What's Going on Here?

June 3, 2013



Dear Colleague, 

A lot has happened here since my last email.  We had beautiful weather for our commencement exercises on the Friday before Memorial Day weekend, and the following week we welcomed the new Child Health Associate and Physical Therapy students who begin this week their rigorous three-year curricula. Our school was well represented at graduation with a number of our faculty winning awards. Joseph Addison Sewall Award winners for exceptional contributions of leadership and vision to the Anschutz Medical Campus were Steven Lowenstein, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs, Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine and head of the Division of General Internal Medicine, and Robert D’Ambrosia, MD, chair of orthopaedic surgery. The Florence Rena Sabin Award for exceptional contributions to the health of citizens of Colorado was given to Philip Mehler, MD, professor of medicine and Chief Medical Officer of Denver Health. The graduation ceremony for the School of Medicine is summarized on our website. 

Last week was short but packed with travel for me.  Tuesday, I drove to Loveland for a Board meeting of University of Colorado Health, where I could see how well this joint operating agreement is working for all the hospitals involved and to review and approve the budget for the coming year.  Wednesday, I spoke at the fourth annual VA Research Days celebration at their campus at 1055 Clermont St. in Denver.  There was an auditorium full of posters from the various research programs at the VA and a lot of good conversation, particularly around how nice it will be if the sixth annual event in 2015 could be in the new facility going up on the east side of our campus. 

Thursday, I was at Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs with Celia Kaye, MD, PhD, senior associate dean for education, briefing their executive team on our plans for the proposed clinical branch of our school. I say proposed because it was only seven weeks ago when we submitted our application to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) and we do not expect to hear back for several months (although we are fairly confident that we will be approved for the planning and acceptance of 24 additional students for the class entering in August 2014). It was a really good conversation – and I thank Bruce Schroffel, CEO of University of Colorado Health, for catalyzing it.  One of the challenges we have (if you haven’t noticed) is to help everyone understand precisely what it is that we are doing there – and who we are referring to when we say “we.” A lot of folks in Colorado Springs (and around here for that matter) really do not understand the difference between the University of Colorado School of Medicine, University of Colorado Hospital, University of Colorado Health, the University of Colorado Denver, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, University Physicians, Inc., the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado System.  Some in the Colorado Springs media refer to the branch as the UCCS medical school; some people think we are building a mini-Anschutz Medical Campus there; and some think that all the activity of the new program will be at Memorial Hospital exclusively. What we helped the Memorial team understand was that the program there is a program of the University of Colorado School of Medicine (that’s us).  The branch is partially supported by University of Colorado Health ($3 million per year for 40 years).  We will have space for the Dean of the branch and some faculty and staff in the Lane Center of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. And, importantly, we will be planning a curriculum for the students there that will involve many clinical sites in Colorado Springs, including hospitals, community health centers, physician offices, veterans outpatient and U.S. Defense Department health facilities in addition to the many Area Health Education Center sites in southeastern Colorado.  As soon as we get the nod from the LCME, we have a little less than three years to put it all together. Rereading this paragraph, it is not surprising that people are somewhat confused about what is going on there. 

Thursday night, I flew back to Newark (always a treat) because I spent this long weekend at my 50th college reunion. It was really a nice time (although I was reminded all weekend why I love Colorado’s climate – it was 90+ and humid all three days).  Reconnecting with former classmates and roommates from Princeton ’63 was terrific and watching the alumni from the Classes of 1938, 1943, 1948, 1953 and 1958 march ahead of us in the annual P-rade helped put into perspective that while a lot time has passed, there is still a lot of time ahead on the great conveyor belt of life…. 

David Schwartz, MD, had an extraordinary May. We mentioned in a previous email that David, who is chairman of the Department of Medicine, was receiving the Amberson Lecture award for lifetime contributions in pulmonary research and clinical practice at the American Thoracic Society’s International Conference. That award was bestowed on May 19. Later that week, David had articles published on the same day in The Journal of the American Medical Association and The New England Journal of Medicine. The papers – by David and colleagues here and at other institutions – focused on a specific genetic indicator and its relationship to pulmonary fibrosis. 

Fourth-year medical student Anandi Ramaswami, MBA, was awarded Best Student Presentation at the Western Group on Educational Affairs conference in Irvine, CA, last month. Anandi’s poster evaluates the impact of the Inter Professional Refugee Health Elective offered under the Culturally Effective Medicine Thread to all undergraduate students at the Anschutz Medical Campus. 

The Academy of Medical Educators is searching for an Assistant Director of the Teaching Scholars Program (TSP).  This 0.10 FTE position will collaborate with Janet Corral, PhD, Director of TSP, and Mary Jane Rapport, PT, DPT, PhD, Assistant Director of TSP, to develop, implement, and teach in the Teaching Scholars Program.  In addition, this position will mentor TSP scholars in their curriculum development and medical education research projects.  The job description is posted online. Applications are due to Kathy Werfelmann by Saturday, June 15, and should include a CV and cover letter. The cover letter should explain your interests and goals with regard to the position. 

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation raised $400,000 at its Be Beautiful Be Yourself Washington DC Gala last month. The Foundation provides fundraising, education and government advocacy for the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome here on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The star-studded affair featured supermodel Beverly Johnson, TV personalities Kyra Phillips and John Roberts, Congressmen Mike Coffman and Ed Perlmutter and a performance by singer Sheryl Crow. The photos posted last week by the Foundation document the event. 


Have a great 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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