Dean's Weekly Message

May 20, 2019

Dear Colleague:

Congratulations to the School of Medicine’s chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society for being selected as a 2019 Distinguished GHHS Chapter – one of only four selected for the award out of 150 chapters. The honor recognizes the exemplary achievement of our chapter in fostering humanism in medicine on campus and specifically hails Kathleen Raskob, a fourth-year medical student for her work as a chapter leader and as co-author of the GHHS award application. “Your projects, events, programs and research done in service to patients or colleagues, whether creatively initiated by your members, national GHHS initiatives, or in partnership with other like-minded organizations, stood out among your peers,” wrote Dorothy Levine, MD, vice president of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, and Louisa Tvito, MSW, director of program initiatives at the society, in their letter announcing the award. They also offered special recognition to Steven Lowenstein, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs. “It is evident that your faculty Chapter Advisor, Dr. Steven Lowenstein, enhances, encourages and supports the work of your chapter in ways large and small as a labor of love!” Our chapter of GHHS has an excellent slide show posted online where you can see many of the wonderful programs they’ve done in recent years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has asked CU and research institutions across the country to provide information for the National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment to support the World Health Organization’s Global Polio Eradication Initiative and Global Action Plan. As a first step, the University Office of Environmental Health and Safety has prepared a short survey to identify principal investigators who may possess potentially infectious materials containing poliovirus. Based on the survey results, the University Biological Safety Officer will work with the identified principal investigators to compile an inventory to be submitted to the National Inventory for Poliovirus Containment. The survey must be completed by Wednesday, June 5.

The 4th Annual Aspen Ethical Leadership Program is accepting applications for an executive retreat for healthcare leaders to be held in Aspen Monday, September 9-Wednesday, September 11. For first-time attendees, there will also be a half-day pre-conference on Sunday, September 8, to become familiar with the program’s ethical decision-making framework for shared understanding of professional, business, and organizational ethics. 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 retreat uses intensive case study exercises and plenary discussions to create a forum for leaders to explore practical approaches to difficult and complex challenges confronting health care organizations. Programming is facilitated by a nationally renowned faculty in health institution leadership. The University of Colorado School of Medicine, the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, the American Association for Physician Leadership, the National Center for Ethics in Health Care at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Centura Health, and the Law School at the University of Colorado Boulder advised in the preparation of the program. Application information is available online. For questions, contact

The School of Medicine's Office of Medical Education is seeking an associate director of the Mentored Scholarly Activity – Clinical Science. All medical students are required to complete a mentored scholarly project during their time in medical school. This associate director is responsible for overseeing the students interested in a clinical science scholarly activity. Please review the job description for this 0.2 FTE position. An MD or DO degree and School of Medicine faculty appointment is required. Interested applicants should send a letter of interest and current CV to Caitlin Zoghby at by Monday, June 3.

A memorial tribute in honor of Jennifer Gong, PhD, assistant director of the evaluation office for Undergraduate Medical Education, is scheduled for 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 12, in the Fulginiti Gossard Forum.

Commencement ceremonies are scheduled for Thursday, May 23, and Friday, May 24, on the Anschutz Medical Campus, weather permitting. As a result, there will be increased parking demands and traffic delays. Employees will have a place to park on campus, however some preferred spots may not be available so that we can offer convenient parking to our guests. Please be mindful of ceremonies in progress so that we can celebrate our graduates and enjoy time with their families and friends. The spring commencement 2019 webpage has details about ceremonies and campus locations and will be updated if there are any weather-related or other issues.

A new historical display will open this Friday in the Dean’s Office reception suite to coincide with Commencement events on campus. The exhibits, begun in 2017, celebrate CU School of Medicine faculty and alumni, and other pioneers of health care in Colorado. The current display features Henry Silver, MD (1918-1991), a pediatric endocrinologist who pursued approaches that changed how health professional education and the provision of primary care services to children and adults are organized and delivered. In 1965, collaborating with Loretta “Lee” Ford, EdD, a community and public health nurse in the then-School of Nursing, students were accepted into the first-ever nurse practitioner program in the country. Considered an experiment to address a shortage of physicians in underserved communities, they aimed to provide pediatric nurses with additional training that would allow those nurses to provide more of the ambulatory primary care services that children needed. The program launched in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine, and the School of Nursing later took it over, lengthened the training, and provided a master’s degree. Dr. Silver is also credited with starting the first pediatric physician assistant training program in 1969. That program added a curriculum for treating adults in 1991 and is now called the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program. Dr. Silver’s many accomplishments are highlighted in the current exhibit, and I encourage everyone to stop by the reception suite on the first floor of Fitzsimons Building, Room E1354, to take a look.

There will be no message next week, Monday, May 27, due to the Memorial 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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