A Brief History of the
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center relocated in 2008 to the former Fitzsimons Army Base in North (“Original”) Aurora, and is now called the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. This move brought outstanding professional schools, teaching hospitals, faculty practices, and research programs together in beautiful new state-of-the-art facilities. The development of this spectacular campus, which continues to this day, was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
The Anschutz Medical Campus is the largest academic health center in the Rocky Mountain region, located on over 300 acres and employing over 17,000 faculty, staff and students. The campus combines teaching, research, clinical facilities and community engagement to prepare the region’s future health care professionals and to provide health care and health improvement programs and services. The campus includes six University of Colorado schools and colleges educating over 4,000 degree- seeking students, the University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado, and University Physicians, Inc. A new Veterans Affairs Medical Center is currently under construction adjacent to the Campus and is due to open in 2016.
The University of Colorado Hospital is ranked as one of the top 10 academic hospitals in the country, and Children’s Hospital Colorado is ranked #5 in the country. Physicians at the University of Colorado Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado are CU School of Medicine faculty who focus on the latest in research and best medical practices—knowledge they share with students and patients. The Anschutz Medical Campus provides care for more than 1,500,000 patients visits a year and is awarded approximately $400 million in research grants annually. As the only public academic health center in the state, Anschutz Medical Campus is vital to the people of Colorado and its economy. The professional schools in health sciences and the Graduate School offer 40 degree programs.
The School of Medicine is Colorado’s first and only allopathic medical school. It ranks among the top 10 public institutions for grant awards from the National Institutes of Health, 2 and among the top 10 medical schools for family medicine, pediatrics, and rural medicine.
The School of Dental Medicine is nationally recognized for the quality of its inter- professional education and its broad range of clinical services.
The College of Nursing is ranked among the top nursing schools in the country, particularly its pediatric nurse practitioner program.
The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ranks third in the nation for grant awards from the National Institutes of Health.
The Colorado School of Public Health leverages the expertise of three universities (Colorado State University, University of Northern Colorado, and CU Anschutz) to provide training in public health topics and is a national leader in Native American health research, as well as known for diabetes and cancer prevention activities.
In addition, the Campus has numerous research centers such as the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Center for American Indian and Native Alaskan Health, the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, and the University of Colorado Depression Center, among many others. Adjacent to the Campus is the 150-acre Colorado Science and Technology Park where more than 40 bioscience businesses are expected to be launched from research centers on the Campus.
It also happens that the Anschutz Medical Campus is located in the heart of one of Colorado’s most diverse communities, with over 100 languages spoken in Aurora Public Schools. North Aurora serves as a gateway for many immigrants and refugees coming to live in Colorado, and is also one of the most economically challenged and underserved communities in the state, accompanied by high rates of health disparities. However, the location of the Anschutz Medical Campus in the midst of this community presents attractive opportunities – to improve economic well-being and health outcomes – for mutually beneficial collaborations between the Campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Thus Don Elliman, Chancellor of CU Anschutz Medical Campus and Lilly Marks, Executive Vice Chancellor, approved a “Community-Campus Partnership” initiative, and provided seed money to create an infrastructure that will foster and support collaborative activities and programs between the Campus and the surrounding local community to improve health and quality of life.