During its May commencement ceremony, the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center presented 11 special awards. These included two honorary degrees, three university medals, two Joseph Addison Sewall awards, two Florence Rena Sabin awards, an alumni legislative recognition award, and a distinguished service award.
• CU-Health Sciences Center Alumni Legislative Recognition Award - Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, was a recipient of the University of Colorado Alumni Legislative Recognition Award. Grossman, a Denver native, was elected in 2002 to his first term in the Colorado Senate. He serves on two key committees: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy and Judiciary and Legal Services. Prior to serving in the Senate, Grossman was a member from 1996 through 2000 of the Colorado House of Representatives, where he served as minority leader in 2000. A strong supporter of the University of Colorado and higher education for many years, Grossman successfully sponsored key legislation for the CU School of Medicine that extends the license for foreign physicians. He has also been a leading legislative supporter of the university’s move to Fitzsimons.
• University of Colorado Distinguished Service Award - W. Gerald Rainer, MD. Rainer was honored for 50 years of outstanding leadership in his medical specialty and the wider community. A member of the most prestigious surgical and cardiothoracic professional societies in the United States, Rainer has held such distinguished offices as president of the American College of Chest Physicians; director of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery; president of the Colorado Heart Association; president of the Colorado Medical Society; and president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the largest of the thoracic surgical professional organizations.
In 1998, he received the Florence Sabin Award at the CU-Health Sciences Center, and in 1999, he was inducted into the Colorado Pulmonary Hall of Fame. Rainer has been involved in leadership roles with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Nature and Science, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, among various other civic organizations. He also is an avid medical historian.
• Honorary doctorates - Frederick C. Battaglia, MD, and Gasper Lazzara, DDS. Battaglia is a world-renowned pioneer in the workings of mammalian fetal physiology, growth and metabolism. He was among the first clinical scientists to recognize the relationship of birth weight and gestational age to neonatal morbidity and mortality. He has authored 250 research papers and 75 scholarly reviews and book chapters, and has held the presidency of five professional pediatric and perinatal associations and societies. Battaglia was instrumental in establishing the Perinatal Research Facility at Fitzsimons.
Lazzara is founder of the Orthodontic Centers of America (OCA), a $1.5 billion international healthcare company that manages 750 orthodontic offices worldwide. He has founded the Orthodontic Education Co., and recently donated $3 million to the CU School of Dentistry with a $92.7 million commitment to fund the Lazzara Center for Oral-Facial Health at Fitzsimons. His vision and generosity have helped create the largest public-private entrepreneurial venture in the history of dental education.
• University Medal - William C. and Sara S. Caile, and Bruce C. Paton, MD. The Cailes’ are extraordinarily generous University of Colorado volunteers and advocates. They have served on numerous committees and boards, including the Boulder Campus Campaign Committee, the Resource Development Committee, the CU-Health Sciences Center’s Assistive Technology Partners (ATP), the CU Board of Trustees, and many others. The Cailes’ financial support of more than $1.7 million has benefited the entire university system. Their donations have funded an endowment for ATP, which helps people with cognitive, sensory and physical disabilities. They also have been avid supporters of the Fitzsimons development.
Paton has a 55-year history of scholarship, service and leadership at CU-Health Sciences Center. Best known for his expertise in wilderness medicine, he co-founded the Wilderness Medical Society, and has directed the Given Institute in Aspen since 1999. A founding member of the CU-Health Sciences Center’s Library Leadership Council, he has contributed considerable time as a fundraiser and donor to advance the library’s collection and services. Most recently, Paton authored the book Lewis and Clark: Doctors in the Wilderness.
• Joseph Addison Sewall Award - Howard M. Landesman, DDS, and John D. McDowell. Landesman, dean of the CU School of Dentistry, has led the school from the 48th ranked dental school in the nation to one of the top 15 dental and has significantly increased the school’s NIH funding. Landesman piloted the public-private business partnership with Dr. Lazzara, enabling the Lazzara Center for Oral-Facial Health to open doors at Fitzsimons with a specialty in orthodontics. His passion for developing partnerships has led to the opening of the Healthy Smiles clinic at Fitzsimons, which provides access to dental care for many underserved Colorado children. Dean Landesman is a diplomat and past president of the American Board of Prosthodontics, and has served as president of the Academy of Prosthodontics and the Council of Dental Deans of the American Dental Education Association.
• Florence Rena Sabin Award - Nancy E. Nelson, MD, and Thomas P. Beresford, MD. Nelson, clinical professor emerita of pediatrics at CU-Health Sciences Center, contributed 40 years of dedicated service to the institution. She was honored for her tireless advocacy on behalf of the medical students. Nelson served as the assistant dean for counseling and advocacy, and also as the associate dean for student affairs. In 1997, the Medical Student Council awarded her the prestigious St. Geme Award for her ability to integrate the research and teaching environment in the CU School of Medicine and her ability to impart enthusiasm for life and learning. She is a lifetime member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and has served as the president of the Denver Medical Society and a member of its Board of Trustees.
Beresford is a professor of psychiatry at the CU School of Medicine. He is best known for consultation psychiatry, which covers those areas of overlap between the medical and surgical specialties and psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. His other specialty is in the field of alcoholism and addiction research. He is internationally known for his work in the holistic care of alcohol-dependent persons facing liver transplantation. As a teacher, Beresford gained widespread recognition for his innovative course for advanced psychiatric residents, "Clinical Uses of Ego Defense Mechanisms," which offers a combination of lectures on psychological adaptation theory, small group discussions, and projects based on clinical videotaped interviews with patients. Beresford is also a published poet, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Creative Writing for Poetry at Stanford University.
The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center is one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. Located in Denver and Aurora, Colo., the center includes Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry; a graduate school; and a teaching hospital.v