What's Going on Here?

May 13, 2013



Dear Colleague, 

I hope your past week was as good as mine. In addition to the list of awards and honors below, we had a really good meeting of the expanded Governance Committee for the clinical strategic planning task force, which includes clinical department chairs, some center directors, hospital representatives, UPI staff and medical directors and other School of Medicine leadership and staff, and we pretty much agreed on how to improve the governance of our clinical practice.  I know it sounds like “inside baseball,” but our governance of UPI has not changed much in the past three decades, and we need to be able to respond more quickly to the changes that are coming in health care.  Details will follow. The proposed changes will need to be approved by the UPI Board and also will require a bylaws change that will be voted on by the members in the coming months.

I committed months ago to visit the Southwestern Area Health Education Center (SWAHEC) on Thursday, May 9.  I planned to fly down in the morning and come back that evening, but a month or so ago, I was asked to be part of the senior skit, which was scheduled for the same evening.  I changed my reservation and flew down to Durango the night before, met with the board of the SWAHEC, visited the new La Plata Clinic, which is an impressive storefront clinic for uninsured patients, staffed by volunteers and made possible by a donation from a benefactor. After lunch with the SWAHEC staff, I went back to the airport so I could catch the 3 p.m. flight back to Denver  and get to the skit on time. It didn’t happen. My flight was cancelled because the plane had been hit by lightning at DIA and could not fly.  That left me vying for the few remaining seats on the 5:30 p.m. flight. I’d be late for the skit, but at least I’d get back to Denver before Friday afternoon.  Happily, I made that flight and, even though I arrived a half hour late, got to watch the next two hours of very creative videos and live skits by the Class of 2013. It was really quite good. I haven’t received the reviews on BlackBoard yet of my 10 minutes on stage, but a couple of those in attendance seemed to find it funny (even if they didn’t appreciate the message).  

The four hours stranded in the Durango airport, which could have been grim, turned out to be terrific. A colleague, Watson Bowes, MD ’59, who traveled rural Colorado with me back in the 1970s, was also stranded in the Durango airport and we had a great time catching up on news.

Friday, there was a nice lunch by the CU Foundation to honor faculty from all our schools who have made significant gifts to our academic programs and to student scholarships. It was announced that the Foundation, whose staff will be transitioning to employment by CU this summer, had reached (and was likely to surpass) its goal of $51 million for this year.

On Saturday, after I attended the memorial service for Ray Rademacher, MD, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, who died February 20 at 82, we attended the annual Nightingale Luminary Awards dinner at the Westin Westminster Hotel. There were 38 finalists chosen from 176 nominees from all over the state.  Three of the finalists work at University of Colorado Hospital, two at Children’s Hospital Colorado and one at Denver Health. Carolyn Sanders, RN, PhD, Chief Nursing Officer, and Mary Rachel Romero, RN, MSN, both from University Hospital, and Linda Satkowiak, ND, RN, CNS,  from Children’s were winners of the coveted (and impressive) Nightingale statue. Congratulations to the three winners, the six finalists and all those who were nominated and honored at the 28th annual award dinner.

On Friday, May 3, the Faculty Lounge on the first floor of AIP2 officially opened with a continental breakfast. The lounge responds to the concerns that the faculty have expressed over the years about not having a dedicated space where they can eat their meals, catch up on their work, informally interact with each other and socialize. The faculty lounge is open to all credentialed members of the UCH medical staff and is adjacent to the new conference center and the Gardenview Cafeteria. Please stop by and enjoy!

Two School of Medicine administrators were honored last week by the University for their contributions to our diversity efforts. Regina Richards, MSW, director of diversity and inclusion and program coordinator for the BA/BS-MD Program, received an Outstanding Staff award and Terri Blevins, MA, director of student and career development and instructor in the Department of Family Medicine, was honored with the Outstanding Faculty award at the annual Chancellor’s Diversity Recognition and Award Luncheon. Thanks to Regina and Terri for their contributions.

I was in Tucson on Monday, April 29, for Vince Fulginiti’s Memorial Service (I have been attending too many of those recently) and missed the fourth annual Golden Stethoscope Preceptor Awards Banquet, recognizing outstanding Foundations of Doctoring clinical preceptors who work with medical students longitudinally in the clinical setting. The awards banquet, sponsored by the Central Colorado Area Health Education Center, allows us to thank and honor the preceptors for equipping students with the basic clinical skills required of any excellent physician. Medical students nominated their preceptors and the best in nine categories are selected. Congratulations to all the winners.

David Schwartz, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, will be receiving the American Thoracic Society’s Amberson Lecture award on Sunday, May 19, at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Philadelphia. This award is given annually to an individual with a career of major lifetime contributions to clinical or basic pulmonary research and/or clinical practice. The lecture is given in honor of James Burns Amberson, MD, an international authority on chest disease and tuberculosis. Interestingly, the award was first presented in 1956 to James J. Waring, MD, who was the first full time chair of our Department of Medicine. Congratulations to David, and also to Mark Geraci, MD, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, who recently was elected president-elect of the Association of Specialty Professors.

The School of Medicine hockey team – named “Malpractice” – won its league championship on Sunday, May 5. The mighty medical students defeated the “Hookers and Slashers” – we won’t ask about that team’s professional affiliations – to claim the league championship at the Ice Centre at the Promenade in Westminster. Team captain Tim Ung, who just finished his third year, said the SOM team consists mostly of SOM students with occasional assists from Assistant Dean Stephen Wolf, MD. Congratulations.

Lawrence Hunter, PhD, professor in the Department of Pharmacology, is featured in the May 2 “Paleofuture” blog of Smithsonian.com for an article he wrote in the January 1985 issue of Whole Earth Review magazine. Larry predicted what would happen in the age of Facebook (whose CEO was less than a year old at the time): “The ubiquity and power of the computer blur the distinction between public and private information. Our revolution will not be in gathering data – don’t look for TV cameras in your bedroom – but in analyzing information that is already willingly shared.”

If you’re looking for a magazine published more recently than 1985, be on the lookout for CU Medicine Today. The Spring 2013 issue is now available online and print editions will be arriving soon. Features in this edition include overseas programs in Guatemala and China, treatments for multiple sclerosis, and research efforts into the impact of exercise on those diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.


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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