What's Going on Here?

January 7, 2013


Dear Colleague,

Happy New Year!   Several of us spent part of the holidays in Orlando, although there was no way we would have found each other among the million or so people swarming Disney World, Universal  Studios or the two bowl games that were held there. The lines at the parks may have been incredibly long, but at least the roads were gridlocked.  That said, we had a wonderful time with our family, and I hope you all did as well.

We have hired a new Director of Communications, Marketing and Outreach for the School of Medicine.   Mark Couch comes to us from the Colorado Department of Revenue and was Legislative Liaison and Public Information Officer there since 2007.  Prior to his position with the Colorado Department of Revenue, Mark worked as a political reporter and business reporter at the Denver Post, the Kansas City Star, Fort Worth Star-Telegram and the Des Moines Register.  Mark will start next week on Jan. 15.  We are very pleased that he has accepted this position. Please stop by and introduce yourself to him, and add him to the appropriate mailing lists and meeting invites.  I know you will all enjoy working with him, as you have the other talented people who preceded him in this important role.  He replaces Dan Meyers, who has accepted the position of Director of Communications and Media for the Anschutz Medical Campus.

On a very sad note, Gail M. Harrison, PhD associate professor in the Division of Medical Oncology in the Department of Medicine, passed away last week.   Gail was the Scientific Director of a nascent Gene Therapy Program for the Cancer Center, and chaired the Institutional Biosafety Committee as well as being on an NIH study section for AIDS grant reviews and STTR’s.  In the words of Mike Glode, “Gail’s legacy to our division extends beyond the contributions in molecular biology that helped bring our laboratories into the modern era. She was a beloved colleague, collaborator, and perhaps most of all, a role model for combining a scientific career with being a mother, wife and friend to all who knew her. She will be deeply missed."

The National Western Stock Show begins this Thursday and runs for 17 days before it closes on Sunday Jan. 27.  Our Colorado AHEC program will again have a booth staffed by volunteer students and faculty who will be doing health screenings for thousands of the attendees of this annual event.  We need additional volunteers, so please go to the AHEC website and sign up.  It is a great way to meet students from all schools on campus and meet the really nice people who attend this event which is a Colorado tradition.

The American Red Cross Mile High Region will recognize the University of Colorado Emergency Department staff with the Health Care Hero award for their response to the Aurora theater shootings last July. “Every patient who arrived with a heartbeat, left with a heartbeat,” say organizers of the group’s Breakfast of Champions, where the annual honor will be awarded in March.  The Red Cross also will recognize Comilla Sasson, MD, who was at the hospital that night when 23 patients with gunshot wounds arrived. She will be honored for her continual dedication to saving lives by addressing health disparities. Sasson identified neighborhoods where cardiac arrests are more likely to be fatal and responded by placing lifesaving AEDs in those communities and teaching CPR skills. You can learn more about the awards by reading the information from the Red Cross Mile High Chapter.

Even though the sunrise has been consistently around 7:20 a.m. since my last weekly update three weeks ago, the days are getting longer in the afternoon, and before long we will be able to come to work and leave in the sunlight again.

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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