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July 1, 2013

What's Going On Here?

Dear Colleague,

Another academic and state fiscal year is underway; new residents begin today (I welcomed them this morning); and this weekly email begins its 11th year. I thank those of you who read some or all of it and send us snippets of information, provide editorial comment or ask a follow-up question or two. From the beginning, the goal of this missive has been to keep the several thousand faculty, students, residents and staff of the School informed about what is going on here at an increasingly large and fast-paced institution. Whether it is read or deleted, I find it somewhat reinforcing and therapeutic to look back each week on the remarkable diversity of events and the plethora of accomplishments that our School has.

Last Friday, The Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute broke ground on an expansion project that will nearly triple its size. Naresh Mandava, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, gave an inspiring speech and then University and campus leadership presided over a ceremonial turning of dirt. With more than 135,000 square feet, the expanded center will provide additional space for existing clinical and research programs and house a specialized ophthalmology surgery center. The project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014. At the ceremony, the School of Medicine and the Department of Ophthalmology announced a new $6.5 million gift from The Anschutz Foundation, with $4 million allocated to the Eye Center capital expansion and $2.5 million to the ophthalmology research program.

Thursday afternoon, I spent several hours with a new group of third-year medical students for the first in a series of five small group sessions that are part of their curriculum. They are two months into their third year. We start them in May so our hospitals and clinics do not have new students, new interns and new residents all arriving in July. Their enthusiasm is infectious and their skill at adapting to the myriad different clinical training sites they go to is impressive.

Wednesday, the University of Colorado Health Board met and heard a presentation from David Schwartz, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, on personalized medicine and our need on campus to develop a clinical data warehouse. UC Health has completed a successful first year and will very soon have the entire hospital system converted to the Epic electronic medical record which should improve its ability to care for patients up and down the Front Range.

Tuesday night, the RTD Board voted 14-1 to relocate the light-rail line that would have divided the campus along Montview Boulevard. The newly approved route will run along Fitzsimons Parkway north and east of the campus. This change will save money, protect investments in research equipment and ensure safer pedestrian crossings on campus. In a letter to the campus, Anschutz Medical Campus Executive Vice Chancellor Lilly Marks offers details supporting the change in the route.

The Faculty Senate has elected two new officers for 2013-2014: Jeffrey Druck, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine, as president-elect and Michael Yeager, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, as secretary. They join President Nichole Reisdorph, PhD, assistant professor of immunology, and Past President Todd Larabee MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, as officers for the upcoming year.

Fred Suchy, MD, professor of pediatrics, will be receiving the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) at that group’s annual meeting in November. The honor is bestowed by the AASLD on one person each year for his or her sustained service to the organization or to the liver disease community in general. Fred is a former president of the AASLD and has been active in dozens of the group’s initiatives. Congratulations.

Christine Fisher, MD, MPH, assistant professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, has appointed to the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program Advisory Board. The seven-member board recommends guidelines for the services of the state’s Women’s Wellness Connection program, which provides cancer screening to eligible women at more than 130 sites statewide.

Gilbert Acevedo, a second-year student at School of Medicine, was selected last week for the American Society of Hematology’s 2013 Minority Medical Student Award Program. He is one of 15 medical school students nationally selected for the honor.

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

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