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Assistive Technology Partners gets new home at CU Denver

5th Street Hub
ATP has new home at 5th Street Hub

Lauren Beck already knows the first phrases she’s going to program into NOVA Chat once the software is uploaded to her tablet: all the character names from “Ranger’s Apprentice,” her favorite book series.

Lauren Beck

The 14-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, will receive the software from Assistive Technology Partners (ATP), a program of the College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) and the CU School of Medicine at CU Denver | Anschutz. She’s been coming to ATP for assistive technology (AT) to help with mobility and communication since she was 7, but as of Sept. 12, she’s coming to a new address.

With both financial and hands-on contributions from members of Colorado’s construction industry, as well as the support of CEAS Dean Marc Ingber, PhD, and Bioengineering Chair Robin Shandas, PhD, ATP moved from its location on 18th Avenue to a newly renovated space on the CU Denver campus.

“We’re excited to be here and have space on both the CU Denver and CU Anschutz campuses,” said ATP Executive Director Cathy Bodine, PhD, CCC-SLP.

Part of the community

ATP’s new space includes nearly 3,000 square feet in the 5th Street Hub building, as well as 2,500 square feet of office space in the Auraria Campus Administration Building across the street. In addition to hosting the AT clinic for clients, the space will provide research and engineering workspace for ATP’s bioengineering students.

The new location and its nearby onsite parking offer increased accessibility for both clients and students, whether they’re walking, taking Light Rail or arriving in a mobility accessible vehicle. On the first day the office was open, one client described the new space as “awesome,” and at least one CU student simply wandered in and asked how to get involved in the program.

“We feel more a part of the university community now,” Bodine said.

Stepping up and helping out

For its new digs, ATP has many players in the Colorado construction industry to thank. For more than a decade, a group of industry professionals, rallied by CU alumnus Bill Caile, has been fundraising for ATP at an annual event called Déjà vu Rendezvous. From these efforts, they raised close to $250,000 for Hub renovations and contributed another $100,000 in in-kind services and materials.

Marc Ingber
College of Engineering and Applied Science Dean Marc Ingber
Cathy Bodine
ATP Executive Director Cathy Bodine at ATP Open House

While Haselden Construction worked on the space in the Administration Building, Saunders Construction managed the three-month-long Hub renovation project.

“I give credit to everyone who helped,” said Bob Wade, Saunders’ department manager, who served as project manager. “We had 25 contractors working for us, donating time and materials. At a time when construction is extremely busy in the Denver market, these people stepped up and helped out.”

To date, Wade, Caile and the rest of the philanthropic group have raised a total of nearly $2 million for ATP, funding an endowed professorship, a bioengineering endowment and a student scholarship.

“At ATP, they help people with disabilities live better lives,” Wade said, “and we feel they deserve the help.”

Dreams for the future

The new space marks a major milestone for a program that began 20 years ago with a single grant and four people.

“We’re the only program that brings together assistive technology, engineering and medicine,” said Bodine, who has managed the program since the beginning.

Next up on the ATP program goal list are expanded academic offerings in AT, new AT outcomes research and more overall AT research at CU Denver | Anschutz. Bodine dreams of an ATP program with a financially stable future.

Lauren, meanwhile, dreams of convincing her parents to take her to the Netherlands for the annual “Ranger’s Apprentice” conference—where she’ll be able to talk to everyone there about her favorite books.

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StartUp Health announces partnership with CU Anschutz

Image result for anschutz medical campus

StartUp Health, which is organizing and supporting a global army of Health Transformers, announced today the launch of StartUp Health Colorado, its second Regional Network Affiliate, and a model it pioneered last year with the launch of StartUp Health Finland, to support and connect health innovation hubs around the world.

StartUp Health Colorado will leverage three of the nation’s leading health institutions all located on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusChildren’s Hospital Colorado, CU Anschutz and UCHealth – and create a health innovation hub in the Rocky Mountain Region for health entrepreneurs, doctorpreneurs, investors and industry stakeholders.

Over the first three years, StartUp Health Colorado will collaborate with each institution to develop a custom innovation portfolio and plans to build, validate and commercialize at least 30 innovative health startups. These startups will be selected based on their alignment with the needs of each institution and their patient populations.

“We are proud to see the launch of StartUp Health Colorado and welcome its global community of Health Transformers,” said Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. “We’re seeing innovators flock to Colorado because there’s no better region for entrepreneurs to invent and grow.”

“We’re excited to be a founding partner of StartUp Health Colorado along with other leading institutions in the area because together we can build one of the most advanced health innovation hubs in the US,” said Gil Peri, Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado. “Our vision is to speed up the pace of innovation by working collaboratively and to lead the way in supporting a generation of entrepreneurs and health practitioners to create meaningful solutions to help our patients.”

“UCHealth is not only focused on innovating the advanced care we provide patients but also how we provide that care,” said UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Richard Zane. “By partnering with StartUp Health and with entrepreneurs who are developing and creating new innovations and technologies, we can make medical care more efficient, safe, accessible and convenient for patients.”

“Colorado is emerging as a leading startup hub in the country,” said Kim Muller, Director of CU Innovations at CU Anschutz. “StartUp Health is bringing their knowledge and experience of building early stage health companies directly to the Rocky Mountain Region. We are confident that we will build long lasting relationships and partnerships with the entrepreneurs based right here in Colorado.”

“This is truly a game changing opportunity for Health Transformers,” said Steven Krein, co-founder and CEO of StartUp Health. “We’re excited to partner with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and chose Colorado to expand StartUp Health because of the entrepreneurial spirit and health focus in the region. It’s entrepreneurs like Phillip Anschutz and leaders and creators like those at Children’s Hospital Colorado, CU Anschutz and UCHealth, who provide fuel for entrepreneurs to change the world.”

Entrepreneurs and startups selected to join StartUp Health Colorado will receive exclusive opportunities to help commercialize and grow their businesses. They will also be invited to StartUp Health Academy, a lifetime coaching program, and receive ongoing access to StartUp Health’s network of over 30,000 industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs.

StartUp Health Colorado will co-locate with CU Innovations on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora and leverage StartUp Health’s global infrastructure and operations. StartUp Health Colorado will also receive additional support and funding through The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and the Advanced Accelerator Grant Program. Entrepreneurs interested in joining StartUp Health Colorado can learn more and apply at


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Safety in the workplace, at home, and at play

EHS Safety Fair, 2016
EHS Safety Fair, 2016

Nearly 400 visitors found lots of great information, advice, and gifts at the 5th Annual Safety Fair held on the Anschutz Medical Campus Sept. 21.

Thermo Fisher provided platinum-level support for the event — as they have every year since the fair’s inception — heading more than two dozen groups from the campus, commerce, community and regulatory control arenas.

The event is produced by the Environmental Health & Safety department to promote a culture of safety in the workplace, in the home and while at play.

“We say EHS also stands for Everyone Home Safely, and we strongly advocate for safety in all aspects of our lives, not just here at the university,” said EHS director Ethan Carter.

In conjunction with the Safety Fair, each year EHS recognizes select campus groups for their exemplary dedication to safety on the two campuses. Dr. Jeffrey Stansbury of the School of Dental Medicine, and the members of his lab received the Safety Excellence Award for consistently outstanding adherence to regulations and dedication to worker safety.

EHS Safety Fair, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey Stansbury of the School of Dental Medicine, and the members of his lab received the Safety Excellence Award

Dr. Timberley Roane of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Alison Grice, a medical teaching lab manager on the Anschutz campus, each also received Safety Merit Awards.

Guest Contributor:

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Program strengthens health care collaboration with Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe doctors at CU Anschutz Medical Campus
Physicians Linda Kamuzangaza and Tafadzwa Chipfuva recently spent two weeks in Colorado as part of the new CoZIE program.

Linda Kamuzangaza and Tafadzwa Chipfuva, physicians from Zimbabwe, made the most of their first-ever trip to the United States and the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

Through a new program launched by the School of Medicine’s (SOM) Department of Medicine, they observed in clinics and went on rounds at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) and Denver Health, sat in on academic lectures and even squeezed in trips to Coors Field and Red Rocks.

“We have the same medical knowledge, but our practice might not be the same because we don’t have the resources you have here,” Kamuzangaza said. The MMeds (equivalent of medical residents) discovered that not everything they saw during two weeks in Colorado – including the computerized patient records system that allows physicians to see real-time, centralized data on each patient – is possible to perform in Zimbabwe. “We’re in a resource-limited place,” Kamuzangaza said. “Some of things we’ve seen here we won’t be able to do back home.”

‘We’d like to come back’

Both of the MMeds are interested in pursuing a specialization in endocrinology, and during their visit they worked closely with endocrinologists from CU (see list at end of story). Overall, Kamuzangaza said, “we learned a lot coming here, and we’d like to come back.”

Aaron Strobel, MD, of CU Anschutz visits Zimbabwe
Aaron Strobel, MD, right, a chief medical resident at University of Colorado Hospital, works with a house officer medical student during Strobel’s visit to Zimbabwe in April.

The feeling is mutual among the CU Anschutz residents and faculty who recently went on hospital rounds and visited clinics in Harare, capital city of the East African country. The Department of Medicine has enjoyed longstanding ties to the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences (UZCHS), and this new program – the Colorado-Zimbabwe International Exchange (CoZIE) – further strengthens the collaboration.

CoZIE launched its first exchange during the past academic year, sending five faculty members and three internal medicine residents from CU Anschutz, while receiving one faculty member and two residents from Zimbabwe. The pool of potential CoZIE participants for this academic year already exceeds the number of available slots, and a Department of Medicine team is evaluating applications.

Thomas Campbell, MD, a CU professor specializing in infectious diseases, has been traveling to Zimbabwe for almost 20 years. He views CoZIE as an important step toward even more robust exchanges of healthcare information between the institutions.

“It’s great to see others getting involved and enthusiastic about it,” he said. “Zimbabwean trainees are getting help with not just HIV treatment, but medical treatments on a much broader scale. Also, it’s gratifying to see that my colleagues in Zimbabwe, who have become friends over the years, are able to continue their education programs, and better their education, with our help.”

‘Win-win’ exchange

CU faculty and residents get exposed to a different spectrum of disease and different presentations of diseases in Zimbabwe, and they see how physicians cope in a resource-limited environment, Campbell said. “In doing that, we think they will become better doctors themselves. It’s a win-win for both institutions.”

In Harare, the CU Anschutz contingent lives in an apartment that’s within walking distance of the university-affiliated hospital, where they go on daily rounds, attend academic lectures, visit specialty clinics and teach. Part of the goal is to encourage physicians-in-training in Zimbabwe to become future faculty, thereby increasing the education capacity at the country’s major medical school.


The program is funded by the Department of Medicine in the CU School of Medicine, where Department Chair David A. Schwartz, MD, is a strong supporter. “He thought it was important to support what’s going on in Zimbabwe and give his faculty and trainees this kind of opportunity,” said Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Education.

Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Education, Department of Medicine, has traveled to Zimbabwe for about six years, working on Campbell’s grant-funded program to improve healthcare education. Brandenburg teaches a curriculum which was developed to enable UZCHS residents to become effective educators, integrate scientific methods into clinical practice and develop leadership skills.

“It’s very meaningful and very energizing to see how talented the faculty and trainees are in Zimbabwe,” Brandenburg said. “They are some of the hardest-working people you’ll meet anywhere, but they’re challenged by political and economic instability on top of everything else in their resource-poor healthcare system. They don’t have the resources to order all the tests, etc. that we have, so they have to be better at clinical reasoning and physical exams – and those are skills all physicians need.”

It will take some time to measure how much the Zimbabwe medical school faculty has expanded during the Department of Medicine effort. “Anecdotally, I think we’ve inspired some trainees to stay on as faculty, but it will be a while before we can measure statistically significant outcomes,” Brandenburg said.

‘Very eye-opening’

Mariah Hoffman, MD, chief medical resident at UCH, has spent over a year in the East African nation of Malawi doing research and working in a hospital setting, but her April trip to Zimbabwe allowed her to experience direct patient care, a new and entirely different experience.

Dr. Mariah Hoffman of CU Anschutz in Zimbabwe
Mariah Hoffman, MD, center, is pictured with two MMed physicians during Hoffman’s visit to Zimbabwe in April, as part of the CoZIE program.

“I’ve always been interested in global health,” said Hoffman, who was joined on the trip by another chief medical resident, Aaron Strobel, MD. “It was very eye-opening. I was able to really think about treatment options and diagnosis in a setting where I don’t have the resources I normally use. We saw firsthand the shortages in pharmaceuticals, basic medical supplies, personnel and infrastructure. Things that seem routinely common here in the U.S. – such as a cardiac cath lab – don’t exist there at all.”

Hoffman noted that while the epidemic of AIDS and HIV has begun to change in Zimbabwe due to more widespread availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART), infectious disease remains a major problem. The Zimbabwe physicians said their country is increasingly seeing cases of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

Hoffman is grateful for the opportunity to explore global healthcare issues in a hands-on way that can’t be replicated in the United States. “Our residency program and Internal Medicine Department is greatly improved by having global health and international opportunities,” she said. “We go there to teach, but also to learn how they work under limitations. We go there to see the diseases we don’t see here.”

Overall, Hoffman said, “we took away more than we gave, which I think is a really important part of this exchange. You do learning and teaching on both sides, and that’s pretty invaluable in my opinion.”

The CU endocrinology faculty, fellows and staff who welcomed the Zimbabwean CoZIE scholars into our clinics, rounds and daily lives during their visit included: Dan Bessesen, Mike McDermott, Cecilia Low Wang, Janice Kerr, Marc Cornier, Maggie Wierman, Micol Rothman, Jenny Morrison, Nikita Pozdeyev, Sarah Mayson, Katja Kiseljak-Vassiliades, Matt Wahl, Michele Glodowski, Ken Tompkins, Bridget Everhart and Kim Vigliotta.

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CU Anschutz, CSU study environmental impacts on children

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Colorado State University have been awarded $1.2 million to participate in a National Institutes of Health initiative called Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO).

The award is part of a planned seven-year grant with an estimated total value of $15 million for the Colorado participation. The funding was awarded to the Colorado School of Public Health.

The ECHO program will investigate how exposure to a range of environmental factors in early development — from conception through early childhood — influences the health of children and adolescents. It is part of a $150 million NIH effort announced on Sept. 21.

PlaygroundThe Colorado study will leverage an existing and ongoing pre-birth cohort in Colorado, Healthy Start, which is currently following 1,410 mother-child pairs.

The overarching goal of the Colorado study is to determine the early life “exposome” — the entirety of environmental stressors that can impact one’s health across a lifetime. The study also aims to connect health outcomes with biological pathways that occur from the moment of birth through childhood.

“By continuing to longitudinally follow up the Colorado Healthy Start cohort and collaborating with the larger ECHO consortium, we will be able to expand the scope of our work by refining and incorporating additional components of the exposome, exploring changes in the composition and impact of the exposome over time, targeting additional childhood outcomes and participating in large gene-environment interaction studies,” said Dana Dabelea, professor of epidemiology and pediatrics and principal investigator of the Colorado ECHO project at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz. “It is our hope that this study will advance the scientific understanding of early life contributors to child health outcomes and build a foundation for the development and evaluation of future prevention efforts.”

National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins said, “Every baby should have the best opportunity to remain healthy and thrive throughout childhood. ECHO will help us better understand the factors that contribute to optimal health in children.”

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this is the search page or SkillSoft: Which training tool should you use? logoWith’s recent expansion to faculty and staff on all campuses, the University of Colorado now provides its workforce with two online learning tools. This may leave some employees asking “which one is right for me?”

The primary difference: SkillSoft is home to CU’s required compliance courses, as completions report into HCM as part of an employee’s record. That said both tools provide a wealth of educational resources for CU faculty and staff looking for professional development opportunities.

“When you’re looking to learn more about a given topic, check out both learning systems to see what is available,” said Janet Lowe, Director of Employee Learning and Development in Employee Services. “I think you’ll find SkillSoft and provide training materials for all types of learning styles.”

Please review this comparison chart to see what and SkillSoft have in common, how they differ and which tool to use for the task at hand.

By RyAnne Scott

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Center for Surgical Innovation expands services and trainings

Dr. Samy Youssef of the CU School of Medicine
Samy Youssef, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery in the CU School of Medicine, (center) demonstrates a minimally invasive brain surgery procedure for two visiting neurosurgeons using live imaging technology in the Center for Surgical Innovation.

Efficiency in health care is a subject that gets a lot of attention these days. A combination of efficiency and positive outcomes sums up the astonishing amount of activity that takes place at the Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Considering that CSI offered 263 training sessions to surgeons from around the world in fiscal 2016 – up 65 percent from 2015 – it’s safe to say that the facility’s innovations and education programs are rapidly improving health care across the globe.

CSI typically offers four to five trainings a week. It’s not unusual for surgical courses on skull base tumors to take place one day, aortic aneurysms the next and hernia repair the next. Partitions are often set up so different trainings – a spinal surgery here, a heart procedure there – can take place simultaneously. Surgical techniques on every quadrant of the body are taught in the facility by world-class experts from the CU School of Medicine (SOM) using state-of-the-art equipment.

‘Our mission is to educate’

“We try to be a one-stop shop for everyone who trains here. We handle logistics on everything from lodging and transportation to the specimen and equipment needs of each training,” said Sarah Massena, CSI executive director. “We just try to make it streamlined and easy for the trainees who come here, so they can go back home and enhance patient safety.

“Our main mission is to educate,” she said, “We want to enhance patient safety in the operating room.”

Surgical training at the CSI at CU Anschutz
Hundreds of surgical training sessions, such as this one, take place each year at the Center for Surgical Innovation at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

CSI, which operates 24/7 and is the only surgical training center at an academic institution in this region, moved to a new space inside Bioscience 1 in the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA) in early 2015 and has seen a dramatic increase in trainings since. Last year, 3,400 surgeons attended trainings in the 5,000-square-foot facility.

The high-volume facility, which launched in 2005, was previously located in a 1,700-square-foot space in the anatomy lab on the fifth floor of the Education 1 building.

“One of the major advantages of this facility is that it’s a custom build-out,” said Peter Mouser, CSI lab manager. “These suites were an empty shell, and we worked with our architects and building-design people to have the surgical training suite be built out the way it should be.”

Attractive to medical device industry

A challenge, however, is that the CSI loses the rent discount that came with being physically located on an academic medical campus. Being across the street – the FRA is located on the north side of Montview Boulevard – means that CSI’s rent increased. “We had to move here because, for our needs, it was the only space available,” Massena said. “We’re still right next door to an academic medical campus, so our trainees can drive in, park for free and come straight into our lab.” For physicians already on campus, including residents at the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), CSI is an easy walk to and from the hospital.

The facility is multidisciplinary, so it has five founding surgical departments in the SOM that help fund its operations. The departments, representing 15 surgical divisions, are Surgery, Orthopedics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Otolaryngology and Neurology. The many “outside” trainings offered by CSI – 70 percent of the courses are for surgeons from outside the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, compared to 30 percent for residents at the campus –  help subsidize the departmental-member trainings.

Surgical training at CSI at CU Anschutz
Medical residents from the University of Colorado Hospital Emergency Department receive surgical training on a cadaver at a recent CSI educational program.

CSI is attractive to industry representatives seeking to test medical technology. Medtronic, an international medical device company, collaborates with Omid Jazaeri, MD, an associate professor in the Department of Surgery, on its latest stent technology. Da Vinci Surgery regularly brings in its magnified, 3D high-definition vision technology for trainings. The state-of-the-art robotics system allows surgeons to operate with enhanced vision and precision. The system also allows a surgeon at another location, such as on the East Coast, to operate a remote console and perform procedures in CSI’s surgical suite.

CSI is expanding into bioengineering research and development as well as nursing programs and unique trainings that educate surgeons on how to perform procedures in low-resource environments without high-tech surgical tools.

‘Impressed by this facility’

Each spring, Samy Youssef, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery in the CU SOM, has trained over 60 surgeons from around the globe at a three-day cadaveric dissection-training course in skull base/endoscopic surgical techniques. The invitational course is in high demand and currently filled through the 2020 session.

“The surgeons we have coming from Germany, Japan and elsewhere are impressed when they see this facility,” Youssef said. “For example, it’s very convenient to have the lecture room next door to the surgical room where the senior residents get hands-on practice.”

In addition, CU’s Department of Neurosurgery offers a Skull Base Surgery year-long fellowship/resident program that uses the CSI Microsurgery Laboratory to give young neurosurgeons exposure to complex cranial cases and minimally invasive skull base approaches.

Besides the cadavers on the operating tables and the surgeons in scrubs surrounding them, the striking elements of CSI are the innovative pieces of equipment, flat-screen monitors all around, and the booms that house the equipment. Less obvious are ceiling cameras that can zoom in on proctor stations and livestream procedures across the globe. Procedures are also regularly recorded.

Robust AV technology

Trainees can watch a live feed of a surgery taking place at UCH and simultaneously practice the techniques on specimens at CSI. “The audio-visual (AV) technology is very robust in this facility,” Mouser said. “It really provides for an enhanced educational experience for our surgical trainees.”

The facility is so busy that it is already bursting at the seams to store its surgical equipment. Staffing is another area that had to be increased to deal with demand. CSI recently hired two lab support technicians to help stagger the hours of the small staff – the facility now has five employees, including Medical Director Thomas Robinson, MD – around the late-day, early-morning and weekend training sessions that best suit surgeons’ busy schedules.

The staff at CSI constantly has dialogues with surgeons about the latest techniques and equipment on which they’d like to have training. “Also,” Massena said, “we engage in a lot of continuing medical education for surgeons to learn the latest surgical techniques.

“What I always say is, ‘Wouldn’t you rather that your surgeon practices techniques in a lab than on your mother, father, brother or sister in the OR?’” she said.

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Fourth annual Block Party

With 20 popular food vendors, a ropes course for adventurers and a baby T-Rex for aspiring paleontologists, the Fourth Annual CU Anschutz Block Party turned into a smashing success.

On a cool fall day, the rain held off long enough for some 3,500 faculty, staff, students and community members to enjoy the weather, the music and the company.

Highlighting the big stage was Pandas and People, an alternative folk band that has been a recent headliner at concert venues across the area. MIX, CU Denver’s premier a cappella group and winner of the 2015 Macy’s All-School A Cappella Challenge, also provided entertainment.

Nearly 100 booths representing CU Anschutz organizations, departments and programs as well as community businesses and organizations offered everyone the opportunity to meet colleagues and learn more CU Anschutz and Aurora.

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Rocky Mountain Center for Total Worker Health established

Colorado School of Public Health receives worker health grant
Colorado School of Public Health has received a federal occupational safety grant to become a Center of Excellence to study Total Worker Health.

The Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work & Environment has received $4.7 million from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to become one of six national Centers of Excellence to research the concept of Total Worker Health in Colorado, Utah, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

“The health of a worker impacts the worker’s ability to do a job, and a worker’s job impacts his health and well-being,” said Lee Newman, MD, Director of the new Rocky Mountain Center for Total Worker Health and professor of public health at the Colorado School of Public Health. “If successful, thousands of workers will be healthier and safer.”

The Center, covering federal health region VIII, is based at the Colorado School of Public Health at CU Anschutz. The Center builds on the successful Health Links initiative, which is now reaching hundreds of Colorado businesses in its mission to bring best practices for worksite wellness and safety from conception to practical use.

“This center is using a business approach – not an academic one,” Newman said. “It’s taking a more holistic approach to worker health and worker safety and, in turn productivity.”

Starting this September, the Center will focus on health projects that benefit workers and small- to medium-size businesses, beginning work in Colorado with expansion to other states.

“Most workers in the US work in small businesses, many of which want help in creating and improving workplace wellness programs,” Newman said.

Total Worker Health is the concept that the workplace is itself a medium within which overall health interventions should take place, expanding the current norm in which businesses focus efforts on safety. Keeping safe on the job remains a priority, but Total Worker Health also recognizes that workplace wellness can be addressed. The Rocky Mountain Center for Total Worker Health will focus on particular regional concerns including stress, work-related injuries and fatalities, aging workers and the needs of workers with chronic illnesses – all of which affect the health, performance and productivity of workers in Colorado and the region.

“Employers are interested and willing to engage in total worker health because they want to hire and retain the best employees,” Newman said, noting strong competition among businesses for young professionals in Colorado as an example.

The Center will work with business and worker groups to implement total worker health programs. Businesses will be able to launch health programs and gain practical information and tools to do it in an effective, sustainable way. The new Center will, in turn, learn from small businesses on how to build on their successes. Small business executives will also receive leadership training to help establish cultures of health and safety in their organizations.

The Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with NIOSH and will collaborate closely with that organization, with other faculty in the Center for Health, Work and Environment and Colorado School of Public Health, and also with researchers at Colorado State University. The Center’s initiation was supported by John Hickenlooper, Governor of Colorado, and major partner Pinnacol Assurance, insurance provider to 55,000 Colorado businesses.

“Pinnacol congratulates the Center for Health, Work and Environment on this important recognition,” said Phil Kalin, President and CEO of Pinnacol Assurance. “We have partnered on worksite wellness programs with Dr. Newman and the Center for many years because we share the understanding that health and wellness are inextricably linked to worker safety and productivity.”

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Private support of $384.5 million a new annual record for CU

Preliminary figures increase 4.5 percent over previous years

Private contributions to the University of Colorado set a new record this year, with more than $384.5 million in support coming from individuals, foundations and corporations.

The preliminary total for the fiscal year that ended June 30 represents a new single-year record and is an increase of 4.5 percent over the fiscal year 2015. That total of $367.9 million included the gift of The Wildlife Experience facility – now the home of CU South Denver – from the family of Dave and Gail Liniger. The property’s $40 million value made it the largest real estate donation in CU history.

“We are extremely grateful to our donors and alumni, to charitable foundations and corporations, whose generous contributions help support our vision to be one of the top public universities in the world,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “Our success in fundraising directly benefits students, faculty, programs and initiatives, and adds value to CU’s high-quality academic and research enterprises.”

This preliminary figure, which includes funds given through both the University of Colorado Foundation and the university, marks the seventh consecutive year in which CU has exceeded the previous year’s total, setting records in each. More than 54,000 individuals, foundations and corporations made nearly 67,000 gifts to support student scholarships, facilities, research and more on CU’s four campuses.

“We strive every day to make sure that the CU Foundation, the primary portal for philanthropic giving to the university, delivers exceptional customer service to donors and provides excellent stewardship of the financial resources entrusted to us, which are overseen by our Investment Committee,” said CU Foundation President Jack Finlaw. “As of June 30, the 2,510 endowments held by the foundation for the benefit of the university were valued at $1.06 billion.”

The record $384.5 million total broken down by campus is:

  • University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus: $203 million
  • University of Colorado Boulder: $145.8 million
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs: $19.5 million
  • University of Colorado Denver: $14.8 million
  • CU system: $1.3 million

Examples of the impact of private support at CU during the 2015-16 fiscal year include:

  • CU Anschutz Medical Campus:  Philanthropic support for cancer initiatives totaled nearly $27.5 million, supporting leading-edge research and individualized care at the CU Cancer Center and across the CU School of Medicine. The CU Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, a reflection of its outstanding contributions to research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. The center this year attained the “highest ever score” following the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant competitive renewal application review.
  • University of Colorado Boulder:  An emphasis on raising funds to support student scholarships resulted in $32.8 million in gifts toward this priority. Fred and Stephanie Harman of Woodside, California, are the parents of Stephen, a 2015 CU Boulder graduate. The Harmans wanted to make a significant impact on student success and directed a $100,000 gift to support scholarships for the Guardian Scholars program, which benefits students who have aged out of the foster care system.
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs: Helen Clement, a retired registered nurse, is continuing her advocacy of medical education through the Clement Family Endowed Scholarship Program. Thanks to a recent commitment, including a current gift and bequest expected to total about $3.4 million, it will provide full scholarships annually to two undergraduates at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences. The commitment will eventually enable many more scholarships in health and medicine.
  • University of Colorado Denver:  An estate gift of $365,000 established the Grover W. Hall Jr. Memorial Endowed Engineering Scholarship in the College of Engineering and Applied Science. Hall, who retired as vice president of technical operations for Lockheed Martin’s astronautics division after 39 years with the firm, was a first-generation college student who advocated for the value of higher education. The gift ensures that talented students have the financial assistance they need to overcome obstacles to their progress.

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