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Aug. 12, 2013

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

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. Congratulations.

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.”

Bertha 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


"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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