Dean's Weekly Message

December 23, 2019

Dear colleague:

CU President Mark Kennedy attended the School of Medicine Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday, December 17, to present the strategic planning process by the CU System. The process is evaluating and setting an agenda for four pillars for the four CU campuses: Access, Affordability and Student Success; Discovery and Impact; Diversity, Inclusion, Equity and Access; and Fiscal Strength. Working groups have been formed to address a range of topics. For our campus, the system’s review has a special focused review on health care. A working group on that topic is comprised primarily of members of our campus community, with the charge to explore ways to promote collaboration in education, research, and care that improves the quality of health for residents in our state and beyond. Another area of particular interest for our campus community is a focus on campus wellness and mental health. For anyone who would like to provide comment, the system office has set up a feedback page with contact information for each area. I would encourage you to share your thoughts. The timeline calls for presenting the plan to the Board of Regents at the annual board retreat in July 2020.

Ronald Sokol, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, has been named to a three-year term on the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program Steering Committee. This group provides leadership for sharing of policies, practices, and resources, and discussion of opportunities, impediments, joint agreement on broad issues impeding clinical research and other topics. The committee identifies and recommends best practices and policies to advance clinical and translational research as a discipline.

Cara Wilson, MD, executive vice chair of the Department of Medicine, has accepted the position of associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), effective January 1, and will transition into the director role on July 1 succeeding Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, MD, who has been the longtime leader of our program. Cara joined the CU School of Medicine faculty in 1998, and holds an appointment in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine. She also holds a graduate faculty appointment in the Department of Immunology. Cara is a highly accomplished investigator, mentor, and leader and brings considerable experience to our school’s highly respected MD/PhD training program. We thank Arthur for his many contributions and dedication to the program and his support of its students. During the past 25 years, Arthur increased the MSTP’s size, diversity, NIH support, and national prominence. Earlier this year, Arthur was recognized for his leadership with the Bert Shapiro Award by the National Association of MD-PhD Programs.

Jennifer Adams, MD, associate professor of medicine, has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the AMA Women Physician Section Inspiration Award. Jennifer is assistant dean for the clinical core, an internist at Denver Health, and director of the longitudinal integrated clerkship at Denver Health. Jennifer was nominated by Amanda Tompkins, who is an MD candidate in our Class of 2021. “As a student in the [Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship], I can’t put into words how much her care and mentorship has meant to me this year,” Amanda said in describing Jennifer. “She is always available for debriefing tough experiences and readily shares her own experiences, vulnerabilities and perspective on the toughest cases.” Thank you to Jennifer for her compassionate leadership and to Amanda for sharing the news about Jennifer’s award.

An article, “HPV Vaccine Delivery Practices by Primary Care Physicians,” by Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, with several colleagues at the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) listed as co-authors, was named one of the Best of 2019 articles in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The article is an important contribution to our understanding of the ways providers handle delivering the vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV). While the vaccine has proven effective, the study identified that there is room for improvement in the way physicians are communicating about HPV vaccine and in their delivery practices. Five additional CU faculty members are listed among the authors of the article: Sean T. O’Leary, MD, MPH, Lori A. Crane, PhD, MPH, Laura P. Hurley, MD, Michaela Brtnikova, PhD, and Brenda L. Beaty, MSPH.

In addition to leading the team of authors with a Best of 2019 Pediatrics contribution, Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics and director of the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, has been named the Ergen Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Outcomes Research at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The endowed chair, made possible with a $2 million commitment from the Telluray Foundation, is the first chair in outcomes research on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

The Office of Advancement has announced the establishment of the Emily McClintock Addlesperger Endowed Chair in Gynecologic Oncology at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, made possible with a $2 million commitment from Richard and Peggy McClintock, along with family, friends, and the CU Gynecologic Oncology Council, chaired by Carol Goldstein, RN, PhD. The McClintocks made the gift in memory of their daughter. We are grateful to them and their son-in-law Jason Addlesperger for their generosity and vision. They were inspired by the innovative work of Saketh Guntupalli, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and his team in the CU Division of Gynecologic Oncology. Kian Behbakht, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, has been named the inaugural holder of the endowed chair.

The Child Health Research Enterprise newsletter for November and December has been posted and includes an update on the ongoing effort to consider the best ways to promote research between the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and Children’s Hospital Colorado. A key update from the message is that we are working together to recruit a Chief Scientific Officer of Child Health.

The CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities is accepting applications from students and trainees to participate in an international conference program, “Medical Review Auschwitz: Medicine Behind the Barbed Wire,” in Krakow, Poland, May 4-6, 2020, to learn about the history of health professional involvement in the Holocaust. Conference attendees will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum and will meet with international experts on the legacy of health professional involvement in the Holocaust. Scholarships covering airfare, room and board, and conference registration are available, with applications due Monday, January 20. Applicants should submit a CV, two letters of recommendation, including one from a CU faculty member, and an essay of up to 1,000 words describing why they want to participate. Submissions should be sent to For questions, contact Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities.

There will be no message on Monday, December 30. Best wishes for safe, peaceful, and happy holiday season. Thank you for your contributions to the CU School of Medicine’s success in 2019. I look forward to working with you in 2020.

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.  For clinical news and patient stories from UCHealth, please visit UCHealth Today

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