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OUR GRATITUDE As we prepare this publication each fall, we have the opportunity to look back at all our strong community of support has made possible and look forward to all that lies ahead. We hope the stories in these pages inspire a sense of pride and accomplishment in you, as they have in us, and leave you anticipating the future. It is an exciting time at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus as we build on the momentum you have helped to create in education, research and clinical care. From advancing Down syndrome research to harnessing the immune system to fight illness and disease, we are making great strides with you as our partner. On behalf of the thousands served every day by the university and by our outstanding hospital partners, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado, thank you for accelerating our progress and expanding our reach.



Chancellor | University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

President | University of Colorado




CARE + COMMUNITY | Advocating for Down Syndrome ........................................................................................... 2 SPOTLIGHT | Debra Devereaux ................................................................................................................................ 5 EDUCATION | Providing Care and Training for Generations ......................................................................................... 6 CARE + COMMUNITY | The Healing Power of Nurses ............................................................................................... 8 PROFILE | Will Cook ............................................................................................................................................... 10 EDUCATION | Future Leaders: Students Transforming Health Care ............................................................................12 PROFILE | Colorado School of Public Health .............................................................................................................14 IMPACT | The Anschutz Foundation .........................................................................................................................16 INNOVATION | Harnessing the Immune System .......................................................................................................19 SPOTLIGHT | Donald Crino, MD .............................................................................................................................. 21 IMPACT | Impact at CU Anschutz ............................................................................................................................ 23 SPOTLIGHT | The Snelson Family ........................................................................................................................... 24 CARE + COMMUNITY | Lifting a Financial Burden .................................................................................................. 25 Read an electronic version of this publication and view exclusive web extras at:

+ $42 M in philanthropic commitments

37 research

ADVOCATING FOR DOWN SYNDROME Fifteen-year-old Sophia Whitten is preparing to enter high school, learning to play piano, and listening to Taylor Swift. She also has Down syndrome – a genetic disorder caused by having an extra copy of chromosome 21. She has a boyfriend, sneaks time to text and doesn’t see any limits on her future, thanks in large part to the dedication of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. When Michelle Sie Whitten was pregnant with Sophia, she received a prenatal diagnosis that Sophia would be born with Down syndrome. “At 32 weeks, our neonatologist gave us additional news that Sophia would require open heart surgery within her first few months of life,” Michelle said. That started a medical and ethical journey that led Michelle into nonprofit work.


150 scientists


15 academic



Several months after Sophia had open heart surgery and was safely recovering, Michelle was in Washington, D.C., meeting with the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Elias Zerhouni, MD. “He told me that Down syndrome was woefully underfunded and that if I could accomplish one thing it should be to create an academic home for Down syndrome research,” said Michelle, “and that’s just what we did!” Michelle and her parents, John and Anna Sie, wanted to create a foundation focused on research as well as immediate care for people with Down syndrome. In an effort to combine these two focus areas, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation was established in 2009. The foundation now raises awareness, lobbies Congress and fundraises for research to change lives. Because of its work, Congress recently announced a 66 percent increase in NIH funding for Down syndrome. This major growth in funding is a muchneeded boost for one of the least-funded genetic disorders at the NIH.

Sophia Whitten

To ensure they were making a sound investment in Down syndrome research, the Sie family hosted an interdisciplinary symposium in 2006. At the invitation of the symposium chairs, Nobel Laureate Tom Cech, PhD, and Leslie Leinwand, PhD, renowned researchers from around the world and the NIH gathered to discuss the potential for Down syndrome research. Cech, now the director of the CU BioFrontiers Institute, said, “I knew about Down syndrome as a condition with cognitive and physical challenges, but I did not realize what Down syndrome could teach.” The symposium was the catalyst for the Sies and key scientists to launch the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome. Joaquín Espinosa, PhD, executive director of the Linda Crnic Institute, oversees exciting research that has great potential to help people with Down syndrome and millions of typical people. “We now know that people with Down syndrome are predisposed to certain diseases but protected from others,” said Dr. Espinosa. “There is a wealth of knowledge that we are just beginning to understand in our work at the Crnic Institute.” One such discovery shows that people with Down syndrome are much less likely to get solid tumor cancers. Conversely, they are highly predisposed to certain blood cancers. Not only does this help researchers to better understand the health of individuals with Down syndrome, but also how to better prevent cancer. “A person with Down syndrome often has an overactive immune system, which may be one reason the rate of solid malignancies is so low in this population,” Dr. Espinosa said.


Sophia Whitten and Michelle Sie Whitten

While people with Down syndrome are protected from certain diseases, they are also predisposed to others like Alzheimer’s disease. All people with Down syndrome have the genetic pathway for Alzheimer’s disease, and many begin developing amyloid plaques as teenagers. These amyloid plaques can eventually cause the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Huntington Potter, PhD, director of the Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Disease Center, is pioneering research into the connections between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. “This is a population that gives us an unprecedented look at Alzheimer’s disease and will someday help us find a cure or preventive strategy against Alzheimer’s,” he said. The Global Down Syndrome Foundation’s mission is to significantly improve the lives of people with Down syndrome by working together with its three affiliates: the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, the Anna and John J. Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Alzheimer’s Disease Center. These distinct but interconnected centers and institutes are changing the lives of people with Down syndrome across the lifespan. “This is the first generation of children with Down syndrome who will outlive their parents, so we need to quickly ensure that NIH funding continues to increase and to focus on funding medical centers of excellence that will inevitably lead to increased independence and safety,” said Michelle. “At the end of the day our work will result in not only elongating life, but dramatically improving quality of life for all people with Down syndrome.”





A self-proclaimed “science girl” and oldest of four siblings, Debra Devereaux grew up in Paonia, a small town on Colorado’s Western Slope, during the 1960s – a time when female pharmacists were rare. Despite that fact, world-renowned female pharmacist and avid sheep farmer Theo Colborn, PhD, happened to work at the local drug store where Debra had a high school job wrapping presents. Colborn encouraged her to think about a career in pharmacy, and Debra took her advice. She went on to blaze trails in the field, creating new paths for others like her. As one of only 11 women in the CU Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences class of 1976, Debra and her colleagues navigated new frontiers in pharmacy and medicine. Today, she continues to lead the way as a consultant, guiding insurance companies, accountable care organizations and pharmacy benefit management companies through the federal government’s Medicare Part D program. Debra attributes her success to her CU education. “Pharmacy helps you put pieces together – pure science, clinical care and taking care of people. It’s a ‘pay it forward’ profession, and I appreciate that.”

Harry (BS '74) and Debra (BS '76) Devereaux

“We’re big proponents of giving back. For us, it’s rewarding to say, ‘we did the right thing.’” - Debra and Harry Devereaux Not only has Debra paid it forward professionally, but also philanthropically, giving to the Skaggs School over the past several decades. Her most recent commitment supports a fellowship in pharmacogenomics, which she sees as the future of the field. Her generosity is making it possible for the school to attract and retain a leader in this evolving area to explore the potential of personalized medicine and big data for more effective, highly tailored drugs. In addition to supporting the Skaggs School at CU Anschutz, Debra and her husband, Harry, a 1974 CU Boulder alumnus, are supporters of the CU Athletics student-athlete mental health initiative and regulars at Colorado Buffaloes football games. “We bleed black and gold,” he said. “We’re Buffs through and through.” The Devereauxs are happy to support efforts at both campuses and proud to make an impact. “Our CU degrees set us up nicely for our careers and our lives, and it’s important to us to make a difference with our giving.”



PROVIDING CARE AND TRAINING FOR GENERATIONS “I thought I was too old to get help with my dentures. I’m 85, and just so surprised and thankful for the financial assistance.” Jean Graham started as a patient at the CU Cancer Center battling throat cancer. Her treatment lasted months, causing her dentures to stop fitting properly. With all the changes she was experiencing and the drugs used during cancer treatments, it was unwise for her to seek dental treatment. Her oncologist advised her to wait several months before embarking on the process of getting new dentures. Living on a fixed Social Security income, Jean knew that buying new dentures would be financially difficult, and sought help at the CU School of Dental Medicine. Jean said, “This was a godsend for me. I really didn’t know what I was going to do.” All too often, seniors are unable to afford necessary dental care. According to the American Dental Association, 49 percent of seniors have not visited a dentist in the last 12 months primarily due to cost. The financial burden of going to the dentist is particularly onerous for those with low or fixed incomes, many of whom lack dental insurance. The percentage of seniors with low- to middle-income levels who have visited a dentist in the last 12 months is far less than 50 percent. This is a story not often told. We hear about poor dental health in many young children, but the neglected story is deteriorating dental health in seniors. This growing population will continue to place demands on dental health providers, requiring innovative solutions to making the very best care available to all seniors. FINDING SOLUTIONS AND INSPIRING SERVICE Denver-area dentist John Raabe (DDS ’89) created an endowment with his father, Max, at the CU School of Dental Medicine to provide dental care to seniors unable to afford necessary care and to help train the next generation of dental health professionals. In 2007, as the Raabe Family Practice was approaching its 100th birthday, Dr. Raabe and his father, also a dentist, wanted to do something to give back to the community. They knew that dental health in children was largely improving, and they wanted to impact a group of people left out of dental health conversations — senior citizens. Thus, the Generations Clinic Fund was born. Their hope in starting the Generations Clinic Fund was not only that seniors gain access to dental health care, but also that generations of students become inspired to work with senior citizens for years to come, perpetuating a service mentality among those in the profession.

John Raabe (DDS '89)


Russel Nolasco, Matthew Carbajal, Jean Graham

Dr. Raabe has a longstanding connection to CU as an alumnus and member of the CU faculty. “I always enjoy having students join me in my practice, and watching them grow and become more confident in their work,” he said. TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION The Generations Clinic Fund is training a new generation of dentists while providing highquality dental care to seniors in the community. CU School of Dental Medicine student Russel Nolasco worked on Jean’s new dentures.

His work, made possible by the Generations Clinic Fund, will serve him well in his career. “This experience helps me focus on my skills in dentistry,” Russel said. “Jean is very eager to get new dentures without having to worry about the cost. I am happy to be part of this process.”




THE HEALING POWER OF NURSES Nurses are called upon to heal both visible and invisible trauma. They are the professionals you look to when life is at its most difficult. Patients who come to the emergency department needing a forensic nurse examiner are often traumatized, nervous and unsure whether they are making the right choice in seeking help. Nurses help patients recover their strength as they begin the journey of survivorship. Forensic Program Manager and Forensic Nurse Examiner Christine Foote-Lucero, RN, said, “Patients might not remember what we did, but they will always remember how we made them feel.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men in the U.S. have been raped. Forty-two percent of rape and sexual assault survivors experience their first rape before age 18. At UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, forensic nurse examiners are on call 24/7 to respond to patients dealing with sexual assault, human trafficking, elder abuse, strangulation and intimate partner violence. These specially trained nurses spend upward of five hours with each patient, collecting evidence, providing medical care and connecting them with community resources for next steps. Within seven days of the incident, a sexual assault survivor must seek medical attention and evidence gathering by a forensic nurse examiner. “First and foremost, we are nurses. We have a duty to ensure our patients are medically cared for," Foote-Lucero said, “but we also have the ability to gather the necessary evidence and advocate for survivors in the community.”

Christine Foote-Lucero, RN


Patients seeking care in the aftermath of sexual trauma are often revictimized by an impersonal medical process reliant upon invasive technologies and rape kits. The Forensic Nurse Examiner Program at UCH is specially designed to comfort patients while clinical staff gather much-needed information. Part of this program is a newly opened exam room specifically for patients seeking medical attention from a forensic nurse examiner. This room was made possible by generous community members passionate about creating a patient-centered facility in which to perform these sensitive medical assessments and evidence-gathering sessions.

Assistance League Denver is helping patients by donating clothing and hygiene kits to the Forensic Nurse Examiner Program. Often, a patient’s clothing is gathered as evidence, or they simply want a change of clothes after their experience. These donations help survivors in their first steps following their forensic exam.

The first major difference from other exam rooms is that this facility is in a quiet part of the emergency department, away from the commotion and revolving door of patients. The intake room, where patients first get to know the nurse on duty and establish trust, is comfortably arranged for conversation and privacy. Evidence is gathered in the adjoining exam room using state-of-the-art equipment sophisticated enough to detect a single male cell. When the exam is over, a private shower and change of clothes are available to patients before they re-enter the world. A patient said of the experience, “The nurse told me how everything would feel and if it might hurt. I was so humiliated, but she made me feel at ease. I wish there were more nurses like her. If she hadn't explained the steps as well as she did and taken the time that she did, I probably wouldn't have gone through with most of it.” Richard Zane, MD, chair of the CU Department of Emergency Medicine and chief innovation officer for UCHealth, said, “It is so important for our forensic nurse examiners to be here for our community. Many hospitals don’t have this kind of technology and expertise. We are fortunate to have a talented and compassionate staff, dedicated to our patients and to reducing sexual assault and violence in our communities.”




BUILDING THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE Will Cook’s first trip to Denver, when he was interviewing for the president and CEO position at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, was full of contrasts. On one side of the metro area, a wrecking ball was tearing down the old University of Colorado Health Sciences Center at 9th and Colorado Boulevard. Several miles to the east, rapid construction was creating the country’s newest academic medical campus. In September 2015, Will moved to Denver to join the UCH team. Today, he is at the helm of this growing institution, ranked number 1 in Colorado and among the topmost percentage in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Bringing with him robust experience from Johns Hopkins, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and several countries around the world, Will is leading UCH into the next decade and continuing to set the standard of care for the Rocky Mountain region. We got to know Will and his vision for the future. What brought you to University of Colorado Hospital? One of the things that really stood out to me when I got to Colorado is the shared vision of local leaders, from government officials to leadership at CU and UCHealth. Repurposing the Fitzsimons Army base into something that is truly an asset for the region, and having the foresight to embark on such an ambitious effort together, is amazing. And when you understand the philanthropic breadth and depth among our community, you can better understand how 10

we’ve been able to do such remarkable things on this campus. When people tour the campus for the first time, I watch them have the same experience I did – after an initial sort of shock, there’s this desire to figure out, "okay, how do I learn more … how do I get involved." When was a time in your career when you thought, “Wow, I’m in over my head.”? As I ascended the ranks in health care administration, I realized early on that what got me here was not going to get me there. What that means is, in earlier stages of my career, I was recognized and promoted for being actively involved in solving a problem or creating an opportunity. But, as you become a leader, you begin to understand very quickly that the most important variable in your success is surrounding yourself with very talented people. Was there a time when you thought, “I can’t believe they’re paying me to do this. I’m having so much fun.”? I get the most pumped when I’m working with providers, whether that’s a physician or a nurse, or when I’m doing things that give me a direct line of sight into how we are working as a team to improve things for patients. Too often, especially as a CEO, you find yourself separated from providers and staff because of regulatory issues, legal issues and political issues. When you have an opportunity to see firsthand that what you are doing is improving the lives of patients, that’s very satisfying and a good reminder of why we do what we do every day.

What strategic decisions are you making today that will influence the next decade? I’m thinking beyond University of Colorado Hospital to our partnership with CU. At the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, we want to leverage predictive medicine so we get out in front of disease. We are leaning into these efforts at CU to improve patient care at the hospital. When you think about our mission to improve lives, it is important to know in advance what someone might be predisposed to, in terms of illness and disease. If someone has a high risk of developing heart disease, for example, we can work with primary care physicians and cardiologists to look at their lifestyle choices, whether it’s diet or exercise, and put medicine in place today that will hopefully prevent advanced heart failure. I think that this partnership with the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine is going to take patient care to the next level.

What are some of the key improvements in patient care you’ve seen in the last three years? We have recruited well over 300 physicians, maybe even more if you think about all of our joint recruits with the CU School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. We’ve added more physicians at every turn to make sure that we are staffed appropriately. The same goes with nursing, where we’ve added over 600 nurses in just the three years that I’ve been here. Once you have the right number of folks, you can turn your attention to training, and that’s extremely important to patient safety. We’ve done a lot to beef up our proactive educational programs to teach providers about issues like infection control, how to deal with patient falls – all the things that unfortunately happen in hospitals. We are working hard to ensure that our entire staff is trained on what to do when something happens, and that they have every resource in order to adequately care for our patients. WEB EXCLUSIVES

Will Cook


FUTURE LEADERS: STUDENTS TRANSFORMING HEALTH CARE As an academic medical campus, one of our primary goals is to train the next generation of leaders in health and health care. These bright students will soon be the policymakers, physician-scientists and health care professionals shaping the future. Our faculty are mentoring and working alongside these talented students to provide excellent patient care, produce research breakthroughs and enhance health around the world. These students are just a few of the thousands of incredible minds at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus today.


SARAH CREPPS Class year: 2019 School of Dental Medicine I will always remember the moments when patients have looked to me with absolute trust to render treatment with their best interest in mind. What those patients may not realize is that my knowledge and skills stem from the excellence and passion of the CU faculty, the camaraderie of my classmates and the constant support of the team at CU Anschutz.

Why CU Anschutz? I was born and grew up in Colorado Springs, but spent my undergraduate years out of state. During my four years away, I realized that the beauty, culture and overall vibe of Colorado hold a special place in my heart. CU is on the cutting edge of integrating learning with experience, humanism with knowledge — I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue a doctor of dental surgery degree here.

STEPHANIE NWAGWU Class year: 2021 School of Medicine One of the most memorable moments was getting to represent CU at the Student National Medical Association Annual Medical Education Conference. It was amazing to talk about the things we are doing at CU to not only promote diversity, but foster an environment that supports students of different backgrounds. It was so cool to see administrators and students from other medical schools light up to hear about the amazing strides we are making here at CU and want to follow our lead.


Why CU Anschutz? I wanted to go to a school that was on the cutting edge of research. I wanted to train where I knew that opportunities were going to be endless and I wouldn’t feel the strain of competition from my peers. I wanted to go to a school where I knew I would be supported, and I felt that from the moment I met Regina Richards, MSW, and Shanta Zimmer, MD, from the CU School of Medicine Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

WILLIAM MUNDO Class year: 2018 Colorado School of Public Health My inspiration to go into public health came from my family, specifically my father, who was a traditional healer and leader in our community. My desire to continue to pursue a career in medicine and public health stems from my passion and interest in the sciences as well as my deep commitment to standing in pragmatic solidarity with the humanity of others.

Why CU Anschutz? I chose CU because I know that my school values diversity, equity and inclusion. CU was the only school I applied to because I knew I wanted to be here. I knew I would get a rigorous education as well as meet some amazing, life-changing people along the way.

TRISSANA DELEON Class year: 2020 College of Nursing I wanted to be part of a profession that was grounded in serving and caring. The relationship a nurse has with a patient is unique among all other health care providers and has transformed me into the person I am today. I am more humble, understanding and passionate about advocating for my patients.

Why CU Anschutz? CU offers a unique opportunity to students interested in serving at-risk populations through interdisciplinary lectures and experiences. During our seminars, I am constantly reminded of why I decided to go back to graduate school, making all the late nights and stress well worth it.

DANIEL GALIPEAU Class year: 2018 Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences I recently returned from a clinical rotation in rural Guatemala. While there, I learned about the strong culture and values within their communities as well as how welcoming the community is. They truly opened up their homes and hearts to me. I feel this experience was eye-opening, and will help me when working with immigrant and international communities.

Why CU Anschutz? The faculty at CU are incredible mentors who make every effort to support my academic and extracurricular endeavors to further my future career in pharmacy. The interdisciplinary and educational opportunities provide me with unique and rewarding experiences in a variety of health care settings, preparing me to become an active member of the health care team and a patient advocate. 13




alumni, most of whom reside in Colorado


accredited public health graduate school in the country (U.S. News & World Report)

TOP 20 public health schools and programs in research funding


When they met in the mid-1980s, they had no idea their paths would ultimately cross again – at an institution where both would lead. This 10th anniversary year of the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH), founding dean Richard Hamman, MD, DrPH, and current dean Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, sat down to reflect on the school’s decade-long history and look ahead to what is next in public health. Prior to becoming part of ColoradoSPH, Dr. Hamman and Dean Samet shared similarities as pioneers in the field. At the time they met, there were parallels in their work: Dr. Hamman was focused on Hispanic populations in Southern Colorado, and Dean Samet on Hispanic and Native American health in New Mexico, including studies of uranium miners. Both driven to find solutions to the difficult challenges facing these communities, Dr. Hamman and Dean Samet were well-prepared to confront complex public health issues in Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West as leaders of ColoradoSPH. BUILDING FROM THE GROUND UP In the late 1970s, Dr. Hamman moved to Colorado to address health disparities and lack of access to care. Over the next two decades, he became deeply involved in conversations around the future of public health in the state. “Ten years ago, the landscape of public health was in disarray,” said Dr. Hamman. “The scope of public health was smaller and less emergent, and the state was rife with challenges.” In the late 2000s, the tides began to turn when the Colorado Legislature launched initiatives to expand public health awareness, and mobilize and train health workers. Momentum quickened as a task force of public health practitioners, academics and business leaders partnered to create the first and only collaborative school of public health in the region, drawing upon the collective strength of the University of Colorado, Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado. With the investments of several local philanthropic foundations — Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Caring for Colorado, The Colorado Trust, The Colorado Health Foundation and Rose Community Foundation — their vision was realized in 2008. “We are where we are at ColoradoSPH because the founding funders helped us get our start,” said Dr. Hamman, appointed inaugural dean before the school opened in July 2008. “We cannot thank them enough for their generous support during the school’s most formative years.” In just a decade, ColoradoSPH has achieved widespread recognition, making incredible progress in fulfilling its commitment to protect and promote health across the state and the world. To accomplish that goal, ColoradoSPH is engaged in multidisciplinary research and education programs that are making a tangible impact ­— addressing issues spanning countries and cultures.

Richard Hamman, MD, DrPH, and Dean Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS

CHARTING NEW PATHS IN PUBLIC HEALTH ColoradoSPH is working with impoverished communities throughout the world for better health and a better future. In Guatemala, the school is implementing prevention strategies for sugarcane workers amid a kidney disease epidemic. In collaboration with multinational organizations, ColoradoSPH is helping to develop an international training program addressing the psychological needs of refugees, displaced populations and children in high-conflict areas. Here at home, ColoradoSPH is helping to address the state’s most pressing health issues – combatting the growing opioid crisis, obesity and diabetes, health care delivery, and access to care in rural areas, among others. There was no more fitting time for a renowned leader to take the helm than as ColoradoSPH approached its 10th anniversary. Following the departure of second dean, David C. Goff, Jr., MD, PhD, to join the National Institutes of Health, eminent public health leader Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, joined ColoradoSPH as its third dean. “I was honored by being selected as the third dean of the Colorado School of Public Health,” Dean Samet said. “A key goal will be to enhance the school’s impact on public health in the state and region through our research and training activities.”

Dean Samet has a proven track record, with over 40 years of experience in health care, education and research. By translating that research into action, his efforts have led to advancing tobacco control nationally and around the world, tightening air quality regulations and winning compensation for uranium miners suffering health problems. With his first year in office nearly complete, Dean Samet has spent his time deepening his understanding of Colorado’s public health challenges. He believes it is important to elevate the visibility of ColoradoSPH and expand its reach across Colorado and beyond. “Now is the right time to establish who we are and what we do,” said Dean Samet. “We must work hard to find new and innovative ways to broaden our impact, build our partnerships, and better disseminate our research into practice, our communities and beyond. With our eyes set on these aims, we will achieve the goal of a healthier region and world.” While neither can predict with certainty what the next 10 years have in store for public health, both Dr. Hamman and Dean Samet agree that ColoradoSPH is poised to tackle some of the most complex challenges facing the state – today, and in the decades to come.





THE ANSCHUTZ FOUNDATION From our humble beginnings on the grounds of a decommissioned Army base, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has grown quickly into one of the country’s newest and largest academic medical centers. We realized a 40-year vision in just 12 years, and we are in many ways just getting started. A close and longstanding partnership with Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation has made our rapid progress possible, and their most recent commitment marks the largest in our proud history together.


2000 CU Cancer Center was first new medical building to open on campus

2005 2004 Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion opened

Center for Dependency, Addiction and Rehabilitation (CeDAR) opened

Center for Women’s Health Research established

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Research Complex 1 opened

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2001 Children’s Hospital Colorado announced plans for 270-bed hospital next to University of Colorado Hospital Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion opened 16

Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute building opened

In 2018, Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation made the largest philanthropic gift in campus history. The $120 million investment bolsters top talent and accelerates progress in personalized medicine, mental and behavioral health, innovation, novel therapeutics and other areas at the forefront of what's next.

2012 Children’s Hospital Colorado opened East Tower Anschutz Health and Wellness Center opened

2007 University of Colorado Hospital relocated to CU Anschutz Medical Campus Education Building 1 and Education Building 2 opened Children’s Hospital Colorado relocated to CU Anschutz Medical Campus

2008 Depression Center established Research Complex 2 opened

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ANSCHUTZ NAME 2013 2006 Site officially named the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in recognition of Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation

2010 Anschutz Cancer Pavilion expansion

Rocky Mountain Alzheimer's Disease Center opened Anschutz Inpatient Pavilion 2 opened



The 390,000-square-foot Anschutz Health Sciences Building will house the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine, mental health leaders including the CU Department of Psychiatry, the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, classrooms, exhibit space and more.

2017 Marcus Institute for Brain Health opened



Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine opened

National Mental Health Innovation Center opened

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2018 2015

UCHealth Eye Center program renamed Sue Anschutz-Rodgers Eye Center

Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute building expansion completed

Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic opened

Campus Health Center opened Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center named




Philip Anschutz saw something special when he stood on the grounds of the former Fitzsimons Army Medical Center nearly two decades ago. Since then, The Anschutz Foundation has held a steadfast commitment to helping the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus realize the fullest potential of a medical destination on 230 acres just 8 miles east of downtown Denver. Since its founding in 1984, The Anschutz Foundation has made contributions to hundreds of organizations primarily across Colorado, including many philanthropic investments dedicated to turning CU Anschutz into a dynamic, state-ofthe-art medical city unmatched in the Rocky Mountain West. Here, we present some of the milestones in the history and development of our campus, nearly all of which have been accelerated or enhanced by support from The Anschutz Foundation since 2000. This year, Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation invested anew with the largest philanthropic commitment ever made to the campus – a tremendous show of support for a growing medical destination, and a campus that Mr. Anschutz calls “a gift for Colorado.” With this $120 million investment, The Anschutz Foundation is helping CU Anschutz write the next chapter in its history and propelling us higher among the top medical destinations in the United States today.

“We are proud partners in the development of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and share an ambitious vision for further elevating it among the country’s top medical destinations. The campus stands as a Colorado landmark and a hub of leading-edge research, innovation and education – and, perhaps most importantly, as the place to go for the highestquality health care delivered by the best minds in medicine.” - Philip F. Anschutz


HI3 AIMS TO HARNESS, REBALANCE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM TO TAME DISEASE The most famous case in the short history of modifying the human immune system to attack cancer helps explain why the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s ambitious Human Immunology & Immunotherapy Initiative (HI3) is focusing on cancer and a whole lot more. In 2012, 6-year-old Emma Whitehead was dying of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In a last-ditch effort, her doctors tried an experimental therapy in which her immune system’s T cells were extracted, reprogrammed using a modified virus, given time to multiply, and then reinjected by the millions. The reprogramming led the T cells to express chimeric antigen receptors reactive with the tumor. Back in Emma’s bloodstream, these CAR-T cells, now greatly enriched in cells that could chemically detect the cancerous cells, could much more efficiently attack the tumor. Emma went into remission, and she is in remission still. A happy ending for sure. But it wasn’t quite that simple. The CAR-T cell therapy sent her interleukin-6 (IL-6), an inflammation-inducing protein, to levels 1,000 times above normal. It nearly killed her. She was saved by the lucky coincidence that the daughter of one of her doctors took an IL-6-suppressing drug for rheumatoid arthritis. That drug is now prescribed along with CAR-T cell therapy, which the Food and Drug Administration approved in August 2017. The combination puts 80 percent of patients into remission without the life-threatening inflammation. The lesson here is that the immune system heals, but it can also harm. Immune modulation has enormous potential as a therapy across a vast array of diseases—from cancer to asthma to rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. But modifying an individual patient’s immune system in such a way that is helpful and

not harmful demands the utmost precision. This effort requires excellence in basic immunological science on through to clinical expertise in the various conditions immunotherapies may quell. HI3 is about assembling and focusing talent, fostering collaboration across the many disciplines involved in this new approach to patient care, and providing shared infrastructure to speed the pace of innovation and its translation from lab to clinic. Leading-edge technology for monitoring immune status is also critical in order to recognize and react to adverse effects such as those Emma endured. The aim, ultimately, is to do for all sorts of patients what CAR-T cell therapy does for patients like Emma. Prevention—long a focus of CU immunologists— will be part of the story, too, said Michael Holers, MD, PhD, the head of the Division of Rheumatology. “It’s about the parent who comes in with an autoimmune disease in their family and asks, ‘Is there something I can do to prevent this from happening to my kids and grandkids?’” In 2015, John Cambier, PhD, chair of the Department of Immunology & Microbiology, saw that CU was among the few institutions with a sturdy-enough foundation to build something as bold as HI3. The university has for decades been counted among the world’s elite immunology programs, with deep expertise in the roots of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders (characterized by the immune system attacking the body itself). It also boasts a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado are among the country’s top adult and pediatric hospitals. ClinImmune Labs and the Gates Biomanufacturing Facility can produce stem cells as well as engineered immune system cells

such as the CAR-T cells that saved Emma. And so, when HI3 launched in 2016 with a $20 million investment from a CU School of Medicine Transformational Research Funding Award—bolstered by significant contributions from visionary philanthropists—it had a head start in building a world-class team relentlessly focused on improving patient lives. Terry Fry, MD, a CAR-T cell therapy pioneer at the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Cancer Research, was an early, prominent hire. He’s now an HI3 director. “The investment in HI3 demonstrates, broadly and across the institution, a strong interest in leveraging a tremendous strength in immunology with potential therapeutic outlets,” Fry said. “It was very forward-thinking.” In addition to enabling strategic hiring of established as well as promising young researchers, HI3 has built out two shared resources aimed at smoothing the path from basic science to clinical studies. HI3’s Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource offers sample processing, cell sorting and characterization, cutting-edge imagery and data analysis. The HI3 Translational Research Networking and Preclinical Models shared resource develops mouse models and provides human tissue for testing new therapies across basic, translational and clinical research.

Lia Gore, MD, head of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Children’s Hospital Colorado, compares the immune system to a seesaw. When it’s hampered or suppressed, cancers, AIDS and other problems can follow. On the other end, an overactive immune system can usher in allergies, asthma, macular degeneration, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and other autoinflammatory or autoimmune disorders. The idea behind HI3 is to harness the immune system to help tackle all these conditions and more, while keeping the immune system in balance, she says.

HI3 is off to a strong start, staking its claim as a leader in a blossoming field with enormous potential to improve human health. But they’re just getting started, and while $20 million over five years is a substantial sum, Cambier estimates it will take more than twice that to achieve the HI3 vision. The stakes are high, says John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, the CU School of Medicine dean. “It’s a big deal for us. It represents a substantial investment on our part. We have a series of elements here that make us particularly well-positioned to be national leaders in the field,” Reilly said. “We have a lot riding on it, but we are in a position to succeed.”



TIME FOR WHAT MATTERS A slave to time. This is the sentiment of 1991 CU School of Medicine alumnus Donald Crino, MD, recalling life as a practicing anesthesiologist. He worked in 5-minute increments, on call around the clock, constantly checking his watch and tending to a buzzing pager. He was burned out, and looking for a way out. In 2015, Dr. Crino received life-altering news – a diagnosis of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer. It completely changed the way he thought about where he was spending his time. “I took my watch off the day I was diagnosed,” he said. “I became purposely ‘tech-unsavvy.’” Reflecting on the intense time demands of his career, Dr. Crino views the diagnosis as a blessing in disguise. “It enabled me to change gears and get out of an awful rut. Cancer is one of the greatest gifts I’ve ever been given.”

"Giving back is a lot easier than people think, and there are so many ways to give back – not just through money, but through time. Once you start giving, your eyes will open to all the good it’s doing.” - Donald Crino, MD

Retired from his nonstop career, Dr. Crino’s newfound focus is giving his time to the CU School of Medicine, serving on the Medical Alumni Association (MAA) Board of Directors. As the chair of the fundraising and finance committee, Dr. Crino is helping bolster scholarship support to attract and retain exceptional students. In addition, he has increased his giving to the MAA Stethoscope Fund, which carries forward a timehonored tradition of welcoming each incoming student to their medical career with a stethoscope. Dr. Crino also gives his time to teaching the next generation of physicians through a Problem-Based Learning course, which gives aspiring doctors experience navigating real-world clinical scenarios. Through this course, Dr. Crino is fulfilling his desire to share nearly three decades' worth of experience to prepare students for the realities of practicing medicine. Dr. Crino has always had a strong connection with the university. He knew he wanted to get his training at the CU School of Medicine; however, he wasn’t accepted the first time around despite a high GPA and stellar MCAT scores. Not to be deterred, he began working as a nursing assistant in the recovery room at Penrose-St. Francis Medical Center and gained the experience he needed to reapply. He was accepted, and went on to graduate in the top 5 percent of his class. “With a top-notch education, I was competitive and always prepared for wherever I went in my career,” said Dr. Crino, who held a number of positions at institutions including Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Denver Health Medical Center and Sky Ridge Medical Center.

“This school gave me everything – my profession, my lifestyle, my life. Why wouldn’t I want to give back?” 21

Donald Crino (BA '86, MD '91)

From Dr. Crino’s perspective, CU Anschutz is a great place to be – as an alumnus, a teacher, a benefactor and especially as a patient. He’s receiving high-quality care from compassionate, skilled physicians at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital. In addition to his weekly treatments, he takes Pilates classes that focus on his core – spine, sacrum and ribs – where the cancer has taken its toll. These days, Dr. Crino is also exploring a newly discovered fervor for gourmet cooking (“It’s therapeutic,” he says), and going out for Colorado Rockies games. Paramount among his passions is his family – his wife and fellow CU alum, Emmy, his children – Max, Rachel and Gavin – and their standard poodles – Momus, Mr. Big and Moose. Dr. Crino remains an advocate for the place he loves, even encouraging others to find their own way to give back to what they find meaningful. "Giving back is a lot easier than people think, and there are so many ways to give back – not just through philanthropic gifts, but through time,” said Dr. Crino. “Once you start giving, your eyes will open to all the good it’s doing.” WEB EXCLUSIVES


2017-2018 GIVING*


24,000 1.9M




donated clinical care

CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL COLORADO best Children's Hospital in U.S.

dollars raised




first-time benefactors

8,040 individuals 794 organizations




(U.S. News & World Report)


nationally ranked specialties


regional outreach clinics in 23 cities, 3 states

treats patients from



Level I pediatric trauma center in 7-state region



patient visits annually




(U.S. News & World Report)

consecutive Magnet designations awarded for nursing excellence



in Colorado


new funds established

*generated from unaudited fiscal year 2018 financial statements

“Our team at Children’s Hospital Colorado strives to deliver remarkable care, innovative research and keen expertise for every single child who walks through our doors, across all our locations. Being a part of an academic medical center inspires the collaboration that furthers the reach, impact and education of the next generation of providers, investigators and caregivers.”

Jena Hausmann President & Chief Executive Officer Children's Hospital Colorado

(U.S. News & World Report)

11 27,139 3,861 322 1.1M


nationally ranked specialties (U.S. News & World Report)

surgeries babies delivered organ transplants outpatient visits consecutive Magnet designations awarded for nursing excellence

“At UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, we are uniquely positioned to provide the most innovative care in the region. Because of our partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, we are bringing lifesaving therapies from the research bench to patient bedsides more quickly than ever before.”

Will Cook

President & Chief Executive Officer UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital

Jessica Ehrig, MD, and Terry Harper, MD



It was a day no one at the CU Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine would forget. Jessica Ehrig, MD, was the attending physician on duty at the UCHealth Maternal Fetal Medicine Clinic May 13, 2016, when 35-year-old Jordan Snelson arrived by airplane. Life-flighted in from Gillette, Wyoming, and 27 weeks pregnant with her first child, Jordan had been to her local emergency department three times in 10 days with excruciating pain on her right side near her ribcage. “After the physicians sent me home with pain medication, I called my parents in Colorado, suspecting that something much more severe was going on,” Jordan said. Once Maternal Fetal Medicine Division Chief Terry Harper, MD, was contacted regarding Jordan's symptoms and lab results, she strongly recommended she be flown immediately to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, concerned for her life and for that of her unborn child. The diagnosis: HELLP syndrome – a rare but potentially fatal complication of high blood pressure widely considered a variant of preeclampsia occurring during the later stages of pregnancy or after childbirth. “HELLP is a uniquely dangerous condition,” said Dr. Ehrig. “It compromises not only the mother’s organs but also the ability of her blood to clot at the very time we need to consider emergency surgery to safely deliver the child and save the mother.”

Expectant mothers should look for these symptoms and contact their doctor if they persist. Correct and early diagnoses save lives.

enduring headache

This was just the case for Jordan and her daughter, Sadie Lee, who was successfully delivered 11 weeks early by emergency cesarean section. A couple of days later, however, the bedside nurse noticed that Jordan was showing signs of respiratory distress. “She picked up on important symptoms that got us all into the room really quickly, just before Jordan stopped breathing and required life support,” said Dr. Harper. “This exceptional nurse was pivotal in making Jordan as healthy as she is today.” After 48 hours in the Intensive Care Unit surrounded by a team of physicians and specialists, Jordan made a full recovery and was discharged a week later, commuting daily to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to be with her newborn daughter until she was strong enough to return home to Wyoming. “Through all of it,” Jordan said, “I had the most amazing team around me. The care and communication was first rate, and incomparable to anything else I’ve ever experienced.” Sadie Lee, born at just 2 pounds 8 ounces, is now thriving as a happy, energetic toddler and big sister to John-John, delivered at UCH early this year. “I drove six hours each way to get his care at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus,” said Jordan. “When you have world-class care within reach, why would you go anyplace else?”


blurred or spotted vision

pain on the right-hand side of the torso


LIFTING A FINANCIAL BURDEN: PATIENT ASSISTANCE FUNDS Six hundred dollars may sound to some like a small gift, but it means the world to a patient receiving neurological trauma care and his spouse spending more than 18 days 200 miles from home. When faced with the prospect of being airlifted to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, you experience a range of emotions. “So much goes through your mind and you don’t know the outcome,” said Sandra Romig. “It was scary watching my husband be in such a serious condition.” Thomas Romig had fallen off a ladder at the couple’s Wyoming home and hit his head. After several years passed, he got a severe headache and knew something wasn’t quite right. He was diagnosed with brain bleed, a condition that can happen years after the initial trauma. When the Romigs went to their local hospital, it was evident he needed specialty care. That’s when Thomas was life-flighted to UCH. “On day three of his hospital stay, a woman walked into our room with a $600 25

gift card and told us to use it however we needed,” Sandra said. “This gift really put our minds at ease, and we used it for groceries and gas.” The benefactor who made this gift possible was The Jamie Beck Family Foundation, established after the 2015 death of wife and mother Jamie Beck, who passed away after an aneurysm ruptured in her brain. Patient assistance funds at UCH are crucial for patients and families like the Romigs during difficult times. These funds help cover transportation costs, food, hotel stays and other living expenses. Because of the generosity of The Jamie Beck Family Foundation, Sandra was able to spend valuable time with her husband as he focused on healing and made a full recovery.



Volume 3 | Fall 2018 Momentum is an annual publication that celebrates the power and impact of philanthropy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Vice Chancellor of Advancement: Scott Arthur Writing: Courtney Keener, Trisha Kendall, Devin Lynn, Todd Neff Design: Candice Coltrain Photography: Josh Barrett | Ignite Images, Candice Coltrain, UCHealth, Andrew Vessely, Caleb Young | GoodFolk Photography Printing: CU Printing Services

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Momentum 2018  

Momentum 2018 celebrates the power of philanthropy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. These stories detail philanthropy...

Momentum 2018  

Momentum 2018 celebrates the power of philanthropy at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. These stories detail philanthropy...