming down the line.”

Since starting his critical care fellowship five months ago, Schauer has enjoyed the curriculum and completed rotations in the cardiothoracic intensive care unit (ICU), anesthesia pain service, neurology intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, and acute renal failure. He will complete his fellowship in 2025 and is most interested in working in a military ICU.


The Center for COMBAT Research admits up to two new scholars every semester and up to four research fellows per year. The selection process has become competitive with a growing interest in military and trauma medicine. “Our scholars are not only meeting but exceeding our expectations,” Flarity says. “This program is not just about building a workforce, but growing our future leaders too. For us, mentoring involves more than research; the value of military and medical partnership is crucial for our scholars to practice.”

Three of the scholars have moved into fellow roles as new residents. One COMBAT scholar, formerly a U.S. Army Ranger and now in a fellow role after graduating from medical school, was instrumental in building the scholar program.

“Dr. Matt Paulson created the vision and direction for our scholar program,” Bebarta says. “He’s been a centerpiece of the program from the inception, published several articles, and mentors several studies. He exemplifies what it means to be a mentor and we are so grateful for his leadership.” 

The collaborative opportunities within the Center for COMBAT Research highlights CU Anschutz as a key site for active duty and military collaborators to flourish.

“Our campus welcomes and embraces military researchers, students, active duty trainees and fellows,” Bebarta says. “With most of our studies funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, we want to give these talented collaborators opportunities to work with our researchers on military-relevant outcomes and set the runway for them to succeed.”

Lt. Col. Steven Schauer, DO, MS, with his research team at the Military Health System Research Symposium in 2022.

Lt. Col. Steven Schauer, DO, MS, with his research team at the Military Health System Research Symposium in 2022.

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