Strengthening family medicine at CU and in our communities

Jeffrey CainFor Jeffrey Cain, MD, the passion for medicine is deeply rooted in relationships. And for him, a career in family medicine has offered the ability to combine relationships and science in the spirit of improving people's health.

"Family medicine itself is about building relationships over time with people," Jeffrey says. "When we understand values, it becomes a conversation where people are willing to take a step for their health. When you develop relationships with patients over time, you have the opportunity to take better care of them."

Having spent a total of 35 years training medical students and teaching classes at CU Anschutz, Jeffrey has had a profound impact on his field and at the university. He is a past president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a co-founder of Tar Wars, the national youth tobacco-free education program. After experiencing bilateral below-knee amputations from trauma 20 years ago, Jeffrey has continued an active life that has included flying vintage airplanes, long-distance cycling, adaptive skiing and winning the gold medal in slalom in the first U.S. national adaptive snowboarding championships. He is currently the chair of the Amputee Coalition Board of Directors.

As part of the CU Department of Family Medicine faculty, he chose to pay it forward through a planned gift to benefit the Department of Family Medicine and the A.F. Williams Family Endowment within the department.

Jeffrey plans to support a faculty member interested in healthcare policy and advocacy in the CU Department of Family Medicine. Jeffrey has seen the department and residency program grow over the years, from 60 faculty in the 1980s to now more than 700 faculty, staff and clinical volunteer faculty. This expansion demonstrates CU's excellence in teaching, research, healthcare policy and rural and medical education, Jeffrey says, and he wants to be a part of its future through his legacy giving.

This planned gift will help ensure healthcare policy and advocacy can and will live on as part of the fabric in family medicine at CU and in our communities, he says. Jeffrey's hope is to help remove boundaries, make healthcare more accessible for all and encourage better physician-patient relationships.

"We spend our days doing this for a living and in the middle of busy times, it's hard to see how important it all is," Jeffrey says. "Having been a part of the education of over 450 residents, when I stand back and look at the wall of photos of all those residents, I am amazed to see all the medical students who have grown into talented family physicians and are now making a difference in their communities. That's what you see over time and what we witness—just one small part of the roles we play."

Learn how you can make a difference with a planned gift by contacting the Office of Gift Planning at (303) 541-1229 or

A longer version of this story originally published on Family Medicine News. Read it here.