A whole lot went on the
last couple of weeks, so this note is longer than usual. Stick with me
though, because there is a lot to catch up on.
The Faculty Senate on Feb.
11 approved the reunification of the Departments of Immunology and
Microbiology, as has our School of Medicine Executive Committee. The
request will now go to the University of Colorado Board of Regents for final
approval, which is scheduled for April or June. We are happy to announce
that John Cambier, PhD, will be chair of the newly renamed Department of
Immunology and Microbiology as of July 1. About
a dozen School of Medicine faculty members who are currently in leased space at
National Jewish Health are already preparing to move to the Anschutz Medical
Campus this summer. We believe this move will promote excellent collaboration
between our scientists and we look forward to welcoming them here on our
campus. I want to specifically thank the faculty and staff, especially Amanda
Law, PhD, professor of psychiatry; Vice Chancellor for Research Dick Traystman,
PhD, in pharmacology, and his colleagues and staff; Bob Freedman, MD, chair and
professor of psychiatry; Andrew Thorburn, D Phil, chair of pharmacology; and
Kevin Lillehei, MD, chair of neurosurgery, for their significant cooperation in
making room in RC-1 North so Immunology can move. None of this comes without
disruption, but our willingness to share the pain has made it a little less
painful. And I believe that the outcome for the School as a whole will be
At the Faculty Senate
meeting, I also explained the current state of relations with National Jewish
Health. While we remain committed to supporting our faculty, we must recognize
the consequences of recent announcements by National Jewish to partner with SCL
Health System and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York. We
will continue to support the research and academic work of our talented
fulltime faculty on our campus and at National Jewish, but we cannot ignore the
significant role our clinical group practice plays in providing critical
support to the School of Medicine. The work we do together – as clinicians,
researchers and educators – improves lives of patients, students and our
community. I suspect that those who made it this past weekend to the
Beaux Arts Ball, the annual National Jewish fundraiser, had some conversation
about this. I was out of town visiting a new grandchild and could not be there,
but I did note that Fitch Ratings recently downgraded
the National Jewish bond rating, mentioning only the Sisters of Charity of
Leavenworth’s Exempla St. Joseph Hospital and Mount Sinai as partners that
could help improve National Jewish’s bond ratings.
I had a welcome chance to
speak at a clinical research forum a couple of weeks ago. This part of our
mission has struggled because, in my view, we do not have the proper alignment
of physician responsibility and engagement in the administrative structure of
our campus, University of Colorado Hospital and University of Colorado Health.
I got a fair amount of positive feedback after a “short but mild diatribe.” I
expect there will be progress over the next couple of months.
The previous few weeks
were a time for several funerals and memorials. The memorial service for E.
Stewart Taylor, MD, professor emeritus of obstetrics and gynecology, was
Thursday, Feb. 13, and was attended by hundreds of his former students,
residents and colleagues. Then last week, nearly a thousand business,
philanthropic and civic leaders gathered to honor Walt Imhoff, who was a
remarkable, steely businessman and investor and at the same time, a true
gentleman and philanthropist. Walt had been a large part of the fundraising
efforts of Regis University, St. Joseph Hospital, the Boy Scouts and the Kempe
Center. He will be missed.
The annual Donor Recognition Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 13, was a wonderful way to thank
several generous donors to the University and to our School: Jean and Joe
Barban, Sue Anschutz-Rodgers, The Colorado
Trust, J.P. Morgan and Douglas Tashiro.
As usual, the videos
paying tribute to the honorees were a special highlight of the evening and if
you have the time, it is worth watching them. In the video about the Barbans,
Fred Grover, MD, professor and past chair of the Department of Surgery, who
performed the heart transplant surgery that saved Jean Barban’s life 15 years
ago, explained how the Barbans’ gift of an endowed chair at the School of
Medicine makes a difference: “It really makes you feel good when you’ve done
something to help other people and that’s what they’re doing. They’re helping
future generations of patients like her.” Gifts like these save lives, offer
hope and make the Anschutz Medical Campus great.
The UCH Hearts of All Ages event was a great way to celebrate Valentine’s
Day and to show support for the Department of Orthopedics at the University of
Colorado Hospital. About 1,000 people went to Wings over the Rockies Museum to
enjoy the party, which raised money to enhance care for orthopedic patients at
the hospital and its specialty clinics. Clips of an upcoming Fox Sports series
entitled “The Cutting Edge,” which is being filmed on our campus, were shown.
The series starts in March. We will have updates then.
The School of Medicine
celebrated the opening of
its branch in Colorado Springs on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at a ribbon cutting for
the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences on the campus of University of
Colorado Colorado Springs. This summer, the School of Medicine is expanding the
size of its MD class from 160 to 184 students and beginning in 2016, the
additional students in the expanded classes will receive clinical training at
sites throughout El Paso County. The ribbon-cutting event was terrific and the
launch of the branch is an exciting opportunity for the School of Medicine’s
educational program to provide even more service to the people of Colorado.
Runyan, MD, professor of pediatrics and executive director of The Kempe Center
for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, has been notified
that he is the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Child
Advocacy Award, which is presented annually by the American Psychological
Association (APA) to a non-psychologist who has made significant contributions
to advocacy on behalf of children, youth, and families. In addition, Gary
Melton, PhD, professor of pediatrics and associate director of community
engagement and prevention at The Kempe Center, will be receiving his fourth
Distinguished Contribution Award from the APA. Gary, who received an early
career award in 1985 from the group, is the first psychologist to be honored
with four awards over the course of his career. Bravo to both.
ancy Zahniser, PhD,
professor of pharmacology, our former associate dean for research education,
has been selected to receive the 2014 PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in
Pharmacology/Toxicology at the group’s awards ceremony in April. The award is
reserved for those who received a foundation grant at the outset of their
careers and then go on to a distinguished career. The judges select the award
based on one criterion: Excellence. Congratulations Nancy.
The annual Top Doctors
ballot by 5280 magazine is online until Friday, March 7. Physicians can visit www.5280.com and click on the Top Doctors button to access the
login page. Every eligible physician living and/or practicing in metro Denver
can log in to vote with his or her full first name, last name, physician
license number and valid email address. Nearly 200 of those who were selected
by peer physicians as Top Docs in 2013 are School of Medicine faculty members.
Applications for the
Advanced Physician Leadership Program are due Friday, March 14. This yearlong
training by the Colorado Medical Society and the Regional Institute for Health
and Environmental Leadership gives physicians the tools to lead effectively and
help transform systems of care. Physicians from across Colorado are invited to
apply for this grant-funded program and 40 are selected to participate.
Candidates should have a strong interest in developing their leadership skills
and a personal conviction for improving health care delivery. Participants are
required to attend four retreats throughout the year. Information is available
at the Colorado Medical Society’s website.
The Teaching Scholars Program (TSP) is now accepting applications. TSP is an
18-month certificate program designed to enhance knowledge and skills, and
develop future leaders in medical and health care education with a focus on
core components of educational scholarship and curriculum development.
Held on the Anschutz Medical Campus, the program consists of monthly seminar
sessions held during the 2014-15 academic year, a curriculum development and/or
education scholarship project, and faculty mentorship/guidance. Applications
are due Monday, March 17.
Have a good week,
hard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine
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