We had more than our share of
sadness this past week. I am writing this late Sunday night having just
returned from an impromptu memorial service for Alejandro (Alex) Rodriguez
Prieto, who was to start his second year of medical school next week.
Alex died in a motorcycle accident early Saturday morning. One hundred
members of his family, friends, classmates and several of us from the Dean’s
Office gathered on campus Sunday night and shared memories, love and grief at
his passing. His family lives in Denver and will host a wake at their home, 222
S. Irving St., on Wednesday from 4 p.m. until 8 a.m. on Thursday.
Services will be held at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 3801 W. Ohio
Ave., later that day. He will be missed.
Earlier in the week, I
attended the memorial service for Kristina Wenzel, RN, MBA, executive director
of the Central Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC), who died on
Friday, Aug. 2, after a short illness. She was a friend and mentor to many and
a champion of the AHEC’s mission of working for a healthy and informed populace
served by a well-educated, diverse work force in an accessible health care
delivery system. Many of the events celebrating success among our
students, preceptors, nurse colleagues and our “pipeline” programs, such as the
Nightingale Awards and the Golden Stethoscope Awards, were coordinated by Kris
and the Central AHEC staff. We will miss her.
My conversations with the
basic science faculty continued last week and I have found them very
helpful. While there has not been unanimity of opinion on how to do this,
I do believe that the status quo, while comfortable, is not the best path to assure
our success in our basic research enterprise. Stay tuned.
Jeffrey Brent, MD, PhD,
clinical professor of medicine, has received the Matthew J. Ellenhorn Award
from the American College of Medical Toxicology. Each year, the organization
bestows the honor on an individual for their contributions to the field.
Tom Noel, MLS, PhD, professor
of history at the University of Colorado Denver, will discuss
his new book University of Colorado Hospital: A History on Tuesday, Aug.
13, at noon in the Health Science Library’s Reading Room on the third floor.
Tom is a distinguished historian of our state and I’m sure this will be a
terrific talk. Bring your lunch and learn from “Dr. Colorado.”
Lynn, anchor on Channel 7, Denver’s ABC local affiliate KMGH, has
been named executive director of the Children’s Diabetes
Foundation. Bertha is an award-winning television journalist, who won
numerous Emmy Awards and other honors. The Children’s Diabetes Foundation,
established by Marvin and Barbara Davis in 1977, raises funds to support the
Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes where more than 6,000 children and
young adults from all over the world receive diabetes care. She succeeds
Chrissy Lerner, who has been with the foundation for 36 years and is stepping
down after extraordinary leadership and success in the development and growth
of the organization. I look forward to working with Bertha and wish Chrissy
the very best in the next stages of her life and career.
One last note: the
Memorial Garden we are building at the southeast corner of Building 500 is just
about completed. We decided to use it last evening for Alex’s
memorial. It is a very special place on this campus and it seemed like
the right place to gather.
Have a good week,
Richard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine
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