Dean's Weekly Message

April 12, 2021

Dear colleague: 

The School of Medicine has initiated a search for a Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. This newly created position recognizes the need for executive leadership and focus on issues related to leadership training, professional development, personal resilience, and diversity, equity, and inclusivity. As our faculty numbers have continued to grow in recent years, we have had a concurrent need to provide greater resources to our entire academic community. We have many quality programs in the departments, centers, and institutes, and we would like to enhance those offerings and encourage collaboration across units to benefit the entire school and university. Julia Cooper, PhD, chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, is chairing the search committee. I would encourage all interested applicants and nominators to act promptly. We are conducting a national search and I have asked the committee to recommend finalist candidates to me later this spring. Please share the job description with any colleagues who would be candidates deserving consideration.

Last Monday, our Physical Therapy Program held its Doctor of Physical Therapy Professional Oath Ceremony for the Class of 2022 in the Education 2 North building. Participants were socially distanced and the event was livestreamed for friends and family to witness. While the event was necessarily delayed due to the gathering limitations required by COVID-19 last summer, it was gratifying to celebrate this spring with the class. The oath they took is direct and profound. Some excerpts:

  • I will strive to achieve excellence in the practice of physical therapy.
  • I will perform physical therapy in an ethical manner and will expect the same of my colleagues.
  • I will respect diverse values, beliefs, and cultures.
  • I will do no harm to another.
  • I will hold all confidences in trust.
  • I will strive for improved quality of life for all my patients.
  • I will strive to approach each patient with compassion, encouragement, respect, and patience.

We would all do well to adopt these values to guide how we do our work. Congratulations to the Class of 2022 for getting off to a strong start. We look forward to the valuable contributions you will make to our School of Medicine and to the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Congratulations to medical students Melissa Laughter, Delia Shash, and Graciela Mujica, who are receiving awards in recognition of their research work presented at the Mentored Scholarly Activity Capstone poster presentations last month:

  • Melissa is receiving the Neil and Catherine Hamilton Award, which is given to a medical student who has engaged in outstanding meritorious research in the fields of cancer or multiple sclerosis. Melissa’s project was related to developing a system to enhance diagnostic efficacy in breast cancer. Her project included a paper that was accepted and is in press with the journal Nano Biomedicine and Engineering. Her primary mentor was Daewon Park, PhD, associate professor of bioengineering.
  • Delia is receiving the Joseph and Regina Glaser Research Prize, which is given to a graduating medical student who has engaged in outstanding meritorious research. Delia’s project was a quality improvement project intended to establish a better protocol for addressing cases of postpartum hemorrhage. Her primary mentor was Diedre Wagers, MD ’08, a private practitioner in Colorado Springs who serves as an obstetrics and gynecology preceptor for our school.
  • Graciela is receiving the University of Colorado Medical Student Excellence in COVID-19 Research Award, which is given to a graduating medical student who has engaged in outstanding meritorious research related to COVID-19. Graciela’s project was focused on the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her work included a paper published in the journal Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease. Her primary mentor was Carlos Franco-Paredes, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases.

 Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Henry Strauss, whose death was announced last week. A 1951 graduate of the CU School of Pharmacy, Henry was a generous benefactor to the University of Colorado and our campus. The Strauss Health Sciences Library was named after him in February 2019, with Gov. Jared Polis joining us on campus at the ceremony. Henry and his wife, Joan, have been longtime advocates of CU. In 1995, Henry established the Florence G. Strauss Indigenous and Integrative Medicine Collection at the Health Sciences Library in memory of his first wife. Henry had a successful career in business and government, including as founder and chairman of Strauss Enterprises and as regional administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Jimmy Carter.

Our colleagues in the University of Colorado College of Nursing are working with the family of Zipporah “Zippy” Parks Hammond to get her inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1946, she was CU’s first Black nursing graduate – one year before our own Charles J. Blackwood, MD, became the first Black graduate of the School of Medicine. Zippy’s sons have tried five times to get her inducted and now CU’s nursing students are coordinating an effort, creating a petition to call attention to Zippy’s accomplishments.  During her life, she treated Black children diagnosed with polio, earned her medical librarian certification, and then became the first Black woman director of medical records at the now Presbyterian/St.Luke’s. She was well known for giving to the community, notably volunteering at the Denver Public Library for 17 years. I encourage you to consider lending your support to this worthwhile effort to recognize a deserving CU graduate.

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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