Susan McDowell, MD
Susan M. McDowell, M.D., is the Chairperson for PM&R in the College of Medicine at the University of Kentucky. She also services as the
Medical Director for Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. Dr. McDowell earned her medical degree from the Medical College of
Georgia. She is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation with a subspecialty certificate in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. She has
served in numerous other leadership roles within the Dept. of PM&R and the College of Medicine including the former Associate Dean
for Graduate Medical Education. Dr. McDowell has served on or been a member of numerous regional and national academic societies. In
addition, she has presented both regionally and nationally with publications in educational and clinical areas. Her primary interests are in
leadership, team, and interprofessional education and care.
Jessica Kavanaugh, MD (Formerly Colyer)
Residency Program Director
Dr. Jessica Kavanaugh is very connected to the “Tri-State area”. She grew up in southeastern Indiana and graduated with honors from
Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) with a B.S. in biology. She received her M.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in
2006 and completed her PM&R Residency at the University of Kentucky in 2010. After graduation, she worked in academic medicine at
the University of Cincinnati until taking the role of Residency Program Director here at UK in July 2016. As a self-identified “Xennial”, she
loves social media (Reddit is the app du jour) and gaming (PS forever, Xbox never). When not busy as program director or as a
clinician, she is busy raising her two elementary aged daughters to be sci-fi nerds and movie lovers much like herself.
Jamie Key, DO
Associate Program Director
Dr. Jamie Key grew up in Tennessee and is a proud alumnus of the University of Tennessee - Knoxville where she graduated with honors
with a degree in Psychology and minor in Chemistry. She considers a third degree in being a Vol for life! She obtained her D.O. degree
from the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, KY and completed PM&R residency at UK. She is board certified in PM&R
and specializes in Brain Injury Medicine. She completed one year of private practice in Cincinnati before returning to UK to join the faculty.
She currently is the Medical Director for the brain injury unit at Cardinal Hill and serves as the Associate Program Director. Her favorite
title, however, is Chair of the Wellness Committee. She enjoys participating in the ministry at Southland Christian Church, traveling,
and spending time with her wonderful husband and two young children. Out of all the hats she wears, being a mother is her favorite.
Andrew Savoie, DO
Chair Person of the Clinical Competency Committee
Dr. Andrew Savoie is originally from Atlanta, GA and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Cellular Biology. He
obtained his DO degree from PCOM-Georgia, completed his residency at the University of Kentucky, and is board certified in PM&R. He
joined the UK PM&R faculty as an Assistant Professor and Medical Director for Oncology PM&R, a new program and clinic designed to
meet the functional and rehabilitation needs for patients at the Markey Cancer Center. He enjoys spending time with his wife and
three children, Georgia football, and anything written by Brandon Sanderson.
Sara Salles, MD
Dr. Sara Salles is originally from Iran but has lived most of her life in the US. She earned her B.A. in Biology with a minor in French from St.
Louis University. She received her DO degree from Kansas City University in Kansas City, MO followed by her traditional internship at The
Medical Center in Columbus, GA. She completed her residency in PM&R at the University of Kentucky in 2000 where she currently serves
as the Vice Chair for the department. She is also Medical Director of the Spinal Cord Injury Unit at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital,
and Medical Director for Post-Acute Care Services for UK Health Care. Dr. Salles is boarded in PM&R and Spinal Cord Injury Medicine. She
is passionate about her clinical work, patient advocacy as well as medical education. When not working, Dr. Salles loves spending time
with her three children, her husband, Dr. Stefan Kiessling, a Pediatric Nephrologist at the University of Kentucky, watching soccer, cooking
Paula Ackerman, DO
Dr. Paula Ackerman is originally from Cincinnati, OH. She earned her BA in Physical Anthropology with a minor in Spanish at Wright
State University followed by her DO degree at Ohio University. She completed her residency at Albany Medical Center in Albany, New
York. She spent 3 years in private practice prior to joining the faculty of University of Kentucky in 2019. Her practice interest include
Neurorehabilitation, spasticity and torticollis management with botulinum toxin, and electrodiagnosis. Dr. Ackerman has participated in
several medical related trips to Latin America including Ecuador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador.
Heidi Beavan, APRN
Cecil Hollen, DO
Justin Huber, MD, MS
Gerald Klim, DO
Dr. Gerald Klim is an Associate professor in the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He received his B.S. from the
University of Richmond and his D.O. degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He completed his internship
and residency at Thomas JeffersonUniversity in PM+R and a fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine at the University of Kentucky.
He is board-certified in both. In addition, he has an M.A. in religion and Theology from the Lexington Theological Seminary and is an
ordained deacon in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. His interests include neurorehabilitation, spasticity management, and
Hospice care. His outside interests include the study of religion, theology, physical training, and watching soccer, rugby, and American
Robert Nickerson, MD
Dr. Robert Nickerson is an Associate Professor in the Dept of PM&R at the University of Kentucky. He is Board Certified in PM&R and
Electrodiagnostic Medicine. He attended Medical School at the Medical College of Georgia and graduated in 1989. He
completed residency at the University of Kentucky. He has been an attending in the Dept of PM&R at the University of Kentucky since
1993. He was the Residency Program Director for 15 years. His clinical interests include musculoskeletal medicine and electrodiagnosis.
Dwan Perry, DO
Lumy Sawaki, MD
Randal Schleenbaker, MD
Nancy Stiles, MD
Dr. Stiles earned her medical degree from the University of Texas in Houston and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the
University of Kentucky. During her “gap year” between residency and fellowship, she staffed a subacute head injury rehabilitation facility
in North Carolina which launched her love of rehabilitation medicine. She then completed a fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Duke
University. She joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 1992. She is a past president of the Kentucky Geriatric Society and has
served as medical director of multiple long term care facilities in the area. Her main interests are geriatric medicine and rehabilitation of
patients with major medical conditions. Past research has focused on occupational therapy in the elderly and nutrition. Outside of work,
she enjoys spending time with her three children and four dogs.
Leslie Combs, BA
GME Program Coordinator
Born and raised in the bluegrass, Leslie is a graduate and loyal fan of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.
After a grand 4 year adventure working alongside UK archaeologists at the UK Archaeology Lab, she shifted her career to the world of
GME, where her passion for resident and program success has blossomed. Leslie spent two years working within UK's department of
Internal Medicine as both staff support and GME Program Coordinator before transitioning to the PM&R residency program where she