Dean's Weekly Message

August 25, 2014


Dear colleague:

It was a short week at work because I took time off at the end of last week and today to host a 51st reunion for my college roommates at our home this weekend.  We have done this annually since 2009. We participated in each other’s weddings in the three years after graduation and our spouses are still our spouses.  It was a really nice touristy weekend, spending time at the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens and riding light rail to Union Station Sunday afternoon to see its transformation. Not sure when or where we will get together next year, but, our health willing, we will. 


The Executive Committee met last Tuesday morning and received many updates on matters important to the entire campus: 

  • David Goff, MD, PhD, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, reported that the search for my successor is moving along. He said that if everything goes as planned there will be at least three finalists on campus in mid-September and October. He added that semifinalists, who were identified from the round of confidential interviews held earlier this summer, are currently having conversations with key stakeholders on campus.
  • Art Gonzalez, DrPH, CEO of Denver Health, came to the meeting to introduce Ken Bellian, MD, MBA, Denver Health’s newly named chief of clinical operations. Ken had been Denver Health’s director of ambulatory care specialty services. They reiterated Denver Health’s commitment to our education and research missions.
  • Scott Arthur, vice chancellor for advancement for the Anschutz Medical Campus, and Erin Henninger, senior director of University of Colorado Hospital Foundation, outlined an approach that will have our respective fundraising teams working together for the benefit of our entire campus. The collaborative approach is encouraging and should yield improved success for all.
  • James Hill, PhD, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, gave an update on the progress of the Center and said the national exposure from the television program Extreme Weight Loss has been good for business. 

At the University Physicians, Inc. (UPI) Board of Directors meeting that immediately followed the School’s Executive Committee, the board unanimously approved a number of changes to the bylaws of the organization. These changes have followed the changes in the board and committee structure that resulted from the School’s recent strategic planning exercise.  We hope to get the bylaws to the faculty members of UPI for their ratification in the next month or so. 

Wednesday afternoon, Bob Anderson MD, senior associate dean for education, and Mark Deutchman, MD, professor of family medicine and executive director of the Colorado Area Health Education Center, and I spent the afternoon meeting with the president, provost and several deans at Colorado State University to discuss potential opportunities for our current medical students to do part of the clinical training in Fort Collins, as well as (some day) potentially having a clinical branch of the School there. We took a tour of their veterinary school, including their human anatomy (undergraduate) and animal anatomy labs. 

Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, program director of the physical therapy program, has accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Members are selected based on the quality of their research accomplishments, publications in journals and other scientific activities. Study sections review and make recommendations on grant applications submitted to the NIH. Margaret’s selection reflects the high quality of her work and our physical therapy program and will be a major contribution to biomedical research in the United States. 

The good work we do every day on this campus is often focused directly on students, patients, experiments and other specific endeavors. But taken together, our individual efforts on this campus have a huge impact on the Colorado economy. A report released earlier this month shows that the CU Anschutz Medical Campus infused $2.6 billion in direct spending into the state economy in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, and supported 21,954 jobs. I urge you take a moment to read this article about the report. As Lilly Marks, the University’s vice president of health affairs and executive vice chancellor of the campus, says, “It’s an incredible story and one that needs to be told.” 

Mini Med School 2: The Clinical Years begins Wednesday, Sept. 10, so the time to sign up is now.  Mini Med School 2 focuses on common medical ailments presented through relevant case-based discussions. The program is designed to be a continuation of the successful Mini Med School community education program. The classes, which are free and open to the public, meet on Wednesday nights through Nov. 5 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Education Building 2 South. 

Finally, I want the many people who have challenged me or my staff to the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge, to know, first, I made a personal donation on the website of this good cause specifically to support research, but second, we cannot afford to do something as an Office or a School. We literally have hundreds of opportunities to support the specific nonprofits of nearly every disease someone on this campus is researching or treating. I am also again struck by how extraordinarily generous the American people are when it comes to supporting a health issue in contrast to how little is raised every year for those issues perceived to be “social problems,” such as abuse and neglect.  I hope to change that perception when I go back to work at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse. 

Have a good week,

Richard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine



"What’s Going On Here" is an email news bulletin from Richard Krugman, MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service. See the UCH-Insider →

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