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April 15, 2013

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

On Tuesday, the coldest April night in the annals of Colorado weather history, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend an incredibly warm event:  a dinner at the University Club, supported by the CU Foundation and hosted by Lilly Marks and Chip Ridgway, MD, to thank the initial donors of the new Dean endowment that already has $3.75 million towards its goal of $5 million.  I won’t go into the details other than to say that it was the nicest evening I have had, not just in a long time, but ever.  I thank all those who made it possible (whether you were there or not).

Thursday night, I was triple-booked: it was the night of the Children’s Hospital Medical Staff Dinner (see below), the CCTSI PACT Council meeting (which brings together our community partners and the University in this important program) and a dinner on campus for the donors to the 66-year-old Physical Therapy Program.  At that dinner, there was a large contingent of 1970 graduates – several of whom I trained with on the Pediatric Service and Nurseries of Colorado General Hospital.  The Program honored Joanne Posner-Mayer, ’79, the founder of Ball Dynamics International and FitBall, who has pledged a gift of $250,000 to endow scholarships in perpetuity for the PT Program.  It was a very nice event.

Meanwhile, the annual meeting of the Children’s Hospital Colorado medical staff (which I never got to) was Thursday night at the Denver Marriott City Center hotel. I am told it was a wonderful event recognizing many talented professionals at the Hospital.  Alan Seay, MD, professor of pediatrics, received the James E. Strain Award recognizing community service to the needs of indigent children.

I was back at the University Club the next night to visit with the dozens of colleagues of John Hutton, PhD, who celebrated his life with a scientific symposium that was really outstanding. John’s wife, Barbara, attended the events of the day and evening and expressed to me her gratitude for the outpouring of condolences from our community.
 
The University of Colorado Board of Regents last week approved a proposal that increases medical student tuition at the School of Medicine up to 3 percent for Colorado residents. There will be no increase to the non-resident accountable student fee or other medical student fees. In addition, the Regents approved a 3.1 percent merit pool for exempt staff.  The School of Medicine is setting the same 3.1 percent pool for faculty and PRAs as part of our BSI plan. These are pool increases per unit, funded by the unit, and are not across-the-board increases. More information has been forwarded to all School of Medicine units for facilitating their July 1 increase requests. The link above provides more detail on the Regents meeting including why the tuition increases on this campus are lower than the rest of the University.

The School of Medicine Student Advisory College Program, which recently expanded to include resident and fellow advisors, is holding its First Annual Spring Stampede on Saturday, April 20. (I will be elsewhere celebrating a grandson’s birthday.) This will be a day of friendly competition between Colleges to foster wellness and a sense of community and loyalty among students. The competition will include feats of strength, tests of endurance, acts of communication, deeds of teamwork, and measures of mental fortitude. Whew.  Students can recruit faculty to compete for their college.  I will be interested to hear who among us is asked!  For more information, contact Terri Blevins.

Paula Hoffman, PhD, professor of pharmacology, will receive the Research Society on Alcoholism’s 2013 Distinguished Researcher Award at the Society’s meeting in Orlando in June. The award recognizes Paula for significant contributions to the study of alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Congratulations.

Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Resident and Fellow Chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society. Forty-seven exemplary doctors were chosen based on the number of nominations they received and based on their response to the essay topic “What Humanism Means to Me.”  These outstanding doctors and the previous recipients of the Gold Humanism Resident and Student awards, will be recognized in the Induction Ceremony on May 17th at the Fulginiti Pavilion with keynote speaker Jose Greer, MD.

Former faculty member Robert “Hank” Fennell, MD, passed away last month at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 94 years old.  Many of us will remember Hank as a terrific help in the clinical arena, but even more as a wonderful human being.  He always was relaxed and smiling when I would run into him on the old campus.

After highlighting an article about Lilly Marks in last week’s email and at the risk of becoming her publicity agent by doing it again this week, I want to note that our Vice President for Health Affairs and Executive Vice Chancellor is prominently featured in a front-page photo with the lead article of the March 2013 AAMC Reporter. Lilly was a speaker at the AAMC’s February leadership summit in Washington, D.C., where top officials from the nation’s academic medical centers discussed financial pressures facing the institutions.  So many of our colleagues nationally tell me how terrific her presentations are. One of these days, I hope to be able to hear one.

Last, but hardly least, it was a week with two all-afternoon retreats on successive days: on Tuesday afternoon, we had a brisk discussion at the School of Medicine Clinical Task Force Retreat discussing proposed changes in the governance of UPI, our quality efforts (and how to improve them) and our finances.  There will be a follow-up May 7.  Then Wednesday afternoon, Scott Lichtenberger, MD, the Chief Strategy Officer for University of Colorado Health, led an all-afternoon retreat attended by our colleagues at Memorial Hospital (“the South”) and the Poudre Valley Health System (“the North”).  Most of the discussion revolved around what was in between, but since it included a lot of proprietary – meaning confidential – information, that’s all I have to say about it. 

Don’t forget to file your taxes if you haven’t yet!

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 Cheryl.Welch@ucdenver.edu.

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