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Botsford Family Mourns Unexpected Loss of Orthopedic Surgeon

Robert P. Colen, D.O., died on Sunday, in the hospital's emergency room.

Robert P. Colen, D.O, 51, an orthopedic surgeon at who specialized in trauma and fracture repair, died unexpectedly on Sunday.

Visitation will be held Friday, 1 p.m.-9 p.m., at in Farmington. A memorial service will be held Saturday, 11 a.m., at the Bostford Hospital Community Room in the Zieger Administration Bldg., just east of the main hospital. 

Colen will be remembered for his surgical skill, his ability to connect and communicate with patients, his frequently articulated appreciation of his office and hospital staffs, and his acts of charitable giving to causes that interested him.

He did not take a traditional path to becoming a physician. Colen first served 13 years as an emergency paramedic in California. He graduated magna cum laude from California State University with a bachelor of science in chemistry. Colen went on to finish in the top 10 of his medical school class at Western University of Health Sciences.

After finishing his internship and orthopedic residency at Botsford Hospital, he completed a year of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston. Colen served as guest lecturer for Harvard Grand Rounds, Michigan State University, and local orthopedic societies. His scientific writings have won multiple awards and have been published in medical journals.

Colen specialized in a wide variety of disorders of the musculoskeletal system including arthritis, sports, and work-related injuries to both the upper and lower extremities. In addition, he subspecialized in failed fracture fixation, limb deformity, major orthopedic infections and the repair of complex fracture resulting from high-energy trauma, including the pelvis and hip.

“I knew Rob for almost 20 years. He was more than a colleague; he was a treasured member of our Botsford family. Rob’s technical knowledge of orthopedic trauma surgery coupled with his respectful approach to people were instrumental in helping Botsford become a verified Trauma Center. He was an important member of our Trauma Team and gave wonderful care to severely injured patients that led them to the best possible outcomes. Rob will be deeply missed,” said Paul E. LaCasse, D.O. MPH, president and CEO of Botsford Health Care.

A wonderful communicator, Colen always took the time to thank the members of his practice’s staff at Novi’s Orthopedic Trauma Specialists and the Botsford Hospital staff for their effort on behalf of his patients. He lavished gifts on staff as well hosted them at the Autumn Gala, Botsford’s annual black-tie fundraising event.

Moreover, Colen supported institutions that had an impact on his life. For example, he was honored by Western University at its East West Scholarship Dinner for generously giving to the East West Scholarship at his alma mater where he was one of the first recipients of this Asian-American scholarship.

He was born Sept. 8, 1960, in Seoul, South Korea, and was adopted at six months of age by Paul Colen and Grace Colen Berg, who lived in California. His favorite way to spend time was with his family, participating in water sports and winter sports or enjoying music together.

Dr. Colen is the beloved husband of Rita for 30 years; devoted father of Stephanie (Kelley) Brossy and Alex Colen; loving son of Paul Colen and the late Grace Berg; and dear brother of Barbara (Jerry) Higgins, Carol Martin, Jeannie (Dennis) Lieb and Cindy (Harry) Bier.

-- Botsford Hospital press release

Jahnavi shyam July 21, 2012 at 04:55 PM
My husband and I are in utter disbelief and shock over the demise of Dr. Colen. Though our asociation with Dr. Colen was only from Feb 15 when I met him for my ankle fracture and had to have a surgery, his kind and comforting words touched our heart. He was a wonderful person. Our deepest condolences to his family and we pray to God for his soul to rest in peace. Jani and Shyam, Novi Mi.
jasmine buckwalter July 26, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Dr. C, as I called him was the best Doc I had ever came across. I had been told by another doctor that I would have to deal with the pain that I was having in my arm. Dr. Colen did not see it that way, he took action immediately. There was no going back to any other Dr after that. He was able to help with all of my other bone problems. Every time I went to his office my first stop would be to look out the window to see what car he was driving that day. I would joke with him and ask him when was he going to let me take it for a spin. I'm happy that I had the pleasure of meeting him, his staff, and his lovey wife. Dr.C may be gone but he will never be forgotten. Jasmine Buckwalter
Sharon Cooper July 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I was in a car accident 5 years ago and had been in pain every since. Every doctor before Dr. Colen told me if I lost weight I would feel better . Dr. Colen took the time to examine me and found that I had a torn meniscus. I met him on 1/21/12, he operated on 5/16/12 and I haven't felt this good in 5 years. He was so patient and personably I feel like I lost a friend not just a doctor. My prayers are with all that knew him because I know you will miss him, because I will.
Melvina Tillman October 23, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I recently found out of Dr. Colen's passing. However, I'm still in shock! He was my ortho doc in 2001 and stated "if you make one wrong move in that cast" that I would need surgery. May I add I did my best and stayed still! This man was so stylish, every pair of glasses he wore I wanted them! We bumped into one another sometime last year and prior to that and he welcomed me to stop by his office. He will truly be missed. May his family remain strong and always share his best moments.......
Heather L. February 12, 2013 at 06:37 PM
I just found out that Dr. Colen passed away last summer and felt devastated by this news! In so many ways, I feel like I owe my life to Dr. Colen! After completely shattering both of my calcaneus in 2006, and being told I may not walk again, he amazingly put me back together with the use of external fixators (and a lot of time). With this injury requiring many doctors visits, we became a bit close. He was a very professional, but funny, charismatic, knowledgable and "tell it like it is" type of doctor who was well respected and very much appreciated! He will definitely be missed by myself and many others, I'm sure. Dr. Colen, I will never forget you and all you did for me. You were an amazing man! THANK YOU and I will see you again one day...in heaven :)

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