Dean's Weekly Message

December 22, 2014


Dear colleague: 

The almost-last week of the calendar year was amazingly busy and full. There is a lot to talk about here, so forgive a longer-than-usual message. There will be no WGOH next week, so read this in aliquots if you like, but members of University Physicians, Inc. (UPI) please note the paragraph bolded below because you will soon receive a ballot in a separate email to elect six faculty to the UPI Board for the next several years.  

We really very much need more faculty from all schools to sign up as preceptors for our hundreds of students who will do health screenings at the National Western Stock Show next month. There are dozens of four-hour shifts that need to be filled. If a four-hour shift seems long, I can tell you from experience that the time goes quickly. You also get a free ticket to the exhibits. And, if you want to take a faculty friend and/or colleague, the two of you could share a four-hour shift with one supervising while the other wanders the Hall of Education. But please sign up today. 

In what was perhaps the most unexpected announcement of the week, Children’s Hospital Colorado announcedlast Thursday that Jim Shmerling is stepping away from his day-to-day role as CEO in order to focus on overseeing the Children’s Hospital Colorado Health System. Jena Hausmann, president and chief operating officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, will serve as interim CEO while the board conducts a national search for a permanent CEO. The leadership changes take effect Thursday, Jan. 1. A lot of people have asked me about this announcement, and I knew nothing about it until notified by the board chair earlier in the week. Jim has overseen and been part of a lot of growth and positive change since he came in January 2007, and we wish him well in the next phase of his career. We have known and worked closely with Jena for years and I do not expect that we will miss a beat in our collaborative work together. 

Tuesday morning, as usual for the third Tuesday of every month, had very busy School of Medicine Executive Committee and UPI Board meetings. There were reports on our undergraduate medical education program, which included data on how well our graduates do when they leave us for Graduate Medical Education programs around the country, as well as a discussion on the recruitment of clinical faculty for the Colorado Springs branch and a proposed branch in Fort Collins with Colorado State University and Poudre Valley and Medical Center of the Rockies. There also was a good discussion led by Faculty Senate Past-President Nichole Reisdorph, PhD, about School of Medicine rule changes proposed by a task force on at-will appointments. The Executive Committee approved the concept of moving the rules changes forward to the faculty at large (probably this spring). And finally, Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, gave an update on the Adult and Child Center for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science. 

The UPI Board had a report on the meaningful use program, now entering its second year with increased requirements and increased rewards or penalties for good or poor performance. Our faculty who are using electronic medical records at University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado have done a wonderful job meeting federal requirements. 

UPI will soon be sending a ballot for the UPI Board elections to all eligible UPI members. Please look for the ballot, which will be sent from UPI’s Ardith Hughes via a Survey Monkey email. Only those who are eligible to vote will receive the email. 

Wednesday, I had a nice lunch with all the staff and community volunteers who worked behind the scenes for a year to make the Bow Tie Ball a success. They really worked very hard and it showed in the incredibly smooth way nearly 1,000 people were fed and entertained that night, and helped us raise nearly $400,000. I am deeply appreciative of their efforts. I also want to express my sincere gratitude to the many medical students who attended the gala and volunteered to help the evening of the event.

Thursday at noon the Children’s Hospital board met and heard the story of the 400th heart transplant patient in our 25-year old program before hearing about the transition in leadership that will happen Jan. 1. Immediately afterwards, Lilly Marks, the University’s vice president for health affairs, and I walked over to the Leprino building for a special meeting of the University of Colorado Health where Liz Concordia, president and CEO of University of Colorado Health, gave a really good report on her first 100 days, laying out goals for the short, medium and long term on what I hope will be a very long career here. 

Friday noon, I had the opportunity to give the last of the more than 3,000 Doctor of Medicine diplomas I have been honored to present since 1991. Michael Buendia, MD, and his family met in the Given Conference Room for a small, individual ceremony. He and I recited the Physician’s Oath. We took pictures and had a light lunch with his family and friend. His family was so proud, and it was rewarding to launch another career. 

The Colorado Academy of Family Physicians has selected the Westminster Family Medicine Center and the Boulder Family Medicine Center as co-recipients of the academy’s annual award for state’s best patient-centered medical home. The award will be presented at the academy’s annual scientific conference in April. The teams at these clinics are being recognized for developing an innovative partnership with the Consortium of Older Adult Wellness. The clinics now have their own certified health coaches providing six-week training for patients, helping them learn healthier living skills and self-management goals. Congratulations to the Department of Family Medicine and specifically these clinics in Westminster and Boulder. 

A memorial celebration of the life of William B. Goddard, MD, a longtime clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, will be held Friday, Jan. 2, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Bruce Schroffel Conference Center in the Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2. Bill, who died on Dec. 2, came to Denver in 1961 and joined the clinical faculty in 1963. He trained more than 400 residents and medical students over the course of his career. I will be with family at the time of this service, but if you’d like to attend, please RSVP to Cathy Kenworthy. 

We send our condolences to the friends and family of Stephen Embree Barnett, MD, who died in October at age 73. Stephen completed pediatric residencies and fellowships at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center and Health Sciences Center in preventive medicine and pediatrics in 1970-71. He also earned a master’s in comprehensive health planning and administration from the University. As assistant professor here, Stephen served as director of the Student Health Program for Migrant Farm Workers and Rural Poor. He was in private practice at The Aspen (Colorado) Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic for ten years before he and his wife, Susan, married and they moved to Galveston, Texas in 1989. 

Samuel Fosdick Jones, MD, retired from the CU faculty in 1930, but his legacy lives on here at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The CU Office of Advancement announced this month that the School has received a $1.5 million estate gift from Dr. Jones, who was the head of orthopedics from 1917 to 1928. When he died in 1946, he left his estate in a trust that distributed income to friends and family. Now, the CU Office of Advancement has announced that money remaining in the trust is going to create a fund that will benefit surgical bone pathology research in the Department of Orthopedics in perpetuity. The first round of funding from the S. Fosdick Jones Fund will benefit research by four faculty members. 

The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center has some recipe rehab advice on its website for those hosting or heading out to holiday parties. And the team offer some good tips to stay healthy when there’s food all around: Don’t go hungry to the party and stand away from the serving tables. I missed reading this as  I attended the last of the winter departmental parties last Friday night, catching up with the Department of Radiology at the Soiled Dove and now await the several events that are scheduled in January to round out yet another year of holiday and new year cheer. 

Finally, thanks to everyone who anonymously has helped me and my family navigate the really vicious viruses that plagued us last week. Whether it was by accommodating schedule changes, or just caring, we appreciate it.  


The Happiest of New Years to you all. I hope the new year will bring another big announcement soon! 

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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