Dean's Weekly Message
March 2, 2015
It is March and it is predicted that later this week it will get above freezing again here. Last week, while snowy and cold, was relatively quiet. I am plowing through 50+ annual evaluations and I find myself actually enjoying the process and feeling a bit nostalgic. I also have appreciated the flurry of personal dinners and other events that various groups, such as the Deans of the other Anschutz Medical Campus schools, and departments have put together to recognize that I will be moving along.
The University of Colorado Cancer Center announced last week that it has joined the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), which presents a new opportunity for collaboration with researchers coast to coast. ORIEN’s focus is research aimed at understanding cancer at the molecular level with a goal of developing targeted cancer treatments. ORIEN allows partners to share de-identified cancer patient information that can be used for basic research and clinical trials. CU Cancer Center Director Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, said participation in ORIEN will accelerate and facilitate innovation by our faculty and leverages the investment on our campus in personalized medicine, which is also known as precision medicine.
Our investment in precision medicine on the Anschutz Medical Campus is getting noticed. In February, U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet made mention of it during a committee hearing. At the beginning of a question to Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Bennet noted that our large-scale effort is “important to both patients and the broader economy.” Thanks to Kent Springfield, the University’s assistant vice president of research and federal relations, for sharing with us the link to this recognition.
To highlight the state’s effort to reduce the abuse of prescription drugs, Gov. John Hickenlooper visited the Anschutz Medical Campus last Tuesday to promote the state’s Take Meds Seriously program. Speaking at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy, he unveiled the campaign, which focuses on safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs. The program is part of an effort by the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention. Many faculty from the School of Medicine and other schools on campus are leaders in this important group. The safe and responsible disposal of unused prescription drugs is an important cause and our colleagues at the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have been leaders in this effort by annually hosting prescription drug disposal day. This year it will be Saturday, April 18, at 13001 E. 17th Place, in front of Building 500.
Registration for the Graduate School’s second annual mini-symposium on “The Power of Informatics to Advance Health” is now open. The event, which will be Friday, April 10, features speakers from across the Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado Denver.
JFK Partners is celebrating its 50th anniversary of advancing care and treatment for children and adults with development disabilities through training, education, clinical services, research, policy and advocacy. A symposium on Friday, April 17, will feature a presentation from 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. Registration is open through April 1.
The Center for Bioethics and Humanities is presenting “Human Being,” a photography exhibit by artist Andrea Modica, in the Gallery at the Fulginiti Pavilion with an opening event at 6 p.m., Thursday, March 5. Therese Jones, PhD, director of the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program, said the program is aimed at engaging health professionals and the greater community in a dialogue about the ethical issues in contemporary health care and display a little-known piece of Colorado history. The show presents photographs of remains that were found in 1993 in a mass grave on the grounds of the Colorado Mental Health Institute. The exhibition runs through May 23.
Have a good week,
Richard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine
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