What's Going on Here?

January 27, 2014


Dear Colleague, 

It was a busy two weeks since my last email, with two formal award dinners, several of our own governance meetings and the opportunity to make a presentation at two of our affiliated hospital board meetings. And then there was responding to the many emails I got following my announcement two weeks ago that it was going to be my time to move back to the faculty later this year. 

First a word about the two dinners. Last Thursday evening, the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce honored this year’s cohort of the state’s “Top 25 Most Powerful Women” which included Lilly Marks who was honored for her contributions to health care in her leadership role for the Anschutz Medical Campus.  Lilly, who is vice president for health affairs of the University of Colorado System, executive vice chancellor of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and chair of the board of University of Colorado Hospital, has done an extraordinary job in guiding first the Department of Medicine, then the School of Medicine and now the campus and the hospital through her 38-year career here.  She will be a critical part of the recruitment of my successor in the coming year, and it was terrific to see her honored last week by the Chamber. 

Then, last night, Marion Downs, DHS, professor emerita of otolaryngology, celebrated her 100th birthday at the Hyatt Regency Tech Center with hundreds of her colleagues, friends and admirers at the first dinner held to raise funds for the Marion Downs Center, which is planned for the southwest corner of the campus.  I estimate that the dinner raised well over a million dollars (thanks in large part to a million-dollar donation from the Anschutz Family Foundation).  Congratulations to Marion and the Center. 

The first Super Tuesday of 2014 was busy. The executive committee on Tuesday, Jan. 21, unanimously approved merging the Departments of Immunology and Microbiology.  The Faculty Senate will also review the proposal before it heads to the Board of Regents, who ultimately must approve any such change. Chip Ridgway, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, also presented a review of research space on campus. Mapping the research space on our campus is a major and time-consuming undertaking, but it’s also an essential and valuable tool for thoughtful decision-making. I want to express my gratitude to Mollie Young, facilities director, for her hard work in compiling the information. 

The University of Colorado Hospital Annual Medical Staff Dinner was held on Thursday, Jan. 16, and it was a wonderful event recognizing many physicians and care providers. The award recipients are too numerous to list, but you can find them posted here. It is certainly gratifying to see so many accomplishing so much for our community. Thanks to all the honorees for their dedication and service. 

Wednesday I had my first opportunity in 24 years to attend a board meeting at National Jewish Health.  I had 15-20 minutes to give an overview of the School of Medicine and then I answered several questions before leaving.  It was clear to me that most members of that board had little understanding of our school, the current difficulties we are having in managing our affiliation and the significant impact their recent decisions to affiliate with the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City have on our joint programs.  We will continue to try to keep our affiliation going, but it is certainly getting more difficult every week. 

The reception to the presentation I made Thursday at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado board (which I have been invited to every month for the last 24 years) was a sharp contrast to what I experienced the previous day.  I gave a “mini state of the school” presentation and at the end it was clear that that Board not only understood, but valued its affiliation with the school.  I encouraged members of the Children’s Board to communicate with their community colleagues on the National Jewish Board so the latter might develop a more accurate view of our school. 

E.E. Moore, MD, professor and vice chairman for research in the Department of Surgery, has received the 2014 American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) Distinguished Investigator Award, the ACCM’s highest recognition for scientific contributions. Gene’s convocation address, “What would Osler say” focused on physicians’ responsibilities for controlling health care expenditures. Congratulations. 

The University of Colorado and Duke University schools of medicine have received a $10 million grant from the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR), part of the National Institutes of Health, to continue the development of the Palliative Care Research Cooperative Group (PCRC) over the next five years. The consortium addresses national research priorities in palliative care. The goal is to promote research that leads to better ways of relieving suffering and improving quality of life for patients who have advanced, potentially life-limiting illnesses. Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine and head of the Division of General Medicine, is co-chair of the PCRC. Congratulations. 

Abstracts for Postdoctoral Research Day 2014 can be submitted until Monday, Feb. 17. The event will be held on Friday, March 14, with an agenda that includes poster sessions, three selected oral presentations by postdoctoral fellows, a talk by the 2014 postdoctoral mentor of the year, non-academic career roundtables and a reception with a musical band headed by John Kappler, PhD, professor of immunology, medicine and pharmacology. Roberta Ness, MD, MPH, dean of the University of Texas School of Public Health, will give the keynote address. Prizes for poster winners will be awarded during the reception.  For more information or if you can be a judge for the posters, contact Valerie Saltou

The annual Top Doctors ballot by 5280 magazine is now online. Physicians can visit www.5280.com and click on the Top Doctors button to visit the login page. Every eligible physician living and/or practicing in metro Denver can log in to vote with his or her full first name, last name, physician license number and valid email address. Nearly 200 of those who were selected by peer physicians as Top Docs in 2013 are School of Medicine faculty members. 

The University Physicians, Inc., Annual Member Meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 28, beginning with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Trivisible Room on the second floor of Research Building 2. The business meeting will begin at 6 p.m. 

There was a memorial service Saturday, Jan. 25, for Yongping Wang, who for the past seven years was a researcher in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes in the Department of Medicine. She died in a car crash on Jan. 11. Yongping was a beloved mother, wife and colleague. She is survived by her husband, Haihua Gu, PhD, and two teenage daughters. Haihua had been an associate professor in the Department of Pathology until last summer when he moved to China to start a research group there. Yongping and their daughters had remained here so the girls could finish high school.  A memorial fund has been established in Yongping’s name at Wells Fargo Bank or contributions to the Yongping Wang Memorial Fund can be sent to Haihua Gu, 6092 S. Paris St., Greenwood Village, CO 80111. 


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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