Dean's Weekly Message

December 8, 2014


Dear colleague: 

What a nice stretch of lovely weather we are enjoying. Years ago, the first two weeks of December used to be the below-freezing, 10-day cold spells. If we are lucky, last month’s cold snap took care of it for this fall.  

First, a quick clarification:  Last Friday a note came out that Friday, Jan. 2, 2015, would be a holiday for the University of Colorado Denver and Anschutz Medical Campus, except for “faculty and staff providing essential services.”  Usually, everyone considers him or herself essential (except when it comes to this type of holiday).  If you are a clinician who has clinics scheduled that day at a University of Colorado Hospital or Children’s Hospital Colorado clinic, you are essential and cannot cancel clinics for this holiday. However, you are eligible to take an alternate day of administrative leave later in January. 

Last Wednesday, I participated in a community visioning session for our Colorado Springs Branch of the medical school. Liz Concordia, president and CEO of University of Colorado Health was there, as were physicians from Memorial Hospital, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, Peak Vista Community Health Centers and our University of Colorado Colorado Springs colleagues, including Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak, PhD, Provost Mary Coussons-Read, PhD, and Beth-El College of Nursing & Health Sciences Dean Nancy Smith, PhD.  Associate Dean Erik Wallace, MD, guided the session, which envisioned how this developing branch could improve the health status of the community while assuring outstanding education for the students electing to go there. 

The annual Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation Board dinner was Wednesday evening. On Thursday evening, the Kempe Children’s Foundation had a reception where I spoke. And the Medical Student Council had a wonderful party at Coors Field Friday night that I stopped by. Saturday evening, the Orthopedics Holiday Dinner was at the Downtown Renaissance Hotel, which used to be the original Colorado National Bank Building. I stopped by for the reception and marveled at what Bob D’Ambrosia, MD, has done in the 12 years he has been here as department chair, taking it from four faculty at University Hospital to nearly 60 at University, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the VA and Denver Health.  Then, last night, I wandered around the Denver Botanic Gardens as a trailing spouse at the University of Colorado Hospital party. 

Congratulations to Leslie Knaub, who has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Steven Fadul Award for Professional Research Assistant (PRA) excellence. She was chosen from a strong group of nominees based on her demonstrated excellence in teaching and training students, PRAs and faculty, her mentoring and organizational skills, the breadth of her technical skills and her independence and effectiveness as a manager and leader. The award will be presented at the annual Department of Physiology and Biophysics dinner this coming Friday night. 

It is so clear that so much of our success in providing high quality care to the patients who come to University of Colorado Hospital is because of the extraordinary competence of the nursing staff. The hospital has been granted Magnet status for the fourth consecutive time by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program. Only 402 healthcare organizations out of 5,700 in the United States have received this recognition and fewer than 30 hospitals have been recognized four times for nursing excellence. UCH is the second in Colorado to become a four-time Magnet hospital, along with UCH’s partner hospital Poudre Valley Hospital. 

The Department of Pediatrics will be honoring this year’s Career Teaching Scholars Award recipients on Friday, Dec. 12, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in the Mt. Oxford Auditorium at Children’s Hospital Colorado Second Floor Conference Center.  A reception in the lobby will immediately follow. This year’s honorees are two clinical faculty, Brian Englund, PA-C, and Debby Faes, CHA, PA-C, and two faculty, Ida Nakashima, MD, and Jeff Wagener, MD.  They will be recognized for outstanding contributions to pediatric education throughout their careers.  This event is always a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our gifted educators. 

William Goddard, MD, a well-respected and admired clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, died Dec. 2. Bill was recruited to Denver in 1961 to be director of obstetrics and gynecology at Denver General Hospital and he joined the University’s clinical faculty in 1963. During his illustrious career, Bill trained more than 400 residents and medical students.  My condolences go to his friends and family. Details for a memorial services are pending. 


We have a bounty of application and presentation deadlines to report: 


  • All students, residents, graduate students, post-docs and faculty on the Anschutz Medical Campus are invited to submit an abstract for a poster presentation on educational research and/or innovations in the health sciences professions. This is the second call for abstracts for the Educational Scholarship & Innovation Symposium. Abstracts are due by Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015. Additional details about the abstract submission process and the symposium are available online
  • The Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute is inviting submissions for the annual winter pediatric research poster session. Fellows, faculty, residents, nurses and all Children’s Hospital Colorado professional staff are encouraged to attend and participate. Deadline for submission is Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. To submit a poster, register online or contact Rose Heineman
  • Applications are now being accepted for a new skills-based teaching program geared toward educators in the School of Medicine. The Teaching Certificate Program is a year-long self-directed program designed to help new and current faculty improve their teaching skills in the setting they are actively engaged in, whether at the bedside, in a lecture or in a procedure-based setting. Participants will be able to tailor the content of the program to their learning needs. Applications are due by Wednesday, Dec. 31. The online application is available at the Academy of Medical Educators’ website


Enjoy the week, and happy anniversary to Building 500 which was dedicated on December 6, 1941,

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



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