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March 17, 2014

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

It was another of those weeks when I wasn’t going to be here much. Last weekend we went to Florida to visit an aunt and uncle who will be celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. It was warm and beautiful in Fort Myers. I came back to Colorado Tuesday night to be at the University of Colorado Hospital Board meeting on Wednesday when I presented an overview of the affiliation agreement between the University and the Hospital. It was an opportunity to recognize the mutual benefits of our partnership, how well our relationship is going and how it strengthens the hospital, our school and all the other schools on this campus. I listed a few areas where the other deans, our chairs and I felt we could improve. The board seemed to receive it well, although one always worries when identifying areas for improvement that some will hear only the negative and lose sight of the overall positive environment we have here.

During the board meeting, an email arrived from Fitch Ratings, which upgraded the bonds of the University of Colorado Hospital Authority (UCHA) and Poudre Valley Health Care Inc. (PVHS) to AA- from A+. The rating agency said UCHealth, which was created 2012 by combining University of Colorado Hospital and Poudre Valley, has been successful in integrating major areas of governance, human resources, corporate services and information technology. The agency also noted “UCHealth benefits from its close affiliation with the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, its position as the only academic medical center in the state and the excellent clinical results of UCHA and PVHS.” All in all, it was a positive board meeting.

I was supposed to leave very early the next morning to join the team from the Center for Global Health in Guatemala City celebrating the opening of a new clinic there. I had to cancel my participation in the trip to deal with a couple of emerging issues here, but the opening was a success. Congratulations to Stephen Berman, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Global Health, and Edwin Asturias, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and associate director of the center, for their work on this project.

Not going on that trip allowed me to attend the memorial service on Saturday for David Talmage, MD, Distinguished Professor of the University, former dean of the School of Medicine and former director of the Webb-Waring Institute, at Montview Presbyterian Church, which was a very nice event.  Henry Claman, MD, Distinguished Professor of the University and director of the Program in Medical Humanities, gave a terrific eulogy summarizing David’s accomplishments in science and for our School. Another highlight of the ceremony was the six children and grandchildren who spoke about what a wonderful father and grandfather David was to his five children and ten grandchildren.

Robert D’Ambrosia, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Orthopedics, received the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2014 Diversity Award at a ceremony in New Orleans last week.  The group hailed his work helping shape the School of Medicine’s Diversity Policy and for embracing treatment of underserved patient populations. The group also noted that he was pivotal in ensuring that our sports medicine faculty includes female practitioners to help address the needs of female sports teams. Congratulations Bob.

The Academy of Medical Educators is accepting nominations for Education Awards.  All School of Medicine faculty, including volunteer faculty and those in the Physical Therapy and Child Health Association Physician Assistant programs, are eligible for these awards. The categories are Excellence in Direct Teaching (clinical, non-clinical or both), Excellence in Curriculum Development or Educational Innovation, Excellence in Educational Administration or Leadership, Excellence in Research or Scholarship in Education, and Excellence in Mentoring and Advising.  Details about the process and the nomination form are available online. Submit the forms to Kathy Werfelmann. The deadline for nominations is Friday, April 18.

Undergraduate Medical Education is opening a search for the existing 0.5 FTE position of Assistant Dean for Admissions. If you have any questions about the position, please contact Maureen Garrity, PhD, associate dean for student life. Please send your statement of interest and CV to Sean Spellman. Preference will be given to applications received by Friday, April 4.

U.S. News & World Report released its rankings of the nation’s medical schools. The School of Medicine ranked 13th in the country in primary care and 40th as a research institution. In specialty areas, Family Medicine ranked 5th, Pediatrics 6th and Rural Medicine 9th. As I say every year, I am proud of all our programs here whether or not they get ranked by U.S. News. I am confident we have assembled great teams in our programs and that we are working together to provide excellent teaching, research and clinical care.

The Colorado Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) is hosting a research symposium on Thursday, March 27, from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Henry Ginsberg, MD, the Irving Professor of Medicine and director of the Irving Institute for Clinical Translational Research at Columbia University, will deliver the keynote address, “Columbia’s CTSA, supporting the full range of research: A personal experience,” at 8:30 a.m. There will be posters on display for judging. To RSVP, check the Research Day page at the CCTSI website.

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.  See the UCH Insider →