By Trisha Kendall
(October 2018) The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has received a $120 million gift, the largest private philanthropic commitment in its history, to further elevate its stature as one of the country’s top medical destinations.
The Anschutz Foundation and its founder and chair, Philip Anschutz, made the unprecedented commitment to accelerate the campus’s growth and development as one of the newest and most prominent academic medical campuses in the United States, the only one in the Rocky Mountain region, and the largest from Chicago to the West Coast. This gift brings The Anschutz Foundation’s total investment in the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to nearly $300 million since 2000.
The gift will support strategic faculty recruitment and retention, innovative research efforts, industry partnerships and technology transfer, and a new 390,000-square-foot interdisciplinary Anschutz Health Sciences Building. The university will break ground later this year on the new building, which will house faculty leaders in mental and behavioral health including the CU Department of Psychiatry, as well as the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, classrooms, exhibit space and more.
“We are proud partners in the development of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and share an ambitious vision for further elevating it among the country’s top medical destinations,” Anschutz said. “The campus stands as a Colorado landmark and a hub of leading-edge research, innovation and education – and, perhaps most importantly, as the place to go for the highest-quality health care delivered by the best minds in medicine.”
“With this commitment, Mr. Anschutz and the leadership of The Anschutz Foundation are excited to help rapidly transform medicine and health care, not only in Colorado but across the region and beyond,” said Ted Harms, Executive Director of The Anschutz Foundation. “We have a shared vision for propelling the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus even higher among the best medical campuses in the United States, and by investing in key strategic areas, we will make that vision a reality.”
“Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation are helping lead a visionary transformation of health care in Colorado and beyond,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “This gift, combined with their previous commitments, goes a long way toward ensuring the CU Anschutz Medical Campus is one of the leading medical care, research and education facilities in the world.”
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Chancellor Donald M. Elliman, Jr. said the commitment from The Anschutz Foundation “enables us to fully capitalize on the momentum we have seen on this campus since our beginnings here just 17 years ago.”
“Our growth has been exponential and shows no signs of slowing, due in large part to The Anschutz Foundation’s longstanding partnership and this new commitment,” Elliman said.
“Among our initial opportunities are attracting and retaining top talent in key areas including personalized medicine, novel therapeutics and immunotherapy, and mental and behavioral health,” said CU School of Medicine Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs John J. Reilly Jr., MD.
UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital President and CEO Will Cook said he is particularly hopeful about the impact this gift will have on recruiting and retaining top faculty who help deliver excellent patient care. “UCHealth and University of Colorado Hospital partner with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus to leverage research and innovative treatments like immunotherapy to transform the future of health care. This historic donation will enable the nationally recognized physicians from the CU School of Medicine to continue inventing the health care treatments of tomorrow, helping deliver the very best outcomes for patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region.”
“New discoveries in the realm of personalized medicine and novel therapeutics are rapidly changing the pediatric health care landscape,” said Children’s Hospital Colorado President and CEO Jena Hausmann. “This generous gift infuses valuable resources into that work and will translate into more effective, highly tailored treatments for children battling a range of illnesses and diseases.”
In addition to funding bright minds in research, education and clinical care, the campus will dedicate philanthropic funds to invest in CU Innovations, a new approach to technology transfer launched in 2016 to facilitate the translation of science and innovation into marketable products and services that improve lives.
“Our proud history of innovation has led to important new discoveries, and through CU Innovations, we are capitalizing on our deeply rooted entrepreneurial spirit by connecting University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus inventors with innovators and industry partners who can take their breakthroughs to market,” said Elliman.
Dean John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus last week celebrated an extraordinary gift from Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation, benefactors who have consistently supported our vision of improving human health and who share a commitment to making our campus one of the nation’s premier destinations for medical care and scientific research. The historic $120 million commitment is an investment in our future from our longtime steadfast partner. Since the creation of the Anschutz Medical Campus, Mr. Anschutz and his foundation have provided nearly $300 million to us and with this gift, the largest in Anschutz Medical Campus history, he is again showing confidence in you.
This gift means that we can do more today than we could yesterday. We will be able to recruit and retain the nation’s best scientists and clinicians for high-impact programs. We will be able to invest in research that promises new ways to treat disease and improve health. We will be able to turn those discoveries into innovations that extend our reach beyond campus to others who need our care. We will construct a state-of-the-art health sciences building that serves as home to initiatives for mental health, personalized medicine, and translational science. We will improve medical education, research, and clinical care, all because of this gift.
We are grateful for Mr. Anschutz’s boundless generosity, inspired by his unwavering support, mindful of the responsibility that comes with it, and committed to the shared vision of making our community the destination for all who seek the best medical care.
Chancellor Donald M. Elliman, Jr.
Philip Anschutz saw something special when he stood on the grounds of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center nearly two decades ago, and The Anschutz Foundation has since held a steadfast commitment to helping us realize the fullest potential of our campus.
Together, we set an ambitious goal for the future: to build a thriving medical destination serving people from across the state, around the region and beyond. That early bet has paid off, enabling us to realize a 40-year vision for this campus in just 12 years, and the undeniable energy and collaborative spirit alive and well on our campus are products of that shared vision.
The exponential growth you have helped us build shows no signs of slowing, and today we find ourselves at a distinct moment in time. We have the best minds in medicine and health at the helm, a history of innovation and a trajectory of growth unmatched by our peers, and a singular vision for realizing the tremendous promise of this place for patients, families and communities throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.