Dean's Weekly Message

August 17, 2020

Dear colleague:

I remind all members of our campus community to adhere to the safety protocols that have been put in place. Wear a mask. Follow campus check-in procedures each day you are here. Maintain physical distancing. If you have been exposed, complete a COVID-19 self-report. These protocols are not optional. With more than 5.4 million people infected in the United States and more than 165,000 who have died, we are not able to relax the protective measures that have been put in place. The Association of American Medical Colleges has compiled the latest scientific information on mask usage from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state and local governments, and public health experts. The document advises mask wearing for the public to help prevent and lower the transmission of the coronavirus.

On Tuesday, August 18, from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Atul Grover, MD, PhD, executive director of the AAMC Research and Action Institute, and Ross McKinney, Jr., MD, AAMC chief scientific officer, will host a live Q&A event, “Mask Me Anything,” to answer questions about face coverings. Click on the link to join. To send questions on Twitter or Instagram, use #COVIDRoadMap.

Earlier this month, Denver Public Schools and Aurora Public Schools announced that in-person learning would be delayed until at least October. We recognize – and share – the significant concerns that this decision raises for many of our employees with children. About two weeks ago, campus leadership appointed a committee of senior leaders to work with the campus Office of Human Resources to evaluate options that could be pursued to help families facing special needs for child care. We understand it is an urgent need. The committee has been tasked with considering the available options and interviewing providers. We expect the campus leadership to make a decision this month.

Thomas Campbell, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, has been named associate dean for adult health research for the School of Medicine and chief clinical research officer for UCHealth, effective September 1. This is an extremely important and high-profile role for us and our partner hospital system. Tom will work to assure that the process for conducting research is efficient, to ensure that our processes comply with all regulatory guidelines, and to secure our position as the home for breakthrough care for our patients and community. Tom, who also holds an academic appointment in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology, has extensive experience conducting clinical trials. He serves as the site leader/principal investigator of the Colorado AIDS Clinical Trials Unit and as medical director of the University of Colorado Hospital Clinical Translational Research Center. Tom succeeds Thomas Flaig, MD, professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, who was named the University’s Vice Chancellor for Research earlier this year.

Dan Hyman, MD, professor of pediatrics and chief medical officer for Children’s Hospital Colorado, will be leaving the Anschutz Medical Campus this fall to return to his home and family in Philadelphia. In an announcement this morning, Jena Hausmann, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, said that Dan has accepted a position as the chief safety and quality officer at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, effective in November. When Dan moved to Denver in 2008, his family’s plan was for his daughter, Emily, to finish high school and then his family would join him here in Colorado. Two years became 12 years when, among other factors, Emily chose to go to college in Philadelphia. Dan and his wife, Martha, would travel regularly to see one another, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made that harder to do. Dan has been a valued member of our faculty and an essential leader in making Children’s Hospital Colorado one of the best in the country. We wish him well in his new role in Philadelphia, and happiness with his family. We will miss him.

Andrés F. Henao-Martínez, MD, assistant professor of medicine, and Carlos Franco-Paredes, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine, are co-authors of a perspective article, “Racial Disproportionality in Covid Clinical Trials,” published last Tuesday by The New England Journal of Medicine. Andrés, Carlos, and their co-authors call out the underrepresentation of minority groups in COVID-19 clinical trials, and in some cases the failure of some studies to disclose racial and ethnic data. “It is alarming that long-standing racial health disparities have been extended to Covid-19 clinical trials when racial and ethnic minority groups have so much to gain from this research, including the opportunity to receive lifesaving treatment,” the authors write.

William Mundo, who is a third-year medical student, is featured in the August newsletter of the Latin American Educational Foundation, which supports access to higher education for Hispanics in Colorado. William, who grew up in Leadville, has been an emergency medical technician, started his own consulting business to provide care and research in Latin America, and established a hypertension control program in Guatemala. William has undergraduate degrees from University of Colorado Denver, and a Master of Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. Will is currently writing a book, called “From the Margins to Medicine: Overcoming Adversity with Diversity as a First-Generation Mexican-American Student.”

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.  For clinical news and patient stories from UCHealth, please visit UCHealth Today

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