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GI, Trauma, and Endocrine Surgery

Dr. Velopulos speaks out on preventing gun violence

Emmy Betz, MD, and Catherine Velopulos, MD

Dr. Catherine Velopulos (pictured, right) recently co-authored an opinion column in the Denver Post with Dr. Emmy Betz (pictured, left) on the issue of gun violence. Dr. Velopulos and Dr. Betz joined physicians nationwide in speaking out after a controversial tweet by the National Rifle Association, which began with the sentence “Someone should tell self-important anti-gun doctors to stay in their lane.” The NRA's tweet prompted responses from physicians across the country, sparking such movements as #ThisIsOurLane and #ThisIsEveryonesLane.

In their column for the Denver Post, Drs. Velopulos and Betz defend the right—and the responsibility—of doctors to participate in the national discussion about firearm-related injuries and deaths. “We are not anti-gun,” they write. “And we know that no one — not gun owners, nor non-owners — wants to lose a loved one to firearm violence.” They go on to list numerous things that communities like ours in Denver can do to reduce firearm deaths and injuries—initiatives that should win support from all citizens, regardless of their position on gun control.

You can read the column by Drs. Betz and Velopulos here: #ThisIsOurLane in Colorado, too

(December 2018)

Denver Health renames trauma center after Dr. Gene Moore

Play video -- Denver Health's Trauma Center Has 'Moore' To Be Proud Of

Longtime CU faculty member Ernest “Gene” Moore, MD, was given a singular honor this year, as Denver Health Medical Center renamed its Level-I Trauma Center the “Ernest E. Moore Shock Trauma Center.”

Dr. Moore has worked as a trauma surgeon since the 1970s and is recognized around the world for his work in developing the profession of trauma surgery. In the CU School of Medicine, Dr. Moore is a Distinguished Professor of Surgery and serves as Vice Chair of Trauma and Critical Care Research. At Denver Health, he has served in many roles over the years, including Chief of Trauma and Chief of Surgery.

Dr. Moore has saved the lives of countless patients in the course of his career. For the stories of just a few of those patients, watch the videos below. (The video above shows highlights from the celebration of the trauma center’s renaming at Denver Health on July 10, 2018.)

Patient Stories

(July 2018)

Dr. Juan-Pablo Idrovo joins GITES faculty

Juan-Pablo Idrovo, MD

The Division of GI, Trauma, and Endocrine Surgery in the Department of Surgery is pleased to announce the appointment of Juan-Pablo Idrovo, MD, to the Trauma/ Acute Care Surgery/ Surgical Critical Care Team at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Idrovo earned his MD at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador Medical School. He subsequently completed his general surgery residency at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine in New York and his Surgical Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery Fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh. He also did a research fellowship at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research with Ping Wang, PhD. He became board certified in General Surgery and Critical Care in 2016.

His interests are in the medical and surgical management of critically ill patients, GI fistulas, abdominal wall hernias, and intra-abdominal sepsis. He has published numerous abstracts and papers on energy metabolism, sepsis, inflammation, and wound healing.

Dr. Idrovo is an active member of ACS, SCCM, EAST, and AAS and is an ATLS and ASSET instructor. At the University of Colorado, he will serve as Assistant Professor of Surgery and Surgical Critical Care and begin his efforts in research in the areas of sepsis/inflammation/alcohol for the Department of Surgery.

(September 2017)

Dr. Elisa Birnbaum joins GITES faculty

Elisa Birnbaum, MD

The Division of GI, Trauma, and Endocrine Surgery in the Department of Surgery is pleased to announce the appointment of Elisa Birnbaum, MD, to the Colorectal Surgical Team at University of Colorado.

Dr. Birnbaum earned her Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin and her MD at the University of Illinois Medical School. She subsequently completed her general surgery residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York and her Colorectal Surgery fellowship at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. She served on faculty at Washington University School of Medicine from 1991 to 2017, most recently as Professor of Surgery and Director of the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Floor Disorders.

Her interests are in the medical and surgical management of pelvic floor abnormalities, particularly fecal incontinence, constipation, and rectal prolapse. She has 25 years of surgical experience and expertise in laparoscopic and robotic approaches to colorectal diseases. She has published numerous papers and chapters on colorectal diseases and is a recent recipient of the faculty mentorship award at Washington University given by the surgical residents. Dr. Birnbaum has been active on ACS and ASCRS committees, as a council member of the ASCRS, and is currently a board member on the ABCRS. At the University of Colorado, she will serve as Professor of Surgery and Co-director of the Anorectal Physiology Laboratory.

(September 2017)

Dr. Kovacs becomes President-elect of Shock Society

Elizabeth Kovacs, PhD

Elizabeth J. Kovacs, PhD, Research Professor in the CU Department of Surgery, was sworn in as President-elect of the Shock Society at the Society's annual meeting in Florida, on June 6, 2017.

Following her one-year term as President-elect (June 2017 - May 2018), Dr. Kovacs will serve a one-year term as President (June 2018 - May 2019).

The Shock Society was founded to facilitate the integration of basic and clinical disciplines in the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of trauma and shock and to promote an awareness of its national and international health importance. To accomplish this goal, the Society promotes original basic and clinical research in molecular, cellular, and systemic pathobiological aspects of shock and trauma and aims to develop new and important therapeutic approaches. Members include medical professionals and researchers from across North America.

You can read the full version of this story on the Department of Surgery's news site.

(June 2017)

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