Dean's Weekly Message

February 23, 2015


Dear colleague: 

During the past two weeks I have spent a lot of time in snow and cold. The week before last, we took a long weekend in Boston to visit family and attend a grandson’s concert; he plays French horn in the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. Of the four days we were there, two were spent holed up in a downtown hotel with the ability to go nowhere (the concert was cancelled) and the television stations did nothing but report the weather for two days, listing all the church and other closings on Sunday. Flash forward a week and the same thing was happening here….although having a foot or so of snow here on top of nothing is a lot easier to navigate than the foot there, which last week came on top of five feet that was already on the ground.  

We got back in time last Monday night for me to attend on the following day my final School of Medicine Executive Committee as Dean; I’ll be out of town during next month’s meeting, which should have been my last. This Executive Committee meeting was a good one, the second of two meetings that we combined with the University Physicians, Inc., board and the University of Colorado Hospital Medical Board to continue our exploration of how best to assure that we encourage and enhance the professionalism on campus. The combined boards participated in a training session by the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE) and by the Office of Professionalism. This is part of an initiative that is crucial to our campus. The Office of Professionalism, established last year, is providing a safe and confidential resource for reporting episodes of mistreatment, abuse and unprofessional behavior. To help our School’s leadership understand the process, Eva Aagaard, MD, associate dean for educational strategy and CAPE director, Kirsten Broadfoot, PhD, director of communication skills for the Academy of Medical Education, and Josette Harris, PhD, from the Office of Professionalism, led the training, which included practicing scenarios with actors from CAPE who played the roles of colleagues who had demonstrated some form of unprofessional behavior. The process was very enlightening and helps set a tone that we all want to last: We are here to provide respectful and compassionate treatment for learners, patients and colleagues. 

Eva and the team at Academy of Medical Educators earlier hosted a wonderful Education Symposium on Wednesday, Feb. 11, and it truly was a celebration of education by health professionals. The first cohort of Teaching Certificate Participants was launched to work on a year’s worth of teaching skills development and the Teaching Scholars Program, which aims to develop future leaders in medical/healthcare education, graduated another excellent class. 

I received a nice note earlier this month from Ethan Rosenberg, who is in the School of Medicine Class of 2015, about a day he spent with Breakthrough Kent Denver, a group that works with Denver middle school students who live below the poverty line and offers classes to prepare them for college and for careers in education. On Jan. 25, Ethan and students from our School and from Rocky Vista University, participated in classes on suturing, first aid and CPR. Pathology specimens were shown to the students as an introduction to topics of lung disease and cancer. Our Medical Student Council helped organize the volunteers who participated in this event.  This program and others like it have made me proud of our School. Community service is not just a phrase to us; it is an integral part of our mission. Thank you to Ethan and everyone who makes such contribution to our community. 

The 2015 annual Mentored Scholarly Activity Capstone Event will be Thursday, March 5, in the Health Sciences Library. There will be three consecutive sessions, with the first one beginning at 1 p.m. Each session is an hour long. We need faculty to serve as judges to help make this event a success, so please sign up for a session at the online Capstone Call for Judges. The Mentored Scholarly Activity is a key part of undergraduate medical education, fostering self-directed lifelong learning. 

The annual Humanism in Health Care essay contest was held on Tuesday, Feb. 17, at the Fulginiti Pavilion. Prizes were awarded to students who wrote about practicing patient-centered care. The contest winners were Chantal Mitton of the Physical Therapy Program, first place; Joe Jones of the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program, second place; and a tie for third place between Carolyn Bremer of the Physical Therapy Program and Regina Weisman of the Nursing Program at Aims Community College. The event and cash awards are made possible by a legacy grant from the Society for Humanism in Medicine.  The awards are co-sponsored by the Life Quality Institute and the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.   

The Undergraduate Medical Education program is searching for a new Life Cycles Block Director to start on July 1. Candidates must have a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado, and applicants must have an MD degree from an accredited university. This at-will position is 0.25 FTE. The Life Cycles position announcementcontains details about the director responsibilities and expectations. To be considered for the position, submit a letter of interest and current CV to Suzanne Waffle at by Friday, March 6. 

James Beck, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care and vice chair for Veterans Affairs, has been appointed the new councilor for the University of Colorado's chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA), the national medical honor society. Jim is also chief of medicine for the VA's Eastern Colorado Health Care System. Jim is working with current AOA students to expand AOA offerings, including a visiting professorship, the AOA research program and community service activities. He will be reaching out to current School of Medicine post-graduate and faculty AOA members, as well as AOA members across Colorado. Interested individuals can contact Jim at

The School of Medicine Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety Small Grants Program has funding available for 2015-2016 quality improvement projects that put evidence into practice, implement innovative process improvements, and/or enhance the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery at Children’s Hospital Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital. Letters of intent are due Friday, April 3. Full details can be found on the program website.  

The sixth annual Postdoctoral Research Day at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus is Thursday, March 12. Learn about the cutting-edge research at CU during the morning’s poster and oral presentations. Faculty volunteers are still needed to be judges from 8:30 noon. Email in the Postdoctoral Office if you can help. Mary Mitchell, of the Mitchell Foundation, will deliver the keynote address, “Social Savvy for Scientists,” emphasizing career development. This year will also feature roundtable discussions hosted by professionals with careers in science. Final remarks, the mentor award and a reception will begin at 1:30 pm. 


Have a good week,

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



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