Chip Ridgway, MD


Dear colleague: 


The last of the lasts is drawing near. Last Tuesday I attended my last University of Colorado Health Board meeting, impressed at the progress this system has made in a lot of areas. Wednesday evening I stopped by the Medical Student Council to wish them well and then this past weekend, I packed a lot of boxes to clear the way for John Reilly, Jr., MD, who is at his first Association of American Medical Colleges Council of Deans meeting in San Diego this weekend. He will close on his first home here in Denver today. Tonight, I will attend my last Anschutz space committee meeting and my last Medical Alumni Board meeting. Tomorrow I have several meetings to try to tie up some remaining issues it would be good for me to resolve before John gets here. And after a brief stop on the north side of our floor in Building 500 to turn in my parking hangtag and to trade in my purple-tinged “executive” University ID card for a yellow “faculty” card, as they often say on the floor of the House, “the time of the gentleman has expired.” I have a few additional personal thoughts at the end of this note.  

This year marks a special milestone for our campus’ nurse practitioner (NP) program, which has its roots at the School of Medicine. Five decades ago, in 1965, Henry Silver, MD, from the School of Medicine, and Loretta Ford, PhD, RN, from the School of Nursing, joined together to pioneer the world’s first nurse practitioner education program at the university with a $7,000 grant from the School of Medicine. Our first graduate, Susan Stearly, became the first nurse practitioner in the United States and by 1973, more than 65 NP programs were up and running across the country. What began as a certificate program at our university has helped change modern health care and has evolved into a highly demanding program of six-plus years of academic and clinical preparation followed by national board certification. Today, there more than 192,000 credentialed nurse practitioners nationwide. Mark your calendars to join in the commemoration of this historic occasion at the 50th Anniversary Gala, on Oct. 2, 2015, to celebrate the accomplishments of this program and to honor Loretta and Henry for their vision and partnership in creating the innovative and fast-growing nurse practitioner occupation. 

Diane Gates Wallach has been selected by the University of Colorado Board of Regents to receive an honorary degree. She has been a tireless and committed leader for our campus, particularly for the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology and for Children’s Hospital Colorado. As a member of the Children’s board, Diane helped raise funds for the hospital’s construction and oversaw its move to campus. As a trustee of the Gates Frontiers Fund, she facilitated a $6.5 million gift enabling the university to recruit Dennis Roop, PhD, professor of dermatology and director of the Gates Center, to establish a program, now the center, that bears her late father’s name, Charles C. Gates. We are very pleased Diane will be receiving this well-deserved honor.

CU President Bruce Benson will hold his annual town hall meeting on the Anschutz Medical Campus at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 8, in the Hensel Phelps Auditorium. He is planning to provide updates on state funding, the CU Foundation to Office of Advancement transition, and several other projects. Everyone on campus is invited to attend.

Congratulations to Carol Rumack, MD, professor of radiology and pediatrics and associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, on the Colorado Radiological Society’s Gold Medal for distinguished service to radiology on March 19 and the Spanish Society of Ultrasound’s Gold Medal last Friday, March 27, in a ceremony in Madrid, Spain.

The Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS), Residents and Fellows Chapter, added 69 new members from our school. GHHS, which was established in 2001-2002 by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Board of Trustees, recognizes individuals who are exemplars of humanistic patient care and who can serve as role models in medicine. I am proud to see so many from our school in this esteemed group. Congratulations to the new inductees.

The University of Colorado Hospital is seeking qualified candidates for two new physician leadership positions, a Chief Quality Officer (CQO) and a Physician Advisor for Utilization.  These positions will report to the University of Colorado Hospital Chief Medical Officer Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical affairs for the School of Medicine. Expected start date for both positions is July 1, 2015. The job description for the Chief Quality Officer is posted here and the Physician Advisor is here. Interested candidates should submit: 1) a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position in which they are interested, 2) a curriculum vitae or resume, and 3) a list of three references. Candidates interested in the CQO position must submit their materials by Monday, April 13. Candidates interested in the Physician Advisor position must submit their materials by Friday, May 1. Submit all materials electronically to James Moore at Questions may be directed to Jean Kutner at

A reminder that registration is open for the JFK Partners 50th anniversary celebration. JFK Partners, which is an interdepartmental center of pediatrics and psychiatry, promotes the independence, inclusion, contribution, health, and well-being of people with developmental disabilities and special health care needs and their families through consumer, community, and university partnerships. A symposium on Friday, April 17, will feature a presentation by former U.S. Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy and a discussion with Sue Swenson, deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. There also will be an anniversary dinner that evening at the Denver Marriott City Center and an alumni reunion on Saturday, April 18, at the Four Mile Historic Park.

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has created a rather eye-catching campaign to raise awareness of the need for expanded federal support for graduate medical education programs. Federal support for residency programs has been effectively frozen since 1997. Rather than build support through a traditional letter-writing campaign, the AAMC has developed “The American Doctor Shortage,” a graphic-novel approach to explain the impact of a U.S. physician shortage over the next decade and the need for Congress to act now to expand support for residency training.

Finally, I looked back at the cached emails that I have tucked away somewhere in the cloud, and I think I began these weekly emails in January 2005. That would mean a little more than 500 opportunities to write a note to all of you on a Sunday afternoon. I started it because, as our faculty, staff and programs grew, it was increasingly difficult to keep us together with a shared sense of what this school and all its amazing component parts were doing. I want to thank the school’s four communications directors, Catherine Worster Freeland, Jim Spencer, Dan Meyers and Mark Couch, for providing the outlines and, along with Regina Kilkenny, PhD, who is now associate vice chancellor of the university’s Office of Academic Resources and Services, and later, Terri Carrothers, associate dean for administration and finance and chief of staff, for faithfully editing the letter week after week (especially when I had a paragraph that was therapeutic for me to write, but hazardous for it to see the light of day on Monday). We have accomplished a lot over this past decade – a whole lot has gone on here. It has been an honor to be in this position, which reminds me a lot of standing in front of one of the world’s finest orchestras.  I thank all of you who have made and who continue to make this School terrific!  


All the best to all of you,

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.  

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