A year ago, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we faced a crisis with fearsome consequences: a highly contagious and deadly virus, an unprecedented economic shutdown, school closures, and social isolation.
While we are not yet through the tunnel, we can see light and we are moving toward it. Vaccines, developed in record time, are being widely distributed, offering the promise of better days ahead.
We have been able to get to this point because science provided a solid foundation for the rapid development of vaccines. And we are moving in the right direction because of smart solutions and compassionate care.
Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine and chief innovation officer at our partner UCHealth, told the Colorado Sun that the vaccination rollout effort is momentous. “It is rocking,” he said in December at the beginning of the vaccine rollout. “It is one of the most important events in the history of science and medicine, and people are excited they are participating.”
It is a big deal. Everyone from the Anschutz Medical Campus should be proud of their contributions to this historic effort. Hundreds from our academic medical center have volunteered to help the rest of our community. Our faculty have been go-to experts for state leaders and media representatives, reassuring the community that vaccines are safe and administering the shots to tens of thousands of Colorado residents. Our students have been active volunteers, stepping up when needed, even as they continued their studies.
All the while, we have continued to provide care and advance biomedical science in our chosen fields of expertise. After a sharp decline in non-COVID patient visits last spring, most of our clinics have recovered. Our research grant portfolio grew in 2020, with Anschutz Medical Campus researchers attracting $762 million in sponsored research funding.
Through it all, the School has continued to pursue other important strategic goals. Among the highlights:
These achievements are even more impressive because members of our School community made them happen during the most challenging public health and economic crises in generations.
Our school community and our supporters have been a constant source of strength, wisdom, compassion, and dedication during extraordinarily trying times. We look forward to gathering with you soon to celebrate these achievements.
With warm regards,
John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Dean, School of Medicine
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs
University of Colorado
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