Dean's Weekly Message

February 9, 2015


Dear colleague: 

I spent most of last Monday fulfilling my civic duty at Denver Criminal Court. At the last minute I was excused from jury duty because one or more of the attorneys prosecuting or defending an individual accused of child sexual abuse decided that I should not be part of the jury for their three-day trial. It might have been interesting, but I was not disappointed to be excused.  

Wednesday night I had the opportunity to take the individuals who each contributed $1,000 at the Bow Tie Ball for a “dinner with the Dean at Elway’s.”  It was a really enjoyable evening with good food and terrific conversation. I am grateful for their contributions to the school and was delighted to do it. 

The Dean’s Office is seeking applications for Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. This person will play a key role on the Dean’s senior leadership team and is responsible for leading and serving as an advocate for the school’s research enterprise and faculty affairs. Candidates must be an experienced member of the School of Medicine faculty and have substantial project and professional management experience. We are initiating the process now with the concurrence of incoming Dean John Reilly, Jr., MD, so that finalists will be available for him to review on his arrival in April. Details are available on the School of Medicine website. The job description is deliberately a draft and could be subject to change.  Letters of interest and CVs are due Monday, Feb. 16. 

We are welcoming Kathleen Barnes, PhD, professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University, to our faculty. She has agreed to join us as director of the recently established Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, which resides at the university vice chancellor for health affairs level, and in the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine in the Department of Medicine. Kathleen brings impressive credentials and experience and she will make an excellent addition to our campus. She will be a frequent visitor to campus over the next six months and will be here full time in late October 2015. 

Congratulations to Brandy Deffenbacher, MD, assistant professor of family medicine, who is our new Foundations of Doctoring Curriculum associate director for physical exam.  She is also a graduate of several of our training programs: School of Medicine 2007 and University of Colorado Family Medicine Residency Program 2010. Brandy brings experience with direct observation-based physical exam assessment for residents. For more information about physical exam teaching opportunities, please contact her at

Congratulations to Donald Bross, JD, PhD, professor of pediatrics, who has been selected a 2015 faculty winner of the Thomas Jefferson Award, one of the highest honors bestowed by the University of Colorado System. Don joined the faculty of the School of Medicine in 1976. He serves on the Kempe Child Protection Team, the state and regional consultation team on crimes against children, the Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Team (reviewing human subject research involving children), and teaches medical students, pediatric fellows, child psychiatry fellows, and child welfare and legal professionals active in the Colorado Department of Human Services. This award is a well-deserved honor for my once and future colleague at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. 

Our colleague and friend Karl Pfenninger, MD, died late last month and a memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at Risen Christ Catholic Parish, 3060 S. Monaco Parkway, Denver. Karl joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1986 as a professor and chair of cell and developmental biology and moved to pediatrics in 2005. He was director of the Colorado Intellectual and Developmental Research Center. Our condolences to his wife Marie-France and his son and daughter, Jan and Alexandra, who have requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Karl’s name to Catholic Charities USA. 

The Post obituaries this past week included two of our very long time clinical faculty:  Bernard F. Gipson, Sr., MD, who was the first African-American board-certified surgeon to practice in Colorado, and Giles Toll, MD, who was a pathologist in our community.  Bernard was 93 and Giles 88.  

The Gold Humanism Honor Society will hold its Solidarity Day for Compassionate Patient Care on Friday, Feb. 13. This annual event, started in 2011, is part of a nationwide effort to support patient-provider relationships that are based on caring, personalization and mutual respect. Randi Libbon, MD, a psychiatry resident and co-president of the society’s resident chapter, said local society members will be participating on Solidarity Day by giving Gold Humanism Pins to health care workers who have gone the extra mile to provide compassionate care. The chapter will also be providing “Tell Me More” packets to patients to share facts about themselves that can be displayed in their hospital rooms to remind providers think about the patient as a unique individual. 

Yesterday afternoon, I dropped in on a very nice session of the University of Colorado Organization for Racial and Ethnic Support, also known as UCOLORES, where Anne Libby, PhD, associate professor of clinical pharmacy in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, led a discussion on mentoring for junior faculty on our campus looking for support in career development. Anne is part of the Education Core for the Colorado Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. Brenda Allen, PhD, associate vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion, hosted the event at her home.  

And finally, thanks again to all who volunteered at the National Western Stock Show in January. Mark Deutchman, MD, executive director of the Colorado Area Health Education Centers program, reported last week that 2,184 adults and 768 children received health screenings from our volunteers who staff the Anschutz Medical Campus booth at the stock show. 

No weekly message next week for the Presidents’ Day Holiday.  Have a good two weeks,

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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