Dean's Weekly Message

March 4, 2019

Dear colleague: 


The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and UCHealth leadership honored The Anschutz Foundation and The Marcus Foundation at the Benefactor Recognition Dinner on Thursday, February 28. Our philanthropic partners have provided the rocket fuel boosting our efforts to become the premier medical center in Colorado and a leading destination for clinical care, health research, and professional education in the country. The Anschutz Foundation’s support has been transformational not just for this piece of land in Aurora or for our University. The Anschutz Foundation’s support has changed countless lives for the better in our community, our country, and our world. 

The video honoring The Anschutz Foundation gives the example of Jon, a patient who suffered a debilitating back injury that was healed through care from a team led by Evalina Burger, MD, chair of the Department of Orthopedics. Eve performed an emergency discectomy and Jon said his pain was relieved instantly. He also said that Eve asked him for permission to show the herniated disc to her students – “Never a good sign,” he quipped – because she’d only seen one herniation like it before. (That one belonged to military parachute jumper whose chute didn’t open all the way.) Jon even recalled that Eve cancelled vacation plans to help him. Eve referred to our campus as “a magical place.” 

The video recognizing The Marcus Foundation offers a clear example of how investments in programs improve lives. Nathan, a patient of the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, which was created thanks to a gift from The Marcus Foundation, explains how he was injured during his military service when a person in a suicide vest detonated it near his platoon. He suffered headaches and balance issues and realized he needed help to care for the invisible wounds of war. Spencer Milo, director of veterans programs, communications, and strategic development at the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, explained that it takes courage for veterans like Nathan to ask for help when others can’t see there’s an issue.  

Philanthropic support is necessary to help pay for constructing buildings, establishing programs, hiring and retaining talented faculty. But such contributions are more than one-time gifts. These are strategic investments that keep growing in value, producing dividends that are reinvested here. We are stewards of something incredibly precious when we receive support from The Anschutz Foundation, the Marcus Foundation and donors like them. These benefactors give us belief and confidence that we can be more than we are, that we can do better in taking care of one another. They also give us a responsibility to fulfill our goals, to dream of ways to improve, and to constantly strive for more. We are grateful and inspired by their support. 

The Rose Community Foundation of Denver has awarded several grants to CU School of Medicine faculty as part of its “Heart and Soul” initiative. The grants were presented on the Anschutz Medical Campus on Monday, February 25, by the Rose Community Foundation team, led by President and CEO Lindy Eichenbaum Lent. “We are excited to support and highlight the incredible work taking place in our own backyard around cardiovascular disease and arthritis,” she said. “These grants span the entire age continuum – supporting work that will benefit children through older adults – while also spanning the continuum of therapeutic and clinical care to trailblazing laboratory research.” 

Steven H. Abman, MD, professor of pediatrics for the University of Colorado School of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Heart Lung Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado, has been elected to the leadership of the American Pediatric Society. Effective in May 2019, Steve becomes president-elect, followed by a one-year term as president, and then a one-year role as past president. The American Pediatric Society was founded in 1888 and is the oldest academic pediatric organization in North America.  

John L. Kendall, MD, professor and vice chair of education for the Department of Emergency Medicine, has been elected to the board of directors of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), which provides certification examinations to physicians for the practice of emergency medicine. John has been an ABEM oral examiner since 2013, and a senior case reviewer since 2015. In 2016, he was the recipient of a Lifetime Service Award from the Ultrasound Section of the American College of Emergency Physicians. 

Rachel Frank, MD, assistant professor of orthopedics, has been chosen as a 2019 North American Traveling Fellow by the American Orthopaedic Association. The fellowship program is highly competitive and provides fellows an opportunity to develop their leadership skills. The North American Traveling Fellowship, which is offered in the fall of odd-numbered years, is an intensive five-week tour of major orthopedic centers in the United States and Canada promoting clinical and scientific exchange. 

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. For an update on the process, check out the Child Health Research Enterprise February newsletter. The website for the newsletter has been updated so that colleagues on the Anschutz Medical Campus can access it. 

The Chancellor’s John Conger Lectureship is scheduled for Friday, March 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Mt. Oxford Auditorium, 2nd floor Conference Center at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Tina Cheng, MD, MPH, director of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and professor of population, family and reproductive health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will present “Building a Healthier Future:  Disrupting the Intergeneration Cycle of Disadvantage.” A reception will follow. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Mickey Mandel, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology, who died on February 11. Mickey graduated from University of Colorado School of Medicine and held faculty appointments with the School from 1970 through 2012. After graduating from medical school, Mickey completed his residency in San Francisco and then was stationed at Fort Bragg and retired as a major from the U.S. Army. Mickey returned to Denver, where he practiced at the Denver Skin Clinic. 

A memorial service for James Arthur, MD, who died January 30, will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at St. Gabriel the Archangel Episcopal Church, 6190 E. Quincy Ave., Cherry Hills Village. 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. 

CU Anschutz Medical Campus students, housestaff, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to “CU @ the Hyatt” on Wednesday, March 6, 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.


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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