Serving the Rocky Mountain region for the treatment, care, and surgery of vitreoretinal conditions.
Colorado Retina Associates is a thirteen physician, sub-specialty eye care practice providing medical and surgical care of vitreoretinal eye disease. We provide comprehensive treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disease, retinal detachments, ocular tumors, uveitis/inflammatory eye disease, inherited retinal degenerations and numerous other vitreoretinal conditions. Our group of specialists have trained at internationally renowned fellowship programs (6 or more years after medical school) and continue to engage in academia, advocacy, volunteering, and education both nationally and abroad. We offer a robust, in-house clinical research program to all of our patients. Clinical trials have become an increasingly important option to provide the latest treatments in the hope of curing blinding diseases. We are proud to be the largest retina practice in the Rocky Mountain region with the ability to collaborate as a team for highly complex cases. We provide five service locations in the Denver Metro area: East Denver (Lowry), Englewood, Golden (Red Rocks), Lafayette, and Parker, Colorado. Our modern offices are integrated with ambulatory surgery centers to facilitate immediate care for patients with ocular emergencies. Our two satellite locations extend care to Colorado’s Summit County (Frisco) and Goodland, Kansas.
A Wisconsin native, Dr. Adam joined the team in 2017. Colorado Retina provided the opportunity for Dr. Adam to collaborate with top retina physicians and surgeons to treat complex cases and contribute to advancements in clinical research. He applies his training and extensive experience to make a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of his patients.
Dr. Adam chose to become a physician to develop meaningful, long-term relationships with patients, and tackle the analytical and technical challenges that come with being a surgeon. “I find so much gratification helping patients see their grandchildren more clearly, get back to driving, and return to work to support themselves and their family,” says Adam.
Aside from treating medical and surgical vitreoretinal conditions, Dr. Adam has special interest in seeing patients suffering from complications related to cataract surgery, dislocated intraocular lenses, and trauma that requires complex anterior and posterior segment reconstruction. He completed his ophthalmology residency and vitreoretinal surgery fellowship at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, considered to be the top training program in the country.
Dr. Adam has a passion for evidence-based medicine and innovation. He was awarded a prestigious Heed Fellowship research grant in 2015 and was accepted to the Fostering Innovative Retina Stars of Tomorrow (FIRST) program in 2018. He continues to advance the field through research with over 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications and 70 plus meeting abstracts. He serves as a reviewer for numerous scientific journals including Ophthalmology and Retina and his primary research interests involve scleral fixation of intraocular lenses, tele-ophthalmology, novel retinal imaging, heads-up 3D surgery, and ocular infectious disease. His expertise and passion has allowed him to travel national and internationally lecture, teach, and consult with fellow eye care providers and industry leaders.
Dr. Adam is highly involved in outreach and service, both locally and abroad. He currently resides as a volunteer physician for Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and was the 2017 VisionWalk Medical Chair for the Denver Chapter of the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. He has also participated in surgical cataract missions in India and Ghana. Dr. Adam also provides telemedicine retinal consultations for the Global Eye Project based in Haiti.
Outside the clinic and the operating room, Dr. Adam enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You may catch him longboarding or biking with his kids in and around City Park. Embracing all that is Colorado, Dr. Adam takes to the mountains, snowboarding, climbing, and mountain biking when he can find the time. He also enjoys digital SLR photography (http://moosaic.net), camping, and (poorly) playing the guitar.
Nancy J Christmas M.D. graduated from Wellesley College and Yale University School of Medicine. She went on to complete her medical internship at the Deaconess Hospital in Boston, ophthalmic residency at the world-renowned Bascom Palmer Institute and her medical and surgical retina fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. While in college, she became involved with research at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and she continues to be involved in national clinical research trials at Colorado Retina.
Dr. Christmas grew up in Florida and was in private practice in the Washington D.C. area for almost five years before relocating to Denver in 2006. She sees patients at our Lowry, Parker and Red Rocks locations and treats both medical and surgical retinal diseases such as: age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusions, macular holes and retinal detachments.
She is a role model for other female physicians and frequently serves as a mentor through programs at the annual American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists and the Women in Ophthalmology meetings where she developed the program. She also mentors medical students at Yale University and on more than one occasion has been recognized for her contributions as a recipient of the American Medical Association-WPC Physician Mentor Recognition Program. In addition, she has been listed in Best Doctors in the Denver Business Journal. She receives accolades from her patients for her warm and caring bedside manner, “Dr Nancy Christmas is fantastic, professional and approachable…”
When not working, Dr. Christmas enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage sons. She likes to exercise, travel and hike.
Dr. Courtney is a born and raised Colorado native, having grown up in Fort Collins, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder where he graduated with academic honors in Biochemistry. He then completed his medical school at the University of Colorado in Denver where he was inducted into the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his ophthalmology residency at Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon. After completing his medical school and ophthalmology residency, Dr. Courtney moved to Cleveland, OH for his vitreoretinal fellowship at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Cole Eye Institute, a national leader in vitreoretinal fellow training.
Dr. Courtney’s clinical interests include macular degeneration, retinal vascular disease (diabetic retinopathy, vein occlusion, etc.), and surgical retina (retinal detachment repair, epiretinal membrane and macular hole). Dr. Courtney has also participated in a number of clinical trials, published numerous articles and authored chapters on macular degeneration and inherited retinal disorders.
In his free time, Dr. Courtney enjoys spending time with his wife and two kids. He is an avid outdoors enthusiast, enjoying skiing/snowboarding, surfing, and hiking.
Dr. Mark Dacey has coordinated the uveitis service at Colorado Retina for the past decade, seeing patients with complex autoimmune and infectious ocular conditions. He is a full-time, fellowship-trained uveitis specialist, with areas of interest in scleritis, ocular cicatricial pemphigoid, retinal vasculitis, and orbital inflammation. The uveitis team at Colorado Retina is proud to be a tertiary referral center for patients in Colorado and eight surrounding states, from New Mexico in the south to North Dakota and Montana in the north.
Dr. Dacey grew up outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated with honors from Duke University and the University of Michigan Medical School, where he received the Dean’s Scholarship in Ophthalmology. His background studies in genetics at Duke started an interest in uveitis while a resident at UT Southwestern in Dallas, as many uveitic conditions have a genetic basis. He then completed a fellowship in ocular immunology and uveitis at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institute and Harvard Medical School, where he studied under Dr. C. Stephen Foster, who is widely recognized as the foremost uveitis specialist in the United States.
Over the past decade, Dr. Dacey has expanded the uveitis service at Colorado Retina to include a satellite office in Rapid City, South Dakota. He has taught residents and fellows at the University of Colorado School of Medicine for 7 years, with four residents subsequently pursuing careers in uveitis. Dr. Dacey also coordinates the clinical research department at Colorado Retina, with several active clinical trials looking for new advances and treatment options for both adults and children with uveitis.
Dr. Dacey is passionate about teaching and education, participating in many local, national, and international conferences as part of the American Uveitis Society and the Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Foundation. “One of the primary goals in uveitis has been to educate and train new fellows and ophthalmologists in the use of steroid-sparing immunomodulatory medications, with the goal of trying to bring long-term remission to our patients”, says Dr. Dacey. “Each uveitis patient is unique and different, and I enjoy caring for patients with these challenging conditions, hoping to preserve their sight and quality of life for years to come.”
When not in the clinic, Dr. Dacey enjoys spending time with his wife and two boys, and exploring Colorado’s mountains and parks. His hobbies include running, traveling, skiing, and photography.
Dr. Curtis Hagedorn is a native Coloradan, born in Loveland Colorado. He grew up in Colorado Springs and attended Colorado College for his undergraduate education. He then left the state for ten years as he attained his medical school degree from Rush University in Chicago and received eye surgery training and retinal surgery expertise at Yale University where he received the Marvin Sears award for clinical excellence.
In 2005, Dr. Hagedorn returned to Colorado and began his vitreoretinal surgery career in Denver. Dr. Hagedorn joined Colorado Retina Associates in 2008. Dr. Hagedorn has special interest and expertise in macular degeneration and has been involved in many pivotal research trials on this condition.
Dr. Hagedorn has also served as president of the Denver Medical Society and currently serves as a board member of the Colorado Medical Society.
Dr. Hagedorn lives in Denver with his wife (whom he met at Colorado College) and his 3 children. When not stomping out blindness, Dr. Hagedorn enjoys spending time with his family hiking, camping, skiing, and making music.
Rare Colorado native, Dr. Peter Hovland is a renowned ophthalmologist, specializing in macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, vitreoretinal surgical conditions, and ocular oncology. He began his career as a vitreoretinal surgeon in practice with his father at our original Harvard location. After his father’s retirement, Dr. Hovland ultimately merged the family practice into what has now become Colorado Retina Associates, which he remains a founding partner.
Dr. Hovland says medicine has been something of a family tradition for him. Both his father and uncle were ophthalmologists, and his mother was a nurse. His grandfather was a surgeon, and great grandfather, a general practitioner. It was in his DNA to continue furthering his education in medicine. Dr. Hovland completed his undergraduate, doctorate and internship at the University of Colorado. He then went on to finish his vitreoretinal fellowship in Boston at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, the oldest eye hospital in the US and the ophthalmology department of Harvard Medical School. Ultimately, he chose medicine as a discipline because, “at my core is an optimistic drive to help people,” says Dr. Hovland.
In addition to his work general retinal disease, Dr. Hovland also leads our ocular oncology department. He has a special focus on the surgical and medical treatment of all types of intraocular tumors, from the most common to complex. Dr. Hovland has cared for thousands of patients from around the US with benign and malignant eye tumors, including ocular melanoma, choroidal or iris nevus, choroidal metastases and other vision threatening retinal conditions.
Dr. Hovland is actively involved Colorado Retina’s in-house research program and many national research foundations. He currently works to support the fight to find a cure for cure ocular melanoma, and acts as a grant reviewer for the Melanoma Research Foundation and the Ocular Melanoma Foundation. Most importantly Dr. Hovland strives to engage in cutting-edge research and activism around research funding to improve treatment for all of his patients.
In Dr. Hovland’s spare time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, dogs, and three almost-adult kids. You can often catch Dr. Hovland and his band of physicians, The Detachments - jamming out at local venues around Denver. He also has a passion for competitive tennis, mountain biking and skiing. Fun facts, Dr. Hovland used to be the team physician for the Colorado Avalanche for five consecutive seasons and like a true CO native, has climbed 34 of the 14ers - which he plans to someday conquer the remaining 24!
Dr. David Johnson was born and raised in Northern Kentucky and he completed his undergraduate and medical education in his home state. Dr. Johnson has been fortunate to practice ophthalmology in his new adopted state of Colorado since 1985.
Dr. Johnson knew a career in medicine was for him after completing an externship with a plastic surgeon during his undergraduate years in Lexington, KY. He fell in love with ophthalmology during his second year of medical school, again coming under the influence of mentors in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Louisville, KY.
Dr. Johnson also met the love of his life, Theresa, during medical school, and they have been happy to share the adventure of marriage and raising two wonderful daughters here in Colorado.
Dr. Johnson began his career at the University of Colorado Department of Ophthalmology as a faculty member, eventually serving as Residency Program Director. Mentors Philip Ellis, MD and Kenneth Hovland, MD led Dr. Johnson into the beginning of a fulfilling career as a vitreo-retinal surgeon. As Dr. Ellis often jokingly said, “You don’t have to be very smart to be a retina surgeon, you just have to have a strong back”.
Dr. Johnson joined Douglas Holmes, MD in private practice in 1998, and the foundation of what would become Colorado Retina Associates, PC was begun. After many years of collegial relationships and call coverage with like-minded retinal surgeons, twelve doctors from three separate practices eventually merged in 2006 to form Colorado Retina.
Dr. Johnson has been called the “Okay-est” golfer by many playing partners, and he continues the quest for a lower handicap. He also enjoys music and playing guitar.
Brian C Joondeph completed his training as a retina surgeon in 1990 and since then has worked both in private practice and full-time academic ophthalmology. He practiced in Michigan for ten years before taking his family on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to work and live in Auckland, New Zealand for several years. He has been in Denver for the past 15 years after returning from his academic retina position down under. Denver was a great fit for his family after New Zealand given the opportunity for outdoor adventure and sports.
Dr. Joondeph grew up in northern New Jersey with his entire family in medicine or allied professions, making medical school an easy choice. Ophthalmology provided a high-tech blend of medicine and surgery, with retina further exemplifying these features. There is little in medicine more satisfying than saving or restoring eyesight, arguably the most precious of our senses.
Dr. Joondeph has more than 70 academic publications and is a current and past investigator in multiple clinical trials. He enjoys clinical research as it links scientific inquiry with eventual new treatments he can offer to his patients. He is also an examiner for the American Board of Ophthalmology, helping develop the next generation of ophthalmologists. Dr. Joondeph is married and has three adult children.
When not working, he enjoys spending time with his family. His hobbies include skiing, golf, fitness, and writing. As a political writer, he first published in 2013, and has written over 500 opinion articles. He writes primarily for The Daily Caller and American Thinker and has a biweekly column in The Villager, his local newspaper in Arapahoe County. He writes about a variety of topics including healthcare reform, environmental activism, and current political events and issues.
On a Sunday morning, you will find Dr. Joondeph at church or the gym with his wife or putting the final touches on his latest opinion article.
A native of Chicago, Dr. Kimura came to Denver to start private practice in 1996, after a lengthy career in academia. He is an ophthalmology board-certified, vitreoretinal surgeon who treats an extensive amount of retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and vascular disorders. Dr. Kimura also has special interest and advanced training in the field of inherited retinal disease. In addition to his clinical work, he serves as president of Colorado Retina, and is one of the original remaining founding partners.
Dr. Kimura was first exposed to ophthalmology by a family member, who allowed him to shadow. He was so intrigued, he went on to complete a subspecialty fellowship training in vitreoretinal diseases and surgery at the University of Iowa, then joined as faculty staff. Dr. Kimura obtained additional training in retinal vascular diseases, followed by an electrophysiology fellowship. He directed the Ocular Electrophysiology Laboratory, studying inherited retinal diseases, and was elected the Vitreoretinal Fellowship Director as a tenured professor at the University of Iowa.
Advancing his research pursuits, Dr. Kimura acts as a co-investigator of active clinical trials, conducted through Colorado Retina’s in-house research program. He continues to contribute to scientific literature, with over 70 papers and a multitude of book chapters in print. Dr. Kimura conceived Colorado Retina’s collaboration with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, serving as their Denver chapter’s Development Director. Under his mentorship, Colorado Retina was honored in 2018 as the top fundraising team in the state at FFB’s signature fundraising event, VisionWalk. In addition, Dr. Kimura is one of a handful of American Board of Ophthalmology, oral board examiners in the western hemisphere and stays current by attending their internationally-recognized meetings throughout the year.
Today, Dr. Kimura drives Colorado Retina’s practice transformation, with the intention of providing exceptional patient care through operational excellence and highly collaborative teams. The goal, “to give each patient the best chance at recovery and optimal health outcomes,” says Dr. Kimura. As president, he has facilitated and led Colorado Retina to become a TCPi recognized practice, providing our patients with high-value medications to give the best form of treatment. Dr. Kimura intends to push our practice to serve as a leader and role model for other specialty care organizations for future transformations. This higher performance allows our dedicated, highly skilled group of physicians to deliver the compassionate, world-class care our patients deserve.
Dr. Kimura enjoys international travel, expeditions to remote areas to discover unique cultures, food and wildlife. When not traveling or in clinic, Dr. Kimura spends his time exploring the Colorado mountains by means of ski, bike, raft and mountaineering.
Coming to us from Scottsdale, AZ, Dr. Levison is one of the newest additions to our Colorado Retina physician team. Dr. Ashleigh Levison specializes in medical and surgical retina treatment, with special interest in uveitis. She primarily cares for patients with macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease, vascular occlusions, macular disorders, epiretinal membranes, vitreomacular traction and inflammatory eye disease, also known as uveitis. Currently, Dr. Levison sees patients at all of our six locations, across the Rocky Mountain region.
Dr. Levison joined the CRA team in 2018. She selected Colorado Retina as her home, because our primary focus aligned with her own, to provide her patients with the utmost care by saving and protecting their valued sense of sight. Growing up with both parents who were also physicians, Levison says, “since childhood, I have always seen myself helping people through medicine.”
Before settling in Denver, Dr. Levison moved around the states, exploring major cities including Miami, San Francisco, Boston and Cleveland to train in top-ranked ophthalmology programs. She graduated summa cum laude from Boston College, and was inducted into two national honor societies during her schooling. Dr. Levison completed her ophthalmology residency at UCSF, then moved on to master both a vitreoretinal surgery and uveitis fellowship at the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Levison prides herself in being an active community and academia steward. She has served on numerous medical boards, published cutting-edge research, and is often found traveling as a keynote lecturer at renowned scientific meetings. Dr. Levison’s passion is in continued education, where she enjoys sharing her advanced knowledge of specialty retina treatment and care with her ophthalmology colleagues.
We asked Dr. Levison where in the world she would want to see next, and as an avid traveler, her next big trip is to Iceland. Her goal, outside curing blindness, is to see as many national parks as she possibly can!
Dr. Mimi Liu is a partner at Colorado Retina Associates where she has practiced for the past thirteen years. Dr. Liu is a highly trained vitreoretinal surgeon, who treats a vast majority of retinal conditions. Her areas of expertise lie in repairing retinal detachments and tears, macular puckers, and macular holes. She also takes special interest in treating patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disease and macular degeneration.
Dr. Liu attended one of the top medical schools in the nation, Baylor College of Medicine, where she received her Doctorate of Medicine. After graduating medical school, Dr. Liu moved back to New Haven, CT where she completed her undergraduate at Yale to return for her internship at the Hospital of Saint Raphael. Dr. Liu then went on to complete her ophthalmology residency and extensive vitreoretinal fellowship program at Willis Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.
Dr. Liu has been played an essential role in the development and furtherment of our in-house clinical research program. She stays at the forefront of research through her participation in close to a hundred clinical trials, with the goal of bettering treatment methods for each of her patients. Dr. Liu is also highly involved in the medical field through her work in publishing numerous ophthalmology related articles, book chapters and papers, and is a recognized professional speaker for her presentations at national events.
Currently, Dr. Liu sees patients at Colorado Retina’s Englewood, Golden and Parker locations. She goes above and beyond to offer Saturday clinic hours for her patients that do not have access to retinal care during the work week.
On her off days, Dr. Liu enjoys spending time with her family and being a humble student of science, history and philosophy. She is a recovering long-distance cycling and adventure travel addict, with a recent shift in focus to exploring organic farming, wood working, Bollywood dancing, and yoga. Dr. Liu is an avid reader and always enjoys discovering new books and writers, Dr. Liu would like the opportunity to shovel snow at Lambeau field, attend an Oxford Union debate, and be in a flash mob.
If you are reading this it is likely because you have been referred for evaluation of a possible problem with your retina. For many patients visiting a retina specialist their foremost concern is, "Will I lose vision?" For some patients that have already lost sight, the desperate question is, "Can I recover my vision?" Patients are understandably frightened when their vision is threatened. I appreciate the emotional weight of sight-threatening disease. My philosophy of care prioritizes establishing trust through patient education and a cooperative approach to decision-making. As much as it is essential to understand disease process and current evidence-based medical practices, bedside manner matters, especially when patients are frightened. It is important to me that patients feel comfortable with and confident in their treatment plan. A patient posted an unprovoked online review which captures the patient experience I strive to create:
Dr. Shukla exhibits great concern for his patients and endeavors to ensure that the patient is fully informed and comfortable with every step of a procedure. He exhibits the ultimate in knowledge and skill in his area of practice. Personally, I have every confidence in him and would heartily recommend him to anyone in need of the services of his specialty. (https://www.vitals.com/doctors/Dr_Salil_Shukla.html)
My wife and I arrived in Denver in 2010 and are delighted to call Denver home. I practiced vitreoretinal surgery for 12 years before joining Colorado Retina Associates in 2019. Originally from New York, I attended college at Emory University where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and subsequently attended medical school and residency at New York Medical College. I completed my vitreoretinal fellowship at the Vitreoretinal Foundation in Memphis, TN, a high-volume surgical program that laid the foundation of my surgical career. I have published articles in peer-reviewed ophthalmic and neuroscience journals, and presented original research at ophthalmic society meetings. As a member of the American Society of Retinal Specialists and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, with board certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology, I actively pursue continuing education to ensure I am current with emerging practices and techniques. My vitreoretinal interests include surgical and medical management of vitreomacular interface disorders, retinal detachment surgery, age-related macular degeneration management and retinal vascular disease.
Outside of work I am an avid amateur motorsports enthusiast and am pursuing my childhood dream of being a race car driver. I enjoy competing in local and national autocross events with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) and road racing events with the North America Sportscar Association (NASA). I love the competition and feeling of pushing a car to its limits. Having earned a competition racing license, I’ve competed in 7, 9, and 24-hour endurance races. When not at the racetrack I enjoy travel, spending time with friends, trying new restaurants with my wife, or just relaxing at home with our vizsla, Hobbes.
If you have been referred to Colorado Retina Associates, rest assured you will be seen by an excellent physician! If you choose to see me, as a patient anticipate a doctor that will strive to make you comfortable, navigating your diagnosis and treatment.
Salil Shukla MD
Dr. Miriah Teeter is the latest addition to the Colorado Retina team, coming to us with over 11 years of practice experience as a fellowship trained vitreoretinal surgeon. Dr. Teeter has special expertise in medical and surgical treatment of retinal disease, with a focus on diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vascular occlusions, retinal detachment repair, and macular surgery.
In medical school Dr. Teeter had his first exposure to ophthalmology and was immediately fascinated by the field. The opportunity to provide highly specialized medical and surgical care to the community motivated him to complete his ophthalmology residency at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Teeter then went on to finish an intensive retinal surgery fellowship at the University of British Columbia, a global center for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.
Dr. Teeter’s years of providing care for patients with blinding conditions has taught him many things. Two key principles that guide him are constantly remaining at the forefront of the latest advances in vitreoretinal treatment and taking the time to listen and understand the unique needs of each of his patients. “I've been impressed by the magnitude of the trust patients place in us as we care for their most precious sense of sight; living up to that trust means assembling a dedicated, skilled team around the surgeon to help my patients every step of the way”, says Teeter. This team, he confidently expresses, he has found at Colorado Retina.
Dr. Teeter is passionate to stay at the forefront of advancing retinal diagnostic and treatment technologies, through our intensive in-house clinical research department. “We have been able to effectively treat specific retinal issues for the first time in recent years. We are also able to provide less invasive surgical options, resulting in improved visual outcomes, lower risk, and better patient experience”, says Dr. Teeter.
Throughout his studies, Dr. Teeter has volunteered his time to staff migrant worker health clinics and has been a volunteer builder with Habitat for Humanity since his high school years. Now, busy with two active boys, he recently started devoting more time to the local school system. Supporting his boy’s schools and being actively involved in their lives has been a rewarding way to grow deeper roots in the community and create unique memories with his family. If not volunteering, or in clinic, you can often find Dr. Teeter perfecting his knack for photography, or in the mountains skiing, hiking, biking, and participating in the activities us Coloradans’ love.