Dean's Weekly Message

Feb. 11, 2019

Dear colleague: 

Thank you to everyone who attended or watched the State of the School address on Wednesday, February 6. For those who couldn’t make it who want to catch up on the accomplishments of the past year and the vision for our future, the School has posted a summary of the talk and a video that includes the slide deck presentation. For those who are interested in the abbreviated version: The state of our School is great. Thank you to everyone for your contributions and dedication. We are on a path that should make everyone proud to be part of the CU School of Medicine. 

UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) has announced that it will build a new 11-story tower that will initially provide 103 additional inpatient beds and nine operating rooms, with space for future growth. Our partner hospital, where many of our faculty providers work, provides the best-quality care for some of the most complex diagnoses. The existing two towers are almost always near capacity – 93 percent average occupancy last year – and other medical providers in our region continue to depend on our expertise. Last year, more than 4,000 patients were transferred from other facilities to UCH. The outstanding clinical care provided by our faculty can help improve more lives with this expansion project and we look forward to supporting the hospital as it grows. 

Gov. Jared Polis visited the Anschutz Medical Campus on Monday, February 4, to join the celebration in naming the Health Sciences Library in honor of Henry L. Strauss, an alumnus of the University’s school of pharmacy. Henry and his wife, Joan, have been longtime supporters of the university. Gov. Polis joined more than 50 others who attended a luncheon to recognize Henry, who is the founder and chairman of Strauss Enterprises and former regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration for President Jimmy Carter. Henry’s support has included establishing in 1995 the Florence G. Strauss Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection, named in memory of his first wife. 

The luncheon for School of Medicine scholarship and award recipients was held on Thursday, February 7, in Krugman Conference Hall, where we honored Joan Bowen DVM, who is the benefactor of the Mary Shultz Endowed Scholarship Fund, and Kathryn Cataldo for the Huber Family Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship. Our School and students have been beneficiaries of great generosity and these gifts help us recruit top prospects to our medical school. Thanks to all who planned, attended, and supported the event. 

Several of our School’s departments and residency programs hosted the Resident Second Look day last Thursday, February 7, capping the day with social event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The second look day has been an excellent outreach effort that is intended to help persuade talented residency candidates to consider coming to our programs. This was an impressive group and we hope to attract many of them to CU. Thank you to all the School of Medicine departments who participate in program. 

The UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital Medical Staff Awards presentation was held Tuesday, February 5, at the Hyatt Regency Aurora-Denver Conference Center, near the Anschutz Medical Campus. While the assembly of talent at the event is too long to list in this weekly message, we have gratitude for the contributions of all. We’ll note here that School of Medicine faculty members Ty Higuchi, MD, PhD, associate professor of surgery, and Mitra Razzaghi, MD, associate professor of medicine, received the full-time physician award, and Brianna Hoffner, NP, MSN, RN, was named the full time allied health provider clinical award. The Partners in Care Team award went to UCH Trauma-Burn staff. 

On Thursday, February 7, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus hosted an event to celebrate the expansion of the online courses available on the Coursera platform. The programming includes courses on palliative care, becoming an emergency medical technician, promoting child health through school and community partnerships, newborn baby care, and clinical data science. CU President Bruce Benson and Chancellor Don Elliman joined the celebration. 

Mark Evans, vice president and chief financial officer of University of Colorado Medicine, has accepted the position of chief financial and administrative officer for The Colorado Health Foundation. His scheduled departure is early March and Liz Kissick, vice president for health plans and analytics, will serve as interim while a search for Mark’s successor is conducted. We have benefited from Mark’s smart and steady leadership at CU Medicine since 2010. He will be greatly missed. 

We still are recruiting faculty volunteers to assist as judges for the Mentored Scholarly Activity Capstone event for the School of Medicine Class of 2019. The event will be held on Thursday, February 28, with three sessions: Session 1:  1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; Session 2:  2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.; and Session 3:  3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sign up through this link to participate as a judge in one or all sessions. More information is available at the MSA Capstone Poster Session website. For questions, contact email Faculty participation is key to this program’s success and fosters an appreciation of life-long learning in our medical students. As of last Monday, only 25 faculty have signed up and we need about twice that many. I encourage all faculty to participate. 

The leadership of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, CU School of Medicine, and Children’s Hospital Colorado last fall convened a process to review the structure of research related to child health on campus. The process is being coordinated by consultant Manatt Health Strategies. For an update on the process, check out the Child Health Research Enterprise January newsletter

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Jeffrey MacCollam Brown, MD, a retired member of the Denver Health medical staff and professor of pediatrics, who died January 29. Jeff completed his residency with the CU School of Medicine, served as director of the general pediatrics division of Denver Health from 1995 to 2006, and published more than 40 manuscripts, book chapters and letters during his career. He helped establish an International Health elective within the School of Medicine pediatrics residency.  He was a dedicated and effective personal and professional mentor for students, residents, and young faculty. A celebration of Jeff’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 16 at Montview Presbyterian Church, 1980 Dahlia St., Denver. 

Condolences also to the family, friends, and colleagues of James Arthur, MD, who died January 30. James joined the volunteer clinical faculty as a clinical instructor in 1960, was promoted to clinical professor in 1975, and retired as clinical professor emeritus in 1992. He received the Department of Pediatrics Career Teaching Scholar Award in 1996. 

A service to celebrate the life of Maureen Garrity, PhD, will be held Wednesday, February 20, at 4 p.m. in the Krugman Conference Hall. Maureen joined the CU School of Medicine faculty in 1983 and served in many leadership roles including as associate dean for admissions, associate dean for student affairs and associate dean for student life. 

There will be no Dean’s Message next Monday, February 18, due to the Presidents Day holiday.

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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