Dean's Weekly Message

March 9, 2015


Dear colleague: 

I am writing this week’s message after returning home from the grand opening of the new Dayton Street Opportunity Center, which includes the Dawn Clinic. The center is set up to provide health care for the uninsured, job training skills and college counseling for young people. Joseph Johnson, MD, a resident in our program at the School of Medicine, has been a driving force in establishing the clinic. It is at 1445 Dayton St., where the Fields-Wolfe Memorial Foundation and many community and state organizations have contributed resources to support the Aurora neighborhood around us. The Dawn Clinic, which stands for Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs, has been organized by a group of students and faculty from the schools on our campus and is a completely volunteer effort. I was surprised and very honored to have them name the room our health professional students will work in at the clinic the Krugman Care Hub. The support for the clinic has come from all the schools, hospitals and the chancellor’s office on this campus. Amy Barton, PhD, RN, associate dean for clinical and community affairs in the College of Nursing, and I were proud to represent the campus at this celebration. 

This clinic reminded me of a clinic I worked at 43 years ago when I was at National Institutes of Health.  Mike Kappy, MD, PhD, professor of pediatrics here, had started a free clinic in Anacostia in SE Washington, D.C., the poorest part of the district, which at that time had no physicians. The clinic was staffed by the physicians who were in the Public Health Service and was open evenings. Eventually, the Washington, D.C., Health Department took it over and it has been serving their community ever since.   May Dawn have the same future!

I had many student encounters last week: Tuesday morning, my annual child abuse lecture to the second year class drew an amazing 80+ students (half the class) to the lecture hall, 16 of whom wore bow ties for the event. That afternoon, I had an hour and a half with my Hidden Curriculum group – eight senior students who were back for their Integrated Clinicians Course week and the Capstone research presentations Thursday afternoon, which was also a terrific event.  

The following day, Bob Anderson, MD, senior associate dean for education, and I had what for me will be my last lunch as dean with medical students. I started these lunches 20 years ago after my first formal review as dean to which the students said: “Who is the dude, we never see him.”  It has been a terrific opportunity to get a glimpse into their lives, and also to hear how they view us as a faculty and a school. I have learned a lot from them.

Then, Thursday afternoon, Steve Lowenstein, MD, MPH, associate dean for faculty affairs, and I had what will be my final “Dialogue with the Dean.” I started these gatherings about 20 years ago as well.  They were pretty packed, very animated, discussions in the late 1990s when we were arguing about whether to move to this campus. More recently, they have been an opportunity to check in with six to 10 faculty who come from all of our affiliated institutions to meet each other and with us.  

Both of these regular gatherings have helped me get a handle on what really is going on here. Thanks to all who have attended and contributed.

The University of Colorado System announced on Tuesday the recipients of the 2015 Thomas Jefferson Award. Two honorees are from the Anschutz Medical Campus: Donald C. Bross, PhD, JD, professor of pediatrics, and Amber L. Ortiz, a PhD candidate conducting immunology research with Laurel Lenz, PhD, associate professor of immunology and microbiology. The Jefferson Award, named after the third U.S. president, recognizes faculty, staff and students who demonstrate excellence in performing their academic responsibilities while contributing outstanding service to the broader community. Congratulations to Don and Amber.

Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, and Sean O’Leary, MD, MPH, assistant professor of pediatrics, were in high demand last week by the media (here’s coverage in Time magazine and NBC News) after releasing a study regarding parental pressure on physicians to spread out vaccinations. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that nearly all pediatricians and providers surveyed had been asked to delay some vaccinations and that a majority of those said they complied with the requests even if they thought it was not in the child’s best interest. Ally told The New York Times that vaccine counselling needs to be improved to dispel inaccurate information that is causing some parents to ask for the delays. 

Carol M. Rumack, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, was presented the Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award at the CU Women’s Succeeding Symposium on Feb. 27. Chip Dodd, MD, professor and chair of radiology, and I were the only two male faculty at the lunch.  She is much deserving of this great honor, which recognizes an outstanding faculty member for her efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching. Congratulations Carol.

The Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine has announced four project awardees who will make great contributions to our campuswide personalized medicine program. As institutions on this campus, we have teamed together to establish the center and this list of awardees is an excellent example of our faculty establishing partnerships across disciplines.

Rick Silva, director of the University’s Technology Transfer Office, is leaving his position on March 12 for an opportunity at another academic research institution. Rick has been with the University for nearly 15 years and we wish him well.  To replace Rick, a search committee will identify finalists for campus visits in April. Kate Tallman, associate vice president for technology transfer, is stepping in as director of the office during the transition. Rick tripled the activity of the office on all measures and was instrumental in technology licensing agreements that will yield revenues in future years. Rick’s team will be sending him off at Cedar Creek from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 12.

Effective Tuesday, April 21, there will be a change in the “Super Tuesday” schedule. Future School of Medicine Executive Committee meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. (rather than 8 a.m.) and will end at 9:45 a.m. The University Physicians, Inc., (UPI) board meeting will begin at 9:45 a.m. and end at 11:30 a.m. This change shortens each meeting by 15 minutes. It also accommodates a 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. meeting of the UPI Executive Committee on the same day. Members of the board and those committees will continue to receive reminders of the meetings.

The School of Medicine is seeking a faculty member to serve as advisor to our student-run Honor Council. Since at least 1908, the honor code has provided a philosophy and a set of rules that requires medical students and their peers to hold each other accountable for their actions. Its aims are to instill and maintain ethical and honest behavior in medical students and to create an institution where unethical and dishonest behaviors do not exist. The faculty advisor provides continuity of action and advice to members of the Honor Council. The faculty advisor also serves as a liaison between the council and the faculty and administration. He or she may also attend hearings in an advisory capacity only. Interested faculty members should notify Maureen Garrity, PhD, associate dean for student affairs, by Friday, March 20. There will be a selection process that includes student members of the Honor Council.  

The recent snowy weather caused a run on the services provided by the Comitis Crisis Center near the Anschutz Medical Campus, which provides shelter, food and other care for the homeless. A recent request for help was sent to our campus community and many of you responded. James Gillespie, community impact and government relations liaison for the center, said members of our campus started calling and donations poured in, including two tons of food, more than 200 gallons of milk and some cash donations. Still more help is needed. If you can help, go to

A reminder: The Postdoctoral Research Day is Thursday, March 12. During the past three years, the event, which includes presentations and career roundtables, has been a wonderful success. The day is a great way for postdoc research to be showcased and to give postdoctoral fellows a chance to get out of the lab and meet one another. Poster sessions begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Richard D. Krugman Conference Hall (though many – including me – are still calling it the Trivisible Room).

Finally, I read in the Denver Post over the weekend that Susan Kirk had passed away last week.  Susan was a Regent of the University of Colorado for 12 years and a terrific supporter of the Center for Women’s Health Research.  She was a superb community leader and wonderful mentor to many in our community.  Her obituary is here.  


Have a good week and enjoy our once-in-a-century Pi day next Saturday. Where will you be at 9:26 on the morning of 3/14/15?


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 →

If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact

Unsubscribe →

CMS Login