The Spine Center
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.
Wade M. Ceola, MD, FACS, FAANS
Dr. Wade Ceola is board-certified in Neurological Surgery and offers patients unparalleled expertise. He trained at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, completing a six-year residency, specializing in the surgical treatment of neurological conditions. This degree of focus and level of specialization is unique when compared to other musculoskeletal providers. As a fellow of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and American College of Surgeons, he has passed rigorous evaluations that affirm his education and training, professional qualifications, surgical competence and ethical conduct. During his 14-year tenure at Springfield Neurological and Spine Institute (SNSI) in Missouri, 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. As the only neurosurgeon between Glenwood Springs and Grand Junction, he provides crucial care to his patients and the Roaring Fork Valley community.
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.”
Giora Hahn, MD
Anesthesiologist and Pain Management & Regenerative Medicine Specialist
Giora Hahn, MD has been a fixture in the Roaring Fork Valley medical community since 1996. He has practiced for 25 years as an interventional pain management specialist and is currently the Medical Director at the Pain Center of the Roaring Fork Valley. In addition, Dr. Hahn is on staff at all three of the Roaring Fork Valley’s hospitals as a pain intervention specialist, with additional interest in treating addiction across our community. Dr. Hahn attended medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, after which he completed his residency in anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland.
Although Dr. Hahn has been treating pain his whole career, he hopes that his new collaboration with the Spine Center at Valley View will allow him to expand on his goals of improving spinal health and well-being in the Roaring Fork community. “My goals are to work together with the team at The Spine Center to get our active community back to enjoying the outdoors,“ he says. “I enjoy getting my patients back to the things they love to do, and often spinal health is directly related to pain management—the healthier you are in that area the better off you are from a pain perspective.”
“And in a community like ours, where outdoor pursuits are so popular, spinal health drives our enjoyment of where we live.”
Dr Hahn lives in Carbondale with his wife and two sons. “I love the small-town feel of our community and raising my sons here has been amazing for all of us,” he says. “I myself enjoy snowboarding, telemarking and biking, and engaging in those sports lets me see how important it is to have a healthy, pain-free body, and helping my patients get back to that state when they’ve been injured is the best part of my job.”
Dr. Hahn also enjoys reading books and listening to music—particularly live music. He has recently started dabbling in playing some new musical instruments as well.
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 Hershberger, MMS, PA-C
Dawn Hershberger – 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 | 1906 Blake Ave | Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 | Fax: 970.384.8120 | 970.384.8060