Dean's Weekly Message

Feb. 10, 2020

Dear colleague: 

The School of Medicine hosted a luncheon on Friday, February 7, to honor student scholarship and award recipients and the benefactors who support them. We have been very fortunate in recent years to have significant growth in scholarship funds. Ten years ago, we had funding in the hundreds of thousands of dollars for scholarships. Today, thanks to the generosity of donors and to the diligence of the University’s fundraising team and the School’s academic leaders, scholarship funds of more than $5 million have been awarded in recent years.  Among the growing support are the Joanna Sakata Family Endowed Medical Scholarship Fund, the George “Doc” Lopez, MD, Distinguished Scholarship, and the Mile High Medical Society Scholarship. Our faculty practice, CU Medicine, has increased its support for scholarships. In addition, other benefactors have contributed through the Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship Program. At Friday’s luncheon, we were joined by CU alumna and benefactor Lorrie Furman Odom, MD ’69, and medical student William Mundo, who received the Susan Niermeyer, MD, Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship. We are grateful to all who have contributed to make medical education available to our outstanding students and we remain committed to expanding the availability of scholarships for them.

Thank you to the School of Medicine’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the departments that supported our 7th Annual Second Look for Residents Reception. This year’s event at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science on Thursday, February 6, brought about 55 prospective applicants back to Colorado to consider residency programs affiliated with our School. We are constantly working to recruit a diverse group of excellent residents and the second-look reception is an effective way that we can show that all are welcome here.

The School of Medicine is recruiting faculty volunteers to assist as judges for the Mentored Scholarly Activity Capstone event for the School of Medicine Class of 2020. The event will be held on Thursday, February 27, with three sessions: Session 1:  2 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Session 2:  3 p.m. to 4 p.m.; and Session 3:  4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Registration begins at 1 p.m. Sign up through this link to participate as a judge in one or all sessions. More information is available at the MSA Capstone Poster Session website. For questions, contact email Faculty participation is key to this program’s success and fosters an appreciation of life-long learning in our medical students. I encourage all faculty to participate.

The School of Medicine Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety (CEPS) Small Grants Program is requesting proposals for the 2020-2021 grant cycle. The CEPS Small Grants Program funds initiatives that put evidence into practice, implement innovative process improvements and improve patient safety, and/or enhance the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery. Eligibility is open to School of Medicine faculty, residents, and fellows. Letters of Intent will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 29. To apply, go to the LOI Application page. Details can be found on the program website.

Nominations for the Joseph Addison Sewall and Florence Rena Sabin awards, which are given at the Anschutz Medical Campus commencement ceremony, are now being accepted. The Joseph Addison Sewall Award is given in the name of the first president of the University of Colorado.  The award is given to a current or former member of the faculty or staff of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who has made exceptional contributions of leadership and vision to the health sciences at the Anschutz Medical Campus and/or the 9th and Colorado campus.  A letter of nomination and at least two letters of support must accompany the nomination. The Florence Rena Sabin Award is given in memory of Dr. Florence Sabin, who was an extraordinary researcher in neuroanatomy and made significant contributions in the area of public health. The award is given to an alumnus of a University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus program in the health sciences or to an individual outside of the institution who has made an exceptional contribution to the institution or to the health of the citizens of the State of Colorado.  A letter of nomination and at least two letters of support must accompany the nomination. Nominations and support letters for the Sewall and Sabin awards will be accepted through Friday, March 6 and should be sent to Beth Otis via email at For questions, contact Beth a 303-315-2049 or by email. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Jeffrey Shiffrin, MD, who died on Sunday, February 2. Jeff had served on the CU faculty as an assistant and associate professor of anesthesiology from 2008 to 2016. Jeff was a graduate of Dartmouth College and the New Jersey College of Medicine, did his residency at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Mass., and a fellowship in anesthesia at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Jeff and his wife, Eileen, moved to Vail in 1991, where he worked at the Vail Valley Medical Center. Among his survivors are his wife Eileen, his daughter Mikaela, and his son Taylor. The family requests in lieu of flowers donations to in lieu of flowers, please donate to the U.S. Ski Team at and the Alzheimer’s Association at

Stanley Cohen, PhD, who shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in medicine died February 5 in Nashville, where he was a professor emeritus of biochemistry at Vanderbilt University. His research helped lead to the discovery of chemicals that promote and help regulate the growth of cells. Early in his career, he taught at the University of Colorado School of Medicine for four years in the 1950s before moving to Washington University in St. Louis and later to Vanderbilt. We offer condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

There will be no message on February 17, which is the Presidents’ 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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