Dean's Weekly Message

Aug. 5, 2019

Dear Colleague:

Brian T. Smith joined the Anschutz Medical Campus last Thursday, August 1, as senior associate dean for administration and finance for the University of Colorado School of Medicine and as executive director of CU Medicine, our faculty practice plan. Brian joins us from Mount Sinai in New York, where he was senior vice president for Mount Sinai Doctors and senior associate dean for clinical affairs for the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He succeeds Jane Schumaker, who has served with distinction in both roles since March 2011. We are pleased to have someone with Brian’s extensive experience in academic medicine becoming part of the CU team. He has strong operational skills that he honed as executive director of USF Physicians Group in Tampa, Fla., and Rush University Medical Group in Chicago prior to his time at Mount Sinai and he’s hitting the ground running here. First up on his first day was his first official meeting as a campus employee – the monthly meeting of all deans of the School of Medicine – where he was introduced to the team and where he reported that he’s ready to participate in the interviews of chief financial officer candidates for CU Medicine, which are scheduled to begin today. Even though Thursday was his first day, he’s been participating in the process of reviewing candidates for the past few weeks. Please join me in welcoming Brian to our campus.

Michael Harris-Love, PT, MPT, DSc, joined the CU School of Medicine on Thursday, August 1, as professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and as associate dean of physical therapy education. He will hold the new Joanne Posner-Mayer Endowed Chair in Physical Therapy that was announced in May and he will continue his role as a Veterans Affairs investigator through his affiliation with the Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. Michael was previously the associate director of the Human Performance Research Unit and founding co-director of the Rehabilitation Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program at the Washington D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center and held faculty appointments at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and George Mason University Department of Rehabilitation Science. The Department is hosting a reception at Krugman Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 3:30 p.m.-5 p.m. to welcome Michael to the Anschutz Medical Campus and all are invited to RSVP here. In addition, the School and the department offer our gratitude to the outgoing Director Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, a renowned Parkinson’s disease researcher who has built our Physical Therapy Program into one of the nation’s best, consistently ranked in the top 15. We also welcome Michael to campus and look forward to his contributions.

The Denver Business Journal announced its list of 2019 C-Suite Award winners on Tuesday, July 30, with two key members of the CU team on the list. Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine, was named in the chief other officer/CXO category for his role as chief innovation officer at our campus partner UCHealth. Mike Pritchard, chief financial officer for the University of Colorado Foundation, was named in his respective category. According to the Denver Business Journal, nominees are judged on their individual and organizational accomplishments, community involvement, and contributions to management and innovation in their fields. The publication plans a reception to honor the award recipients on Wednesday, September 11. Congratulations to Rich and Mike.

The School of Medicine is celebrating a gift from Sandra K. Surbrugg, MD ’81, and Robert R. Prentice, MD, who have committed $3 million to establish the Sandra Surbrugg, MD, Fund for the Department of Dermatology. The gift will provide resources for the faculty and programs in dermatology. Sandra and her husband, Robert, have been longtime supporters of our university. Sandra completed training in the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant program in 1974 before completing her medical degree in 1981. She also did her residency in dermatology at CU. She practices medicine in Cheyenne, Wyo. Robert completed his residency in pediatrics at CU in 1970 and is a pediatrician at the Cheyenne Regional Medical Center. We are grateful for their generous support.

On Monday, July 29, students participating in summer research programs presented posters on the first floor of the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building. The presentation featured work by 23 undergraduate students, who were selected from more than 110 top applicants from colleges nationwide to participate in the Webb-Waring Center Colorado Undergraduate Summer Program (CUSP), nine undergraduates from Colorado colleges in the Colorado Undergraduate Research in Environmental Health Sciences (CUREHS) program, and six second-year CU medical students from the Department of Medicine Research and Equity in Academic Medicine (DREAM) Program. The CUSP and DREAM programs are directed by John E. Repine, MD, professor of medicine, and the CUREHS program by Jared Brown, PhD, associate professor of toxicology at the pharmacy school, who both express their appreciation to the CU faculty mentors and speakers who generously contributed to these three training programs.

The Class of 2023 medical students began their week of orientation on Friday, Aug. 2, with presentations by the Office of Student Life, an overview of technology, and a session on financial management during medical school. The orientation also introduces them to the curriculum expectations and offers introductions to the resources – from the library to wellness services – that are available to help them on their medical school journey. On Friday, Aug. 9, we will hold the matriculation ceremony and give our students white coats and new stethoscopes, which are provided through generous donations from alumni and friends of the School.

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), here on the Anschutz Medical Campus, is the No. 1 hospital in the state of Colorado for the eighth year in a row, according to the rankings released last week by U.S. News and World Report. UCH is nationally ranked in seven specialties, including the No. 1 ranking in pulmonology, a distinction UCH shares with National Jewish Health. In Diabetes and Endocrinology, UCH ranked No. 10 in the country. Other ranked specialties include: Kidney disorders, Cancer, Orthopedics, Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Cardiology & Heart Surgery. While we are proud of UCH’s ongoing status as the state’s best, we must continue to focus on the improvements to care that will maintain our leadership in the state and improve our ranking among academic medical center peers nationwide.

Last summer, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report on sexual harassment of women working in academic sciences, engineering, and medicine, with findings that are unacceptable for professions that claim to focus on improving the quality of life for all. In a subsequent Perspective article in The New England Journal of Medicine, Esther Choo, MD, MPH, of Oregon Health & Science University, and her co-authors explained that too often institutional responses focus on individual cases rather than organizational structures that are subjecting women to inequities in salary, career advancement, and leadership positions. They also noted that the report calls for greater involvement of external organizations, including professional societies and collaborative research entities, to establish standards to guide academic institutions. To that end, they advocated for a “Time’s Up” movement in academic medicine. CU School of Medicine recently joined other signatories of Time’s Up Healthcare pledging our commitment to ensure that our employees and trainees have a safe, dignified, and equitable workplace.

Have a good week,

John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine

The Dean’s weekly message is an email news bulletin from John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members, staff, students and others about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service.  See the UCH-Insider →

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