Dean's Weekly Message

March 9, 2020

Dear colleague: 

Last week, the first cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in Colorado and the number of cases in the United States and around the world continued to increase. The pace of the spread of the novel coronavirus is a cause for concern and several institutions are taking steps to limit exposure and lower the risks posed. For the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, anyone who has returned from China, Iran, Italy, or South Korea since February 24 should stay home for 14 days from the time they arrived back in the United States. These countries have been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as countries with widespread sustained transmission. Any member of the campus community with travel plans should be on alert because restrictions may be in effect and could delay a return to work. Already, many institutions, including the Association for American Medical Colleges, have cancelled meetings. The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus is sharing news pertinent to our campus community through email and on a website,, that is regularly updated. The CDC COVID-19 website and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website also are frequently updated.

The 8th annual Education Scholarship & Innovation Symposium, which had been scheduled for March 11 in the Krugman Conference Hall has been canceled due to travel restrictions that will prevent the keynote speaker from traveling to Colorado to make her presentation. The Academy of Medical Educators (AME), which is a School of Medicine program that focuses on excellence in teaching, presents the symposium. Associated events are also cancelled, including the AME awards and the ceremony for new members.

An article by Nirmal K. Banda, PhD, professor of research in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Rheumatology, and V. Michael Holers, MD, head of the Division of Rheumatology, was listed among the top 20 articles in the journal ImmunoHorizons in 2019. The article, “Targeting of Liver Mannan-Binding Lectin–Associated Serine Protease-3 with RNA Interference Ameliorates Disease in a Mouse Model of Rheumatoid Arthritis,” is listed No. 5. ImmunoHorizons is an open access, peer-reviewed journal published by the American Association of Immunologists.

Kevin Lillehei, MD, chair of the Department of Neurosurgery, has been selected to receive the Harold S. Diehl Award, which is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding professional contributions to the University of Minnesota Medical School and its community. The award, named after the Minnesota medical school’s fifth dean, is the schools highest honor. Kevin, who graduated from the medical school in 1979, will be presented the award at the medical school’s alumni awards banquet in April.

The annual John Conger Lectureship is scheduled to be presented Friday, March 13, at 12:30 p.m. at Children’s Hospital Colorado by Jack Shonkoff, MD, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. He has been the driving force behind pediatricians’ increased appreciation for how early environmental influences and genetic predispositions affect the children’s learning capacities, adaptive behaviors, lifelong physical and mental health, and adult productivity. The lecture will be in the hospital’s 2nd floor conference center.

The Center for Surgical Innovation (CSI) has scheduled an open house from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9, in the new Bioscience 3 building, 2115 N. Scranton St., Suite 1035, of the Fitzsimons Redevelopment Community. The center is a multidisciplinary surgical training center that educates and develops surgical techniques and technologies that have experienced strong growth, attracting local, national, and international trainees to its programs. To RSVP for the open house, contact

Voting for 5280 magazine’s 2020 Top Doctors concludes Friday, March 13. The magazine has conducted the poll for more than two decades, asking Denver-area physicians whom they would trust to treat themselves and their loved ones. I would encourage you to take the time to cast a ballot. Our faculty are typically more than half of the list. The magazine has posted frequently asked questions and the ballot.

Physician surveys for the U.S. News and World Report hospital rankings are also currently open on Doximity. Physicians are surveyed in specific categories matching their specialty. While U.S. News considers multiple factors in ranking hospitals, the reputation surveys carry significant influence, so I encourage you to complete the survey. If you practice at Children’s Hospital Colorado and have questions, contact Ani Ermoyan at If you practice at UCHealth hospitals and have questions, contact


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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