Dean's Weekly Message

June 24, 2019

Dear Colleague:

University of Colorado President Bruce Benson retires at the end of this month after leading CU for more than 11 years, becoming the longest serving university president in the past 65 years. Bruce and his wife Marcy brought a passionate commitment to CU and throughout his tenure, the university has experienced a remarkable period of growth. He has offered confident leadership, assembled a talented team, and promoted CU at every opportunity. His advocacy with lawmakers and with donors has increased the financial support that is critical for our faculty, students, and staff to focus on their endeavors, which in turn contribute to improved health for our communities. For seven years, the President’s Office provided millions of dollars in scholarships for School of Medicine students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. Bruce regularly attended ceremonies for the Presidential Scholars and rather than stand to the side, he engaged personally with as many students as he could meet. His achievement is a CU that is stronger today than when he became president and we are all beneficiaries who are grateful for his tireless effort.

Roland Flores, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, has been appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to serve on the Colorado Medical Board for a term expiring May 3, 2023. The Colorado Medical Board reviews applications for medical licenses. In cases involving any professional or ethical violations of the Medical Practices Act, the board holds hearings and assists the state’s district attorneys in the prosecution of all persons, firms, associations, or corporations charged with improper conduct. Thank you to Roland for taking on this important community service.

Congratulations to Bethany Kwan, PhD, MSPH, assistant professor of family medicine and an implementation scientist in the Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, on receiving the MSA Excellence in Mentoring Award, a new honor given to exceptional faculty who participate in the Mentored Scholarly Activity, which is required for all medical students. The MSA requires students to identify and work with a mentor on projects that extend through their four years in medical school and culminate in a capstone presentation prior to graduation. Ross Crandall, MD ’19, whose project dealt with assessing patient acceptability of mindfulness in treating diabetes distress, nominated Bethany with praise for her skillful teaching and personal support: “From the very beginning, she was disciplined and diligent about guiding me through the basic qualitative sciences, diagraming the study design on paper and assuring that I took no variable, method, bias, counterbalance, or t-test for granted. Rather than just a project, she essentially tutored me in the first principles of good study design.” She was a practical guide to the best ways of research and a strong source of inspiration. Our School’s teaching thrives because of dedicated educators like Bethany and we are grateful she’s on our faculty and willing to participate in the Mentored Scholarly Activity program. 

The 4th Annual Aspen Ethical Leadership Program is accepting applications for an executive retreat for current and rising healthcare leaders to be held in Aspen September 9-11. For first-time attendees, there will also be a half-day pre-conference on September 8 on ethical decision-making for professional, business, and organizational applications. Recently announced keynotes include Jean Kutner, MD, MPH, chief medical officer of University of Colorado Hospital and professor of medicine at the CU School of Medicine, Kenneth Kizer, MD, MPH, director of the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health and former Undersecretary of Health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Douglas Miller, MD, MBA, CEO of Cognitive Diagnosis and former dean of New York Medical College. Among the topics in this year’s program are payment system controversies, politics in healthcare, and dilemmas that occur when health professionals are asked to act as agents of the state, and integrating artificial intelligence in healthcare. The program is developed in collaboration with the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the Aspen Center for Social Values, the American Association for Physician Leadership, Centura Health, and the Law School at the University of Colorado Boulder with additional advisement from the National Center for Ethics in Health Care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Application information is available online. For questions, contact

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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