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The Changing Face of Academic Health Centers: A Path Forward for the University of Colorado Denver

Wilson, M Roy MD, MS; Krugman, Richard D. MD

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e318181d831
Academic Health Centers

This article describes a decade of major changes at an academic health center (AHC) and university. The authors describe two major changes undertaken at the University of Colorado and its AHC during the past 10 years and the effects of these changes on the organization as a whole. First, the AHC’s four health professional schools and two partner hospitals were completely relocated from a space-limited urban campus to a closed Army base. The impact of that change and the management of its potential disruption of academic programs are discussed in detail. In the middle of this total relocation, the AHC campus was consolidated with a general academic campus within the University of Colorado system, compounding the challenge. The authors describe the strategies employed to implement this major consolidation, including changing the organizational structure and selecting the new name of the university—the University of Colorado Denver.

Dr. Wilson is chancellor and professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Krugman is vice chancellor for health affairs, dean, School of Medicine, and professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Denver, Denver, Colorado.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Wilson, University of Colorado Denver, 1380 Lawrence St., Suite 1400, Campus Box 168, Denver, CO 80217-3364; telephone: (303) 315-7682; e-mail: (

© 2008 Association of American Medical Colleges