Dean's Weekly Message

October 27, 2014


Dear colleague: 

What a gorgeous weekend!  And with no Sunday Denver Broncos football to watch, it was a great time to be outside. I spent an hour or so of the beautiful afternoon in the backyard at the home of Brenda Allen, PhD, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, where she hosted an informal get-together of underrepresented minority faculty and others interested in the diversity of our school, campus and University. 

I left Brenda’s home Sunday to have dinner with the second candidate to be my successor as dean of the School of Medicine and the University vice chancellor of health affairs. John Reilly, MD, is the Jack D. Myers Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. He will be meeting with as many people as possible during his two days here today and tomorrow. There is an open forum today, Oct. 27, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in Education 2 North, Lecture Hall P28-1303. More information is available on the School of Medicine’s website. Questions about the schedule and events should be directed to Carolyn Goble in the Chancellor’s office. 

Saturday evening, the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show took place at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel.  It was a very nice event supporting the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and the Linda Crnic Center for Down syndrome. The ballroom at the Sheraton was packed, and the crowd included candidates running for Governor, the Senate and the House.  

Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting was an extraordinarily full agenda. We heard from Tom Blumenthal, PhD, executive director of the Linda Crnic Institute, on the successful efforts there to spur research on Down’s syndrome. Scott Arthur, vice chancellor for advancement, provided a thoughtful strategy for long-term fundraising goals. Michelle Barron, MD, associate professor of medicine, and Eric Poeschla, MD, head of the Division of Infectious Diseases, gave an overview of the current Ebola outbreak that is centered in western Africa and the efforts being made here at University of Colorado Hospital to handle any cases should they appear. 

You can raise your level of awareness and understanding of Ebola at two Grand Rounds events this week. The Department of Medicine Grand Rounds on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at noon will feature Michelle Barron and Eric Poeschla discussing “Ebola Virus: Preparing for a Substantial New Challenge.” That talk will be in the University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2 Conference Center Auditorium. The second Grand Rounds presentation will be on Friday, Oct. 31, at noon in the Mt. Oxford Auditorium at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The presentation and panel discussion, titled “Tracking of an Emergent Epidemic: Behind the Scenes of Ebola” will feature Rupa Narra, MD, an epidemic intelligence service officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who recently worked as part of an Ebola response team in Guinea. 

Congratulations to Simon Hambidge, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics and epidemiology, who has been named chief of ambulatory care services at Denver Health and CEO and chief medical officer of Denver Community Health Services. Simon has been a pediatrician for the Community Health Services since 1997, most recently serving as director of general pediatrics. 

Congratulations to David Schwartz, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, on the announcement of major funding from the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute to search for better treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. David’s scholarship has helped identify individuals at risk of developing this incurable disease. This $7.9 million grant will support research to help improve their lives. 

The Colorado Healthcare Communicators honored University Physicians, Inc., earlier this month with a Bronze Leaf Award for a print ad, “The Good Guys Wear Masks,” that appeared in 5280 magazine. Since the 1970s, CHC has honored professionals in public relations, communications and marketing through its annual Gold Leaf Awards competition. Congratulations to the UPI team including Molly Miller, project management specialist, and Stefannie Emerson, senior director of business development and planning. 

There were two reports in the newspaper last week about the quality of medical service available to our country’s military veterans. Warren Woodrich Pettine, an MD candidate at the School of Medicine, wrote about his experience working with a young veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress. Warren describes his own dismay at the lack of transition support between the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and asks all to help make veterans feel welcomed home. The other report told about the new Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center that is coming to the VA’s new hospital next to our campus. That center will provide research and care in two specialized fields of geriatrics never done in the VA system before: gender-related healthcare and the consequences of obesity in aging adults. 

There is a wonderful video posted on our website of Denver Public School students job shadowing here on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The program gives high school freshman a chance to take an early look at medical careers and is made possible with a federal grant to the Youth CareerConnect Initiative. This is a great example of our education and community service missions working together. 

The Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine is accepting applications for its Pilot Project Program in Personalized Medicine. This pilot project program is designed to provide investigators an opportunity to get involved in personalized medicine in ways that can directly impact patient care. The goal is to identify projects to implement protocols that include genetic profiles that could improve patient care by identifying diseases at an early stage, modifying treatment options and/or reducing adverse effects. Letters of intent are due by Saturday, Nov. 15, and applications are due by Monday, Dec. 15. Details are available online.

The deadline for nominations for the 2014 Steven Fadul Award is Friday, Nov. 14. The award honors contributions of professional research assistants or staff in comparable positions in the School of Medicine. Nominees should show initiative in expanding the scope of their work and by mentoring trainees. Nomination letters should be sent to Additional information is available at the award’s website.

The exhibits committee of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Health Sciences Library will be curating an exhibit of artwork created by faculty, staff and students of the University of Colorado Denver and CU Anschutz Medical Campus. The Exhibits Committee is looking for submissions of all types of art created by members of either campus. To submit artwork to be considered for inclusion in the show, please use the online form.  The submission deadline is today, Oct. 27. 

The Electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) provides a secure database of controlled substance prescriptions dispensed by Colorado pharmacies and out-of-state pharmacies shipping into Colorado. Anyone registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for prescribing controlled substances is required to register for a PDMP account. Physicians and physician assistants with a DEA registration have until Nov. 30, 2014, under a new state law passed this year. The program is intended to discourage “doctor shopping” across state lines. More information is available on the PDMP website.


Have a good week,

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



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