DENVER (Oct. 5, 2009) – Jay A. Gershen, DDS, PhD, University of Colorado Denver Vice Chancellor for External Affairs, was recently presented by ICMA, the international organization that advances professional local government management worldwide, with an Honorary Membership Award. Gershen was recognized at a special ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 16, in conjunction with ICMA’s 95th Annual Conference in Montréal, Québec. He was also highlighted in a special commemorative booklet that appeared in the October 2009 issue of ICMA’s Public Management (PM) magazine.

ICMA’s awards its prestigious Honorary Membership to an individual outside the local government management profession in recognition of his or her distinguished public service and contributions to the improvement and strengthening of local government. ICMA Honorary Members must have made a considerable contribution either to the improvement of local government and local government management or to the public’s understanding and appreciation of responsive and well-managed local government.

Every organization needs a team player who can bring people together through periods of change and transition. Such is the role that Dr. Gershen has carved out for himself. He was appointed executive vice chancellor of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1997 just as the Fitzsimons Army Medical Garrison in Aurora was conveyed to the University of Colorado and the City of Aurora.  An innovative $4.3 billion public/private partnership of the Health Sciences Center, University of Colorado Hospital, and the city of Aurora sought to reposition the decommissioned base as a world-class academic health and life sciences center.

Dr. Gershen played a key role in securing State of Colorado funding for the project, raising federal and private funding, creating a master plan, and working closely with city elected and administrative officials.

He has served on Aurora’s Blue Ribbon Citizen’s Panel to evaluate form of government, which recommended the creation of a city and county of Aurora. He works closely with the mayor, city council, and city manager to foster closer ties between the university and the city.

Dr. Gershen has held both academic and administrative positions at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now University of Colorado Denver) and within the University of Colorado system. As the center’s liaison for business development, community affairs, and local government/external relations, Dr. Gershen worked with the city to improve communication between the university, the city, and the business community.

Dr. Gershen’s continued efforts to build a strong partnership between the city of Aurora and the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus have provided a real benefit to Aurora and the region.

Contact: Jacque Montgomery, 303.724.1528, [email protected]

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