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Feb. 4, 2013

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

Last week was relatively quiet and the highlights revolved around a couple of educational events.  The first was a three-hour review of what had been accomplished by our faculty and staff working in the Undergraduate Medical Education curriculum since their planning retreat several years ago after our last LCME site visit.  The implementation of the Medical Student Advisory Colleges, the continued development and refinement of a longitudinal curriculum (more on that later) and the early planning for the CU School of Medicine branch in Colorado Springs were among the highlights reviewed.  Hard to believe we are a year and a half away from another self-study in preparation for another LCME visit in 2016.

The other educational event last week was a one-day “summit” meeting of faculty, deans, and health plan and hospital administrators, who spent the day discussing how best to implement Inter Professional Education (IPE) in our community.  There is a huge national effort going on in the IPE world, and our campus and the University of Minnesota are among the leaders in this area.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has funded us and Minnesota to explore the barriers to moving all our health professional education towards meeting the “Triple Aim” – better care for the individual patient, better health for the population, and more cost-effective care.  There were many good discussions and I want to thank our colleagues from the University of Minnesota, the other health professional schools and programs on this campus, University of Colorado Hospital, University of Colorado Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, the VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and The Colorado Trust and Colorado Health Foundation for joining us.  Mark Earnest, MD, PhD, Director of the REACH/LEAD programs, and Amy Barton, RN, PhD, Associate Dean for Clinical and Community Affairs at the College of Nursing, were the co-leaders of the session, which I thought was very successful.

The strategic planning process for the School of Medicine continues to move along.  Since June, we’ve had significant contributions from faculty, administrators, affiliates and many others who care about the future of this institution. Thanks to their collaboration and hard work we are heading into the next phase: Refining the strategy, defining our needs and building a plan. We cannot afford to stand still as the world moves along. I invite you to stay engaged and read the retreat and summit information posted on our website.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced on January 31st that University of Colorado Hospital and UPI were selected as one of 500 participants in their bundled payment pilot program.  The team from UCH and UPI worked for more than a year to develop, analyze, and subsequently submit a proposal for a bundled payment for congestive heart failure.  This is an important learning exercise for our team in managing care episodes collaboratively with a fixed bundled payment for episodes of care.  The pilot is led by Larry Allen, MD, and Christina Finlayson, MD, as well as UCH and UPI senior staff (Kathy McCreary and Liz Kissick).  The pilot itself will be small (100 Medicare patients), but the planning team expects to transfer the learning to other reform initiatives, as well as the entire population (not just Medicare) of congestive heart failure patients at UCH. Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative

The University of Colorado Foundation announced last week that it had successfully completed an 18-month campaign to raise more than $2 million to endow the directorship of the Center for Women’s Health Research.  Judith Regensteiner, PhD, who co-founded the program, is the inaugural Judith and Joseph Wagner Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research. More than 30 contributors from the Denver community made gifts to the chair, led by Judith and Joseph Wagner, who committed $1 million. We are grateful to all for their support. The center provides funding and training for the next generation of scientists in the field of women's health and currently has 24 junior researchers mentored by senior faculty.

The Teaching Scholars Program (TSP) is accepting applications from faculty seeking to develop an education-research or curriculum-development project. The TSP is an 18-month certificate program designed to enhance knowledge and skills and to develop future leaders in medical and healthcare education. The program is held on the Anschutz Medical Campus and consists of monthly seminar sessions held during the 2013-14 academic year. Applications are due by March 1.

Remember to vote for the 5280 magazine’s Top Docs list. Our faculty members always make a strong showing – typically a majority of the total. Often one of our faculty members appears on the cover of the magazine.  We are proud of our great physicians. Please support them by voting on the magazine’s website. The ballot will be available online through March 8. Visit www.5280.com and click on the Top Doctors button. You’ll need your Colorado physician license number to cast a ballot, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

The construction of a $1 million medical center in southwest Guatemala is set to begin in March, marking the School of Medicine’s first long-term presence in a developing nation. Edwin Asturias, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Director for Latin America at the Center for Global Health, last July led team of CU physicians and students to assess the health needs of the population, conducting physicals and testing children for parasites and anemia. When completed, CU health care professionals will rotate through the facility, which is to be built on 10 acres of a banana plantation, treating some 3,000 workers and caring for the 24,000 people living in the surrounding villages. The project is funded by a donation from the Jose Fernando Bolaños Foundation.

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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