Edgar L. Makowski, M.D. dedicated his professional life to improving women’s health and the care of the newborn. He has served the CU Health Sciences Center, the greater Denver community, and the nation for many years as educator, clinician and researcher. Among the many roles he embraced were President of AGOS (American Gynecologic and Obstetric Society), the most senior academic society of the specialty; President of the Perinatal Research Society; and Chairman of the Human Embryology and Development NIH (National Institutes of Health) study section.
In 1966 Dr. Makowski joined the faculty of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado and dedicated his career to providing outstanding patient care for the women and infants of Colorado. In 1976 he expanded his role when he accepted the position of Chairman of the Department following the retirement of Dr. E Stewart Taylor.
As the second chairman of the Department, a position he held until 1988, Dr. Makowski personally advanced the cause for excellence in patient care. One of his first initiatives was to obtain better fetal monitoring equipment and ultrasound equipment for the department. He achieved this goal and improved the overall patient care facilities as well, including a new cesarean section room.
Under his leadership, the residency program nearly doubled in size. By integrating the existing community resident program into the University of Colorado Program, the resident grew from five residents per class to its current nine per class for a total of 36 residents in a four-year program. With additional residents to cover the responsibilities at three hospitals, residents were able to spend more time in each of the subspecialties of obstetrics and gynecology, including maternal-fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and gynecologic oncology. Dr. Makowski’s passion for learning was always in evidence. He was a dedicated teacher with broadly ranging interests who encouraged his residents and fellows to become experts in fetal monitoring, genetics and pathology.
Widely –recognized as a superb clinical researcher, Dr. Makowski sought funding for research for the Department. Peer-reviewed finding from the National Institutes of Health increased and research into post-sated pregnancies, pregnancy after kidney transplant, mixed carcinomas of the endometrium, and intra-uterine transfusions of the fetus, were conducted. Dr. Makowski’s personal research interest was in fetal physiology. He and his colleagues sought to understand fetal development in order to improve the outcome of complicated pregnancies in women.
Not content to stop with a traditional career encompassing clinical care, research and education, Dr. Makowski brought his vision and leadership skills to the broader CU community as well. He was instrumental in changing the name of the hospital from Colorado General to University of Colorado Hospital, believing that the general public should easily recognize the Hospital’s connection to the University. He also possessed a great business sense and was instrumental in organizing the current School of Medicine faculty practice plan, University Physicians, Inc. (UPI). This forward-looking plan was essential to the growth of the faculty at the School of Medicine.
The past three years have seen significant change in the specialty of obstetrics. Major Achievements have been made in research, patient care and education. The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology has been at the forefront of this transformation every step of the way. The practical application of research to patient care has meant a reduction in infant mortality rates, improved birth weight, fewer complications during pregnancy and more full-term deliveries.
Making a decision to support this endowment is an investment in the future. Finding the answer to the questions that still puzzle researchers and confound patient care is the work for our current faculty and for future generations. As we move further into this new century, our improved understanding of disease will bring a brighter future to the mothers and infants of tomorrow.
In order to fully fund this endowment chair in obstetrics, we must raise $1.5 million. Your gift will aid us reaching this goal.
Income from this endowment chair will partially fund a faculty position, and future research and education in perinatalogy. We are indebted to the vision of those like Dr. Makowski who have brought us this far. We look forward to the time when the research and education conducted here will lead to new information that will prevent or treat the diseases and conditions that deprive mothers and infants of a bright tomorrow. Your generous contribution will allow us to continue and enhance this heritage of excellence in health care for women and infants.