Pediatric Neuropsychology Residency

Applications are open for candidates!

Overview

The University of Colorado School of Medicine / Children’s Hospital Colorado is offering one postdoctoral residency position in Pediatric Neuropsychology beginning September 2021. Our two-year program is a member of the Association of Postdoctoral Programs in Clinical Neuropsychology (APPCN). Training experiences are consistent with guidelines established by the International Neuropsychological Society (INS), Division 40 of the American Psychological Association (APA), and Houston Conference training model. The goal of the program is to provide a broad range of clinical and research experiences to prepare the individual for board certification in clinical neuropsychology through ABPP/ABCN and a future career in pediatric neuropsychology. The resident will join our two current neuropsychology postdoctoral residents as well as a neuropsychology predoctoral intern and externs.

The incoming resident will have the opportunity to work with children from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and will see children with a wide range of medical diagnoses including but not limited to epilepsy, stroke, leukemia, brain tumors, congenital heart disease, genetic disorders (e.g., neurofibromatosis, Turner syndrome, tuberous sclerosis), hydrocephalus, neuromuscular disorders, spina bifida, neuroimmunological diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis), cerebral palsy, as well as mild to severe traumatic brain injury. Residents will also participate in interdisciplinary clinics. 

Many of our referrals relate to diagnostic concerns, longitudinal assessment, risk assessment, and educational planning, and the resident will hone skills in providing recommendations to physicians, parents, teachers, and therapists.

Contact Us

Questions regarding training/educational experiences can be directed to:

Christa Hutaff-Lee



Christa Hutaff-Lee, Ph.D., ABPP
Director, Pediatric Neuropsychology Training
720-777-5561
Email: Christa.Hutaff-Lee
David Baker, Psy.D., ABPP-CN
Director, Pediatric Rehabilitation Training
720-777-5474
Email: David.Baker
Gretchen Berrios-Siervo,
Psy.D., ABPP-CN

Director, Bilingual/Multicultural Training
720-777-5599
Email: Gretchen.Berrios-Siervo


Diversity / Equity / Inclusion

Diversity

We are committed to creating a diverse environment for students, residents, fellows, and faculty. We believe that an environment of inclusiveness and respect promotes excellence and that a setting where diversity is valued leads to the training of physicians who are prepared to practice culturally effective medicine and meet the needs of the various populations we serve. Visit our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in PEM page for more.


 

 

Well-Being / Resilience

Be well

By embracing wellness and improving personal resiliency, physicians can reconnect with the meaning of their work and fend off stress. Reducing or eliminating burnout also has practical implications for the entire department such as improving patient safety, student advancement, and the overall campus environment.

Visit our Pediatric Well-Being and Resilience website for more.


Training Tracks

The one position available for the 2021-2023 training period is described below. The resident will spend one year in the Neurology Department and one year in the Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine Department. The two-year fellowship offers general pediatric neuropsychological training with a variety of patient populations and will prepare the resident for board certification and career in pediatric neuropsychology.

Neurology (12 months)

This rotation provides general training in pediatric neuropsychology with a focus on neurologic populations.  The residents will participate in 4 (3 month) specialty rotations during the year. Under supervision, the resident will complete two outpatient evaluations per week, as well as attend interdisciplinary clinics appropriate to her/his rotations. While the resident will see a wide range of referrals over the course of the year, the program is structured to provide more focused experiences during specific rotations. During each rotation, the resident will receive more referrals with children with those specific diagnoses and will be supervised by faculty with particular expertise in that area. Rotations and descriptions are as follows:

  • Epilepsy: The resident’s focus will be on assessing children with epilepsy. This includes pre- and post-surgical evaluations, evaluations of children with epilepsy who are not surgical candidates, and possible participation in fMRI preparation, Wada testing, and language mapping. The resident will attend weekly epilepsy clinics and participate in neurobehavioral assessment of children and families on the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit. Residents will attend Epilepsy Conference to gain experience in providing physicians information to assist with their treatment decisions and exposure to the various modalities and issues that are considered during surgical decision making. The use of focused, specific assessment to answer discrete clinical questions is emphasized.
  • Neuro-Oncology: The resident will have the opportunity to assess children with hematologic/oncologic disorders, including brain tumors and leukemia. The resident will also conduct pre- and post-bone marrow transplant evaluations. In addition, the resident will have the opportunity to attend multidisciplinary clinics for newly diagnosed and long-term survivors.
  • Cardiology: Residents will have the opportunity to complete neuropsychological evaluations with children with various complex congenital heart conditions and/or heart transplantation. In addition, multidisciplinary clinic experience may be provided, including consultation with families of children with single ventricle post-Fontan, and/or developmental assessment of infants and toddlers with complex heart conditions.
  • General Clinic: During this rotation, the resident will complete outpatient evaluations through the Division of Neurology with children with a variety of genetic (e.g., neurofibromatosis, 22q deletion syndrome, and XY chromosome variations), neurological (e.g., stroke), and metabolic disorders. The resident will also participate in interdisciplinary clinics for children with a variety of medical disorders (e.g., tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, Turner syndrome, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and neuroimmunological disorders) and provide consultation to medical teams.
Rehabilitation (12 months)

This rotation provides general training in pediatric neuropsychology with an emphasis on rehabilitation-relevant populations and conditions, including mild to severe TBI, anoxic/hypoxic injuries, encephalitis, spina bifida, and cerebral palsy. Under supervision, the resident will complete 2-4 comprehensive outpatient neuropsychological evaluations per month, while also rotating through several different rotations.  During each rotation, the resident will receive more referrals with children with those specific diagnoses and will be supervised by faculty with particular expertise in that area. Rotations and descriptions are as follows:

  • Mild TBI / Concussion Clinic: The resident will participate in a comprehensive multidisciplinary concussion clinic providing neuropsychological consultation to children and teenagers with mild TBI, ranging from sport-related concussion to complicated mild TBI. The program sees over 1,000 new patients each year. The resident will learn and utilize an abbreviated assessment model to evaluate postconcussive difficulties and guide treatment planning, as well as work with physicians and community providers regarding return to play decisions and school management. The resident will become expert in pediatric mild TBI and sport-related concussion by learning the natural clinical course of mild TBI, its risks, the various factors that can complicate recovery, the role of performance/symptom validity testing in mild TBI evaluations, and empirically sensible management strategies. Concussion-relevant didactics and experiences include: monthly complex concussion case study meetings and bi-monthly concussion seminars, as well as co-presentation opportunities to schools and community providers.
  • Developmental Specialty Clinics:  The resident will participate in two specialty clinics that focus on younger patient populations (i.e., under 5 years) to allow for the acquisition or refinement of knowledge and skills particularly relevant to preschool and infant/toddler assessment. The International Adoption Clinic (IAC) is a multidisciplinary clinic focused on the medical, developmental, and emotional/behavioral assessment of children recently adopted internationally. Children range in age from birth to 18 years of age but are primarily preschool-age or younger. The resident will perform formal cognitive assessment, informal assessment of language development, and consultation around emotional and behavioral challenges often faced by these children. The Non-Accidental Brain Injury Care Clinic (NABICC) is a large, multidisciplinary, outpatient clinic focused on the care of young children after non-accidental brain trauma.  Children are followed in the clinic on a regular basis for two years after sustaining injury. The resident will perform cognitive assessment and provide consultation around psychosocial concerns.
  • Inpatient Neurotrauma/Rehabilitation Unit: The resident will participate in the hospital’s multidisciplinary inpatient neurotrauma/rehabilitation unit for children recovering from a variety of acquired injuries and illnesses including moderate/severe TBI, spinal cord injury, anoxic/hypoxic brain injuries, encephalitis, cardiac conditions, stroke, tumor resections, epilepsy surgery, and other neurological and neuromuscular disorders. Resident responsibilities on the inpatient unit would include acute and serial assessment of cognitive status, abbreviated neuropsychological evaluations, psychoeducation to patients and families, and treatment planning, as well as follow-up consultation with service providers, families, and school teams. The resident also would be regularly involved in the multidisciplinary team meetings, cognitive-focused groups, and family treatment meetings.

The resident will participate in clinical research under the supervision of a faculty member. At the beginning of residency, we will discuss with the resident ongoing research projects, and the resident will choose the one in which they would like to participate.  A research mentor will be assigned.

Ongoing projects include:

  • Involve children with complex congenital heart conditions (Wolfe), Epilepsy (Berrios-Siervo, Wilkening, Boada)
  • Sex chromosome aneuploidy (Janusz, Boada, Hutaff-Lee)
  • HIE (Haisley)
  • Spinal muscular atrophy (Miele)
  • Cancer (Wilkening, Hutaff-Lee)
  • Moderate/severe TBI (Kirkwood, Tlustos-Carter, Peterson, Petranovich)
  • Nonaccidental brain injury (Connery)
  • Concussion/mild TBI (Kirkwood, Connery, Baker, and Peterson)
  • Spina bifida/hydrocephalus (Peterson)
  • Performance/symptom validity testing (Kirkwood, Connery, Baker, and Peterson)

Research expectations will vary by trainee, but by the end of residency the minimum expectation is that the resident will have contributed to at least two different scholarly products (e.g., poster presentation at national conference, talk at a regional/national conference, authorship on a manuscript, involvement in a quality improvement project,  pilot grant submission, etc.).

Didactic experiences are geared toward preparing the resident for board certification in clinical neuropsychology.

  • At the end of the first year, the resident is required to take the APPCN Resident Exam.
  • Additionally, the resident is strongly encouraged to complete the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP) exam during the first year of their residency.

Didactic experiences include:

  • Pediatric Neuropsychology Seminar: Weekly neuropsychology seminar includes topic-specific lectures, journal article discussions, and case presentations. Seminars are designed to focus on mini-series topics throughout the year including assessment, neuroanatomy, diversity/cultural topics, review of specific developmental disabilities and medical conditions, etc.
  • Neuropsych trainees also have the opportunity to participate in mock fact findings as well as quarterly book clubs focusing on books typically recommended to parents.
  • Adult Neuropsychology Seminar: The resident will attend the monthly Neuropsychology Seminar held jointly with the University of Colorado Denver adult neuropsychology residency program.
  • Neuroradiology Rounds: The resident will have the opportunity to join with neurologists, oncologists, and radiologists who review neuroimaging in relationship to clinical referral questions.
  • Neurology Journal Club: The Neurology resident will attend this journal club with neurology faculty and trainees.
  • Rehabilitation Seminar & Journal Club: The Rehabilitation resident will attend this series with the Rehabilitation Medicine faculty and trainees.
  • Optional Didactics: Other didactic opportunities include Neurology Grand Rounds, Neurology Case Conference, PM&R Grand Rounds, Brain Injury Research Group, Pediatrics Grand Rounds, Genetics Grand Rounds, Psychology Grand Rounds, Rehabilitation Psychology Seminar, and brain cutting.
  • Teaching and Supervision: The resident will have the opportunity to develop their own supervisory skills through working with psychometricians and trainees.
  • Residents are provided opportunities to supervise interns/externs during their fellowship under the supervision of a neuropsychologist.
  • Residents will also be expected to present during the Pediatric Neuropsychology Seminar Series and may be asked to present at other seminars, as opportunities allow.

Division of Neurology   

Gretchen Berrios-Siervo, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn:                                              Dr. Berrios-Siervo is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and serves as a Pediatric Neuropsychologist in the Division of Neurology at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Dr. Berrios-Siervo is bilingual and has interests in the assessment of Spanish speaking children and adolescents. She is also the Director of Multicultural and Bilingual Training and has interests in assessment and training of diverse populations. Additional areas of clinical interest include epilepsy and epilepsy surgery (pre/post evaluations). She runs the New Onset Epilepsy (NOE) Clinic and provides consultation to the Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic in Neurology.  Dr. Berrios-Siervo is board certified in Clinical Neuropsychology and Pediatric Clinical Neuropsychology (gretchen.berrios siervo@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/228865 


Richard Boada, Ph.D., ABPP-Cn: 
Dr. Boada is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology in the division of neurology at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  Clinical areas of specialty include pediatric stroke, epilepsy, and sex chromosome aneuploidy. Dr. Boada is a bilingual (Spanish) neuropsychologist, and conducts evaluations with monolingual/bilingual children. Research interests include investigating the cognitive sequalae of medical conditions affecting central nervous system function (e.g., stroke, epilepsy), as well studying the etiological and cognitive factors underlying the comorbidity among language, reading and attentional disorders. (richard.boada@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/224704 


Christa Hutaff-Lee, Ph.D. ABPP-Cn: 
Dr. Hutaff-Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Pediatrics and Neurology Departments at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She serves as the Training Director for the Neuropsychology Training Program in the Division of Neurology. Her clinical interests include the neurocognitive profiles of children with pediatric demyelinating and autoimmune disorders, pediatric brain tumor and other pediatric cancers, and genetic disorders (e.g., Turner syndrome). (christa.hutaff lee@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/228235 


Jennifer Janusz, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn: 
Dr. Janusz is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Neurology through the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her clinical interests include the neurocognitive profile of children with genetic disorders. She is the Program Director of the Neurofibromatosis Program at Children’s Hospital Colorado and provides consultation to the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Clinic and the eXtraordinarY Kids Clinic. (jennifer.janusz@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/230240 


Greta Wilkening, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn:  
Dr. Wilkening is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  In addition to directing the Pediatric Neuropsychology service (within Neurology), she developed and directs the Neurodevelopmental Research Core, a component of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.  Her primary clinical interests are the evaluation and follow-up of children with epilepsy and brain neoplasms. She is the lead neuropsychologist for the Urea Cycle Disorder Consortium Longitudinal Study. (greta.wilkening@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/229981  


Kelly R. Wolfe, Ph.D. ABPP-Cn:  
Dr. Wolfe is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the Director of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Follow-Up Program. She collaborates with multidisciplinary teams on outpatient and inpatient clinical and quality improvement initiatives to better understand and improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in children and young adults with cardiac disease. Her research has included examining predictors of neuropsychological outcomes in single ventricle heart disease and heart transplantation. Dr. Wolfe also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Pediatric Neuropsychology and is a Co-Vice Chair of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative. (Kelly.Wolfe@childrenscolorado.org). https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/12028364
              

David Baker, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn: Dr. Baker is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He is a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  His clinical interests include concussion/mild TBI, moderate/severe TBI, as well as cerebral palsy and neuromuscular disorders. He is also the training director for neuropsychology in rehabilitation. (david.baker@childrenscolorado.org) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=%28Baker%2C+DA%5BAuthor%5D%29+AND+%28University+of+Colorado%5BAffiliation%5D%29&sort=

Alison Colbert, Ph.D.: Dr. Colbert is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation through the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She works as a neuropsychologist and rehabilitation psychologist on the inpatient Neurotrauma/Rehabilitation unit and conducts outpatient neuropsychological evaluations. Her research interests focus on neurocognitive outcomes following central nervous system disruption, developmental or acquired. She is interested in identifying factors that predict risk and resilience, enhance diagnosis and treatment, and influence neurocognitive and psychological outcomes. (alison.colbert@childrenscolorado.org) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=%28Colbert%2C+AM+%5BAuthor%5D%29+AND+%28University+of+Colorado%5BAffiliation%5D%29

Amy Connery, Psy.D., ABPP-Cn: Dr. Connery is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.  She is a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  She provides clinical services in Concussion Clinic, International Adoption Clinic (IAC), and the Non-Accidental Brain Injury Care Clinic (NABICC).  Her research interests include the effects of early adversity and neurologic insult on developmental outcomes.  She provides bilingual Spanish assessments. (amy.connery@childrenscolorado.org) https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/21098427

Michael Kirkwood, Ph.D., ABPP-Cn: Dr. Kirkwood is Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. He is the Director of the Rehabilitation Psychology/ Neuropsychology Program, as well as the Co-Director of the Children’s Hospital Colorado Concussion Program. His clinical and research interests focus on acquired brain injury in children, particularly mild TBI, as well as the value of validity testing in pediatric assessment. He also has a primary interest in promoting and supporting board certification in clinical neuropsychology. (michael.kirkwood@childrenscolorado.org) https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/21098422

Robin Peterson, Ph.D., ABPP-Cn: Dr. Peterson is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. She is a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Concussion Program and Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital Colorado.  Her clinical and research interests include understanding developmental outcomes in children with traumatic brain injury, language and learning disorders, and spina bifida. (robin.peterson@childrenscolorado.org) https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/21098429 

Christine Petranovich, Ph.D.: Dr. Petranovich is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a clinical neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Clinically, Dr. Petranovich is primarily interested in acute and long-term neuropsychological assessment of children and adolescents with moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. From a research perspective, she is interested in identifying predictors of cognitive functioning, social competence, and behavior after traumatic brain injury, particularly in early childhood.  (christine.petranovich@childrenscolorado.org) https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/21098450 

Sarah Tlustos-Carter, Ph.D, ABPP-Cn.:  Dr. Tlustos-Carter is an Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a clinical neuropsychologist in the Department of Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Clinically, Dr. Tlustos-Carter is involved in the inpatient Neurotrauma/Rehabilitation unit and also conducts multidisciplinary outpatient evaluations through the M.O.R.E (Multidisciplinary Outpatient Rehabilitation Evaluation) clinic. Her interests include the cognitive and social-emotional outcomes after moderate/severe TBI and other acquired brain injuries. (sarah.tlustos@childrenscolorado.org) https://profiles.ucdenver.edu/display/226952