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Kenneth Kahn


1926 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Kenneth Kahn Obituary
Dr. Kenneth A. Kahn was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico November 26, 1926 and passed away October 18, 2016. He moved to Boulder at the age of four when his parents opened Kahns Ladies Wear, which was a fixture on Pearl Street for more than fifty years. He attended Boulder High School and then graduated from the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1949 and from the University of Colorado Medical School in 1953. His post-graduate training was at Detroit Receiving Hospital, the University of Minnesota and Stanford University. At the completion of his medical studies he married Californian Diana Zimmerman. The couple then moved to Boulder in 1959 where he joined his friend Dr. John Farrington in a practice of internal medicine that emphasized both quality of care and participation in programs to improve the delivery of medical care by evaluating and improving the ability of physicians to care for their patients. Believing in constant improvement, the two doctors challenged each other to be better physicians by conducting peer reviews of each other. Together they not only shared their knowledge with each other, they were actively involved in mentoring and teaching medical students. They modeled efficient and effective patient care while providing improved quality with impeccable ethics. Dr. Kahn retired from private practice after twenty-two years. He built upon the foundation established in his medical practice during the second phase of his career and actively sought to be part of the solution as the field of medicine was redefined. He worked at the state and national level to develop programs to improve the quality of care patients received through evaluation of physicians' performance and correcting identified deficiencies. This led to the formation of the Colorado Personalized Education for Physicians (CPEP) program that continues to function as a nationwide model for physician education programs. He was also instrumental in developing standards to improve conditions for patients requiring long-term care. Committed to improving physician communication and doctor-patient relationships, Dr. Kahn taught and presented workshops throughout the nation. Working with the Colorado Medical Society (CMS) he was the leader in developing the Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC), which became a statewide organization to develop standards of excellence in patient care. Dr. Kahn later served as president of both of these organizations. He brought these same skills to the national level in the development of a professional review organization. Dr. Kahn was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha at the University of Colorado, the American Medical Association and a diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine. While being a Fellow of the American College of Physicians he received the Laureate Award from the Colorado chapter in 1990. In 2001 the University of Colorado School of Medicine Alumni presented him with the Silver and Gold Award honoring his professional achievement and community service. Once he retired, Ken pursued his interest in history as an active participant in the CU senior audit program and championed several philanthropic efforts in Boulder and beyond. He assisted with the design and implementation of a scholarship program to reward medical students for their development of initiatives supporting underserved communities in Colorado. He was then a member of the selection committee that reviewed the projects and determined the recipients of financial awards. Ken and Diana created an endowment for the College of Arts and Sciences at CU. He remained engaged and active in the community and numerous personal interests, which demonstrated the important tenets of his value system: education, the medical profession and philanthropy. Reflecting on his career, when asked which of his many accomplishments gave him the greatest sense of pride, he replied, "I'm just proud that I tried." Ken lived his life exemplifying a philosophy important to him: live, love, learn and leave a legacy. He was preceded in death by his parents Marcella and Albert Kahn and his brother Fred. He is survived by his wife Diana, daughter Beverly Gray (Tim) and children Evan and Lindsay Gray, son Michael Kahn (Becky) and their sons Drake and Connor Olson. In concert with his strong belief in the value of education and ongoing learning Dr. Kahn has donated his body to the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Contributions may be made to either The Arts and Science Community Involvement Fund at CU (461 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309), the Edgar and Marion Adler Memorial Endowment for Medical Students at the CU Medical School (13001 East 17th Place, c/o Karen Aarestad, Mail Stop A065, Aurora, CO 80045) or to a .
Published in The Daily Camera on Oct. 30, 2016
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