Early this morning we
received the very sad news that our close friend and esteemed colleague Chip
Ridgway, MD, passed away this morning (July 31, 2014).
Chip has been a pillar of
the School of Medicine for nearly three decades and his commitment to
education, research and public service won accolades from colleagues here,
nationally and throughout the world. For his entire career here and in Boston
he was the quintessential “triple threat.” He had hundreds of patients
who relied on him as their physician, he managed a research lab, and he educated
generations of fellows, residents and students. For the last two decades
oversaw our academic environment as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Chip graduated from the
University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1968, completed his internship,
residency and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and he returned to
the School in 1985. After graduation, he had joined the faculty of Harvard
Medical School, where he was rising through the ranks there and at Mass
A Wyoming native, he returned
to the West because “my kids were pre-teens and they were getting a little too
used to being Boston people,” he said. His father, who was a family
practitioner and the first doctor in Cody, had told him to stay at Harvard, but
Chip wanted to be here. He loved the West, enjoyed horseback riding and outdoor
activities and was an avid gardener.
Chip practiced medicine,
taught students and handled his administrative duties the way we all should –
with an eye toward making the world a better place.
He recently described
his philosophy this way: “I like to think I’m working for the social good
as opposed to financial rewards. I’m driven more by the question, ‘Is it going
to be worthwhile for the population, the people in Colorado, the people around
the world?’ I would rather spend my time on that than thinking about if I am
going to get paid for it.”
Chip held the Frederic C.
Hamilton Endowed Chair in Endocrinology Research, awarded to him personally by
Mr. Hamilton, and he served as the School’s Senior Associate Dean for Academic
Affairs since 1994. Chip was the Division Head for Endocrinology, Metabolism
and Diabetes from 1985 to 2007 and was the interim Chair of the Department of
Medicine in 2010. Nationally, he was president of The Endocrine Society in 2003
and president of the American Thyroid Association in 1996. He was named a
Distinguished Professor of the University in 2011, and that year was the first
recipient of the Lewis E. Braverman Lectureship Award from the American Thyroid
We will miss his energetic
and thoughtful leadership on this campus, which he helped design and build. Our
School has benefited enormously from his commitment to academic excellence and
his passion for pursuing discovery and for nurturing talented physicians and
As Dean, I have relied on
his steadfast advice for 20 years and I am grateful for his friendship and support.
I am confident that his spirit will endure here in the great work of the many
people who will recall Chip as a wonderful friend and teacher.
The flag in front of
Building 500 will be at half-mast in his honor. I will have more
information in my regular Monday email on the wishes of Chip’s family and their
and our plans for remembrance. We all share in their grief and wish them
the very best at this difficult time.
With warm regards,
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