Dean's Weekly Message

March 25, 2019

Dear colleague: 

David Schwartz, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, has announced that he is stepping down from his leadership position. Since becoming chair in 2011, David has overseen departmental initiatives that are important to this campus and our clinical partnerships. The department has grown substantially and added new divisions in personalized medicine and hospital medicine to reflect specialties that are critical to the future clinical and research trajectories of academic medicine. During David’s tenure, the department’s clinical activities have doubled, support from the National Institutes of Health has increased 37 percent during the past five years, and educational programs have expanded. The department also has emphasized programs in gender equity and has increased diversity among trainees. At the same time, David’s personal research program has made advances in understanding the causes of pulmonary fibrosis and its potential treatments. I will be working with David on a transition plan that ensures leadership for the department while the School conducts a national search for a successor. 

Ami Giardina, DNP, MHA, RN, will be joining CU Medicine on April 1 as vice president for community practice. This new leadership position provides executive oversight of CU School of Medicine’s freestanding clinics. Ami brings substantial experience in clinical operations with large providers in Illinois and most recently she been serving as chief accountable care officer for North Central Arizona Accountable Care in Prescott, Ariz. She holds a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Rush University as well as a Master of Science in Health Care Administration. We are pleased to welcome her to CU Medicine and we thank Christina Finlayson, MD, who has been filling in this role in recent months along with her other duties for CU Medicine. 

David M. Naeger, MD, has been named the next director of service for the Denver Health Department of Radiology. David is currently an associate professor of clinical radiology at the University of California, San Francisco.  In announcing the appointment, Denver Health Chief Medical Officer Connie Savor Price, MD, noted that David has consistently been honored for his excellence as an educator and in 2015, he received the Academic Senate Distinction in Teaching Award given to only two UCSF faculty members per year across the entire institution. David’s research and interests consist of two main focus areas. First, he is interested in developing, evaluating, and publishing about novel curricular programs that enhance the education of medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing radiologists. Second, he publishes on the clinical considerations in the daily interpretation of radiologic images, with an emphasis on the imaging and diagnosis of lung cancer, lung biopsies, chest imaging, and PET/CT imaging. He starts his new role in June. We are pleased to welcome him to Denver and to our faculty. 

John Cambier, PhD, professor of immunology and microbiology and Distinguished Professor of the University, has been selected as an American Association of Immunologists 2019 Distinguished Fellow. The program recognizes members for distinguished careers and outstanding scientific contributions and for contributions to the immunology community. Election as a Distinguished Fellow is one of the highest honors bestowed by the AAI. This inaugural class of Distinguished Fellows will be acknowledged at the association’s annual meeting in San Diego in May. 

The student members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society have elected four faculty members and three house officers. Faculty and house officers elected to the AOA are recognized as outstanding role models and have demonstrated scholastic achievement, professionalism, leadership, and service to the School and our community. The names of the honorees are posted on the website of our AOA chapter. Questions can be addressed to the AOA Councilor, James M. Beck, MD, professor of medicine, at

CU Anschutz Medical Campus students, housestaff, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to CU @ the Hyatt on Wednesday, April 3, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Aurora, 13200 E. 14th Place. This monthly event, sponsored by Campus Student Services and the Office of Alumni Relations, is held the first Wednesday of the month to encourage making social connections among our colleagues. Appetizers are provided. The event is free to attend and registration is not required. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Robert Baer Gibbons, Col. (Ret.), MD, who died March 13.  He was a clinical professor of medicine for the CU School of Medicine and an active member of the American College of Physicians. Among service appointments, he served as chief of medicine at the U.S. Army in Munich, Germany, and as assistant chief of medicine and later as chief of medicine and internal medicine program director at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash. During his military service, he cared for many dignitaries, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower. A funeral was held on March 23 and a graveside service will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, at the Logan City Cemetery in Logan, Utah. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Loren Eugene Golitz, MD, who died on March 8. As a professor of dermatology and pathology at the CU School of Medicine and as chief of dermatology at Denver Health Medical Center, Loren offered mentorship to thousands of medical students and residents. In a note last week to Ann Thor, MD, chair of pathology, Loren’s wife, Deb, wrote: “As you know his teaching career and time spent in the Department of Pathology over the years was a highlight of his life. He loved teaching and rarely looked through a microscope alone. He has left a fine legacy of 69 Dermatopathology Fellows who have gone on to accomplish wonderful things in Dermatology and Pathology, in addition to thousands of medical students and residents who benefited from his amazing skills and genuine interest in their development.” Loren was named a professor emeritus in 2018. A Celebration of Loren's life will be held 11 a.m. Friday, April 12, at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

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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