The Steadman Philippon Research Institute, located in the Vail Valley Medical Center, is a non-profit sports medicine research institute.  During the 12-month fellowship, our fellows have a chance to be involved with research, educational programs, and a multitude of other projects taking place at our research facility.  The Institute includes a Biomedical Engineering Research Department which is equipped with motion analysis, EMG equipment, dual plane fluoroscopy, KUKA 6-Degree of Freedom Robot, and an Instron Axial Torsion Tester.  Research in the Biomedical Department is focused on human movement with respect to rehabilitation, pre- and post-surgery, and sports performance.

The Institute also has a state-of-the-art Surgical Skills Laboratory that provides a complete simulated operating room environment with up to 10 arthroscopy training stations, which is used regularly by the fellows for basic science projects, perfection of arthroscopic surgical techniques, and general dissection.  The Center for Outcomes-Based Orthopaedic Research is dedicated to conducting outcomes research and to providing clinical research support to our fellows.

Physician Assistant Fellowship Program

The SPRI Sports Medicine Physician Assistant Fellowship Program is a 12 month Orthopaedic Fellowship.  The fellows participate in a rotational schedule that allows each Physician Assistant to gain valuable experience in a variety of orthopaedic specialties.  The 12 months of sports medicine training will consist of seeing patients in the clinic, surgical first-assist in the operating room and possible assisting with covering team sporting events for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Teams and local high schools. The Steadman Clinic serves recreational and elite athletes and patients from the Vail Valley, across the United States, and around the world.  In the winter there are a fair number of skiing-related injuries that account for most of the trauma surgeries.

Goals of program
The goals of the orthopaedic physician assistant fellowship program are to educate the new generation of sports medicine providers who are leaders in clinical care, research and education.

Training Institutions
The fellows are exposed to elective orthopaedic surgeries that are performed in the outpatient surgery center located at the Vail Valley Medical Center and the Vail Valley Surgery Centers in Vail and Edwards, CO. The fellows will also see patients during attending physicians’ clinics at The Steadman Clinic inside the Vail Valley Medical Center building as well as the clinics located in Frisco, Edwards and Aspen CO.

Educational Components
The educational parts of the fellowship are Department of Orthopaedics weekly conferences, journal club, skills lab, evening lectures, local faculty run courses and traveling fellowships.

Salary, Vacations & Meetings
The fellowship offers a competitive annual salary plus medical benefits. The coverage includes medical, dental and vision insurance. Housing in Vail is expensive and can be difficult to find. We do our best, however, to help our fellows find housing for their year here.

Academic Curriculum

The Steadman Clinic is committed to academic excellence and offers a multi-faceted curriculum to supplement your clinical training. In addition to teaching, research, and administrative opportunities, the Fellowship is proud to provide the following resources:

  • Department of Orthopaedics weekly conference
  • Journal Club
  • Skills Lab

Clinical Rotations

  • Upper Extremity
  • Foot and Ankle
  • Hip Preservation
  • Total Joints
  • Spine
  • Sports Medicine
  • Regenerative Medicine


Upon completion of the Fellowship, each Fellow will receive an official Certification of Completion and will be considered for a staff PA position within The Steadman Clinic.

For more information, please email:

PA Fellowship Application Process

Admission Criteria

  • Graduation from a PA Program approved by the ARC-PA prior to starting the program
  • National Certification by the NCCPA (prior to enrollment in the program)
  • Colorado Licensure (prior to enrollment in the program)
  • DEA licensure or eligibility

Application Packet

  1. Please follow the instructions below to complete the application process.
  2. Complete the demographic information form.
  3. Provide official transcripts from all colleges/universities and your PA Program
  4. Attach a current Curriculum Vitae
  5. Two professional letters of recommendation must be provided with current contact information. For new graduates, one letter must be from the Director of the PA program; for current PAs, one letter must be from the current or most recent employer
  6. Include a personal statement on why you have chosen to complete an orthopaedic fellowship

Please submit the completed application packet with all required documentation to the following address:

The Steadman Clinic/Steadman Philippon Research Institute
Physician Assistant Fellowship
181 West Meadow Drive, Suite 400
Vail, CO 81657
Attention: Talena Williams

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as positions become available. Applicants will be invited for an interview upon completion and review of the application and all supporting documents.  New graduate applicants may apply prior to their program graduation.



Medical Director

Dr. Randy Viola, BA, MD
Hand, Wrist, Elbow & Orthopaedic Trauma Specialist

Head Team Physician Men's US Alpine Ski Team
Medical Consultant to the Denver Broncos (NFL), US Snowboard Team, and USOC

Dr. Randy Viola joined The Steadman Clinic in 1999 and specializes in disorders of the hand, wrist, and elbow with special interests in trauma, arthroscopy, and sports-related disorders.

Dr. Viola graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1988 and completed his medical education four years later at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. After completing his orthopaedic surgery residency at the University of Washington in Seattle, he completed two fellowships: a sports medicine fellowship at The Steadman Clinic and a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center in Indianapolis.

His current research interests include distal radius fractures and disorders of the distal radioulnar joint. His research has been published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, the Journal of Hand Surgery, the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, and the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and is an active member of the ASSH (American Society for Surgery of the Hand). He works as an upper extremity consultant to the United States Ski & Snowboard Teams, Denver Broncos & USOC. Dr. Viola & his wife live in Vail. He enjoys alpine skiing, biking, and running.


Program Director

Talena C. Williams, DMSc, PA-C, ATC/L

Talena Williams joined The Steadman Clinic as Dr. Philippon’s Practice Manager in November 2015. Originally from Grundy, VA she holds an undergraduate degree from Emory & Henry College, a Master’s degree from Virginia Tech and a Physician Assistant degree from James Madison University. She recently completed her DMSc degree from Lynchburg University.

Her career began as a certified athletic trainer with Roanoke County schools. Upon graduation from PA school, she worked as a Physician Assistant for 12 years and also served as the sports medicine coordinator. She successfully founded and managed an athletic training services company, On-site Sports Medicine which was later acquired by a local hospital.

Talena is a member of several professional organizations including NATA and AAPA. She lives in Edwards with her husband Adam and son Tyson. A lover of all things Halloween, her favorite team sports are football and wrestling and enjoys skiing and water sports in her free time.

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