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Jan. 6, 2014

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

As this email reaches you, many of us are returning to the campus following the memorial service for our colleague, Eugenia Carroll, MD, who died Wednesday, Jan. 1, after a long illness. She was 57 years old. Eugenia, head of the Women’s Heart Disease Clinic and associate professor of medicine, was a wonderful physician, dedicated to her family and to making the world a better place. A lovely tribute by her husband, John Carroll, MD, professor of medicine, is posted here. Our thoughts are with him and their four children. Eugenia will be missed.  It is a sad start to the New Year.

The University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is moving ahead with a $75.5 million expansion that will build out a 36-bed medical-surgical unit, a 24-bed critical-care unit and four operating rooms. The expansion was approved at November and December meetings of the boards of UCH and University of Colorado Health.  The hospital plans to complete the design-bid and award process in April 2014 and open the new units in January 2015. The 60 new beds would increase the hospital’s total capacity to 593. The total number of operating rooms would grow to 25.

The Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research recently compiled the annual funding data from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and posted it late last year.  There are lots of tables with rankings by school, by department and by hospital.  It is easy to over-interpret and even misinterpret these data because of the way it is categorized at the NIH, but, in general, we are doing pretty well. The School is ranked 9th among public medical schools and 24th overall.  The Department of Pediatrics ranked No. 1 among medical school departments of pediatrics in total NIH funding for 2013 and Ronald Sokol, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI), is the principal investigator with most funding assigned to a department of pediatrics. Having the very large CCTSI grant totally assigned to Ron and the Department of Pediatrics helped this outcome, but it is a notable accomplishment during a year of across-the-board cuts to the federal budget.

Last week, the School of Medicine Office of Faculty Affairs and our Information Technology team launched a new online system for faculty performance evaluations called PRiSM (Performance Reviews in the School of Medicine).  This new system replaces DOMINO, FIDO, and the Family Medicine version of DOMINO.  The new system is a modern web application and includes many new features that should make your work easier.  Click here to see more information about this new system, including how to log in to PRiSM and important information about a change in the review period (the review period will now be calendar year rather than academic year).

A new study by CU School of Medicine physicians shows that patients with Medicaid insurance who seek care in an emergency room may be driven by a lack of alternatives rather than by the severity of their illnesses. The researchers, led by Roberta Capp, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, reported their findings in December 2013 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. The findings are especially important to understand because the expansion of Medicaid coverage by the Affordable Care Act is intended to decrease dependence on hospital emergency rooms. A separate study of Medicaid recipients in Oregon, published last week in Science, reported that those with Medicaid made 40 percent more visits to an emergency room when compared with their uninsured counterparts during their first 18 months with insurance, increasing costs significantly.

With the National Western Stock Show beginning next Saturday, we are making another plea for clinical faculty volunteers to help with the health screenings. There are 32 shifts to fill and so far only four shifts are covered by clinical faculty. Please consider donating some of your time for this worthy effort. There are two shifts daily – from 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. The stock show runs from Jan. 11-26. Information about volunteering can be found on the Colorado Area Health Education Center website. You have to navigate through the registration before getting to the web based calendar where you can sign up.  Please support our many students who have already filled their slots.

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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