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May 5, 2014

What's Going on Here?


Dear Colleague,

Last week started with great news for our campus. University of Colorado Health announced last Tuesday that Elizabeth Concordia has been named the system’s new president and CEO effective Sept. 2. She brings terrific experience, talent and qualifications to lead University of Colorado Health. Liz is head of hospital and community services division at UPMC, a healthcare provider that is closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh. The UPMC hospital division, which includes 20 hospitals with 5,100 licensed beds, 17 senior community facilities and 36,800 employees, is one of the nation’s top hospital systems. We are delighted with the choice and will be happy to welcome Liz to Colorado.

This is spring meeting season. I could have been at three national meetings last week, though I only went to one. I did attend the annual ELAM Leaders Forum in Philadelphia, traveling there Tuesday night by way of Washington D.C., where I gave a brief overview to legislative staff at the Capitol as to why I think child abuse and neglect should be considered a health problem, not just a social problem. It may have been helpful to them. (One can always hope.)  I traveled by train from D.C. to Philadelphia, where the annual forum, poster session and graduation for the 54 ELAM graduates took place. ELAM stands for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine. Marsha Anderson, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, finished her year as an ELAM fellow presenting her work on planning the medical school curriculum for 2025. It will be different! 

The plane back from Philadelphia was packed with faculty from our Department of Neurology – I counted at least five on the flight – which had its annual spring meeting in Philadelphia as well. Marsha and dozens of our pediatric faculty then left Friday morning for Vancouver where the annual Pediatric Academic Society meetings are currently underway. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, the 19th National Conference of Child Abuse and Neglect began and the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect bestowed its first National Kempe Scientific Impact Award last Friday on David Finkelhor, PhD, director of the Crimes against Children Research Center and co-director of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire. The Kempe Center plans to give this award annually to a distinguished scholar whose work extends the legacy of C. Henry Kempe, MD. This year’s award was given by Kempe Center Executive Director Desmond Runyan, MD, DrPH.

Monday morning, Julie Freischlag, MD, vice chancellor for human health sciences and dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine was here for the H. James Fox Memorial Lecture. Jim Fox was a surgery resident when I was a pediatric resident for one year. I remember him and was unaware of his early death. Julie, who was last here in 2001 when she was a candidate for our surgery chair – she went to Johns Hopkins to chair its surgery department – only remembered that “this place was an outpatient building, the old hospital and a lot of weeds and there was a lot of arguing going on as to whether it would happen. It is now amazing!”

On Monday night I updated the Medical Alumni Board on the various searches going on and plans were finalized for the Silver and Gold Banquet Thursday, May 22.

After two so-called dinners on United Airlines that I purchased from the economy cart Tuesday and Thursday night, and a dinner at the ELAM conference Wednesday, the week rounded out with coconut chicken at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science at a very nice fundraiser for the ARCS Foundation, which provides many scholarships for science students at Colorado universities. I missed bidding on the two hours of flight time for four people in the Lockheed Martin fighter plane simulation facility in Arlington, Va., and I couldn’t bid on the two passes to Cape Canaveral for the NASA Orion test flight, which is scheduled for a week in December when I will be on a family vacation. Either would have been fun.

Ronald Sokol, MD, professor of pediatrics, is the senior author of an article in the current issue of JAMA that finds that steroids used with infants to treat a rare liver disease, known as biliary atresia, provide no clinical benefit and could harm them. The publication coincides with the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies and Asian Society for Pediatric Research in Vancouver.

Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine, was featured last Thursday in a report on Colorado Public Radio about the increase in the number of patients admitted to the hospital after consuming large quantities of edible marijuana. Rich said University of Colorado Hospital is admitting about a person a day for pot-related problems and most are linked to edibles. This is a serious public health issue with consequences for everyone in Colorado.

Open Enrollment for benefits plans began last week and will continue through 5 p.m. Friday, May 16. There will be open enrollment sessions and carrier fairs on the Anschutz Medical Campus on Wednesday, May 7, in Education 2 North. The sessions for faculty are at 9 a.m. and again at 3 p.m. The full schedule of events, descriptions of changes to some benefits and explanations of what happens if you don’t participate in open enrollment are available at the website. Be sure to get it done.

The senior skit will be Thursday night this week. It is an often funny, sometimes gross, but always entertaining evening and gives me a glimpse on what our students really think about the faculty who have taught them over the last four or so years.

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 →

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