Dean's Weekly Message

April 19, 2021

Dear colleague: 

Warren Binford, JD, EdM, visiting clinical professor of pediatrics and member of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, was featured last week in a National Public Radio report for her work telling the stories of children in migration. Warren traveled to the U.S. Customs Border and Protection facility in Clint, Texas, in June 2019 where she interviewed dozens of children over a few days. After the visit, Warren started a nonprofit, Project Amplify, to strengthen legal protections for children in custody. Now, she has published a picture book, “Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz,” published in both English and Spanish, that features excerpts of the testimonies, paired with art by award-winning illustrators who are Latinx.

Mark Deutchman, MD, professor of family medicine, the School of Medicine Rural Track Program, and medical student Coco Wham were featured in a report on Colorado Public Radio last week. Mark is a passionate advocate for training that prepares medical students for careers in rural communities. The report captures Mark’s personal touch in his work to fill this critical need.

Jay Lemery, MD, professor of emergency medicine, has been named co-chair of the Science & Research Committee for the Denver Sustainability Advisory Council. The committee advises on effective and innovative practices for climate mitigation, adaptation, resiliency, and sustainability in urban settings. Jay, who is co-director of the School of Medicine’s Climate & Health Program, is an ideal representative from our campus to serve in this important role.

The Climate & Health Program is presenting its first in a series of Conversations on Climate and Health this week. The event, “Why we need climate doctors: The role of physicians in the climate crisis,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. John M. Balbus, MD, MPH, senior advisor for public health to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is joining the conversation.

The Eugene S. Farley, Jr. Health Policy Center’s March 2021 policy brief, “Policy Pathways to Address American Youth Firearm Injury and Death,” addresses the alarming rates of gun-related injury and death in the United States when compared with other countries. The report offers proposals for reducing the harm by improving safety laws. It is a timely report on an important subject.

The CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities has published a special edition of its annual journal of poetry, prose, and visual art that is dedicated to COVID-19. This year’s journal is called “The Curve” and it is a collection of work by colleagues who express concerns, memorialize experiences, and send messages of hope and healing. “The Curve” serves as a reminder that we are here to help one another survive and thrive. Creative and imaginative work enables us to find purpose in the midst of loss and uncertainty. It also offers support to friends, families, and neighbors, and it helps us slow down to extend kindness towards others and ourselves.

The University of Colorado’s open enrollment for benefits runs from April 19 to May 7. During this period, employees are able select or update their benefits package for the year beginning July 1. If you would like to keep your current benefit choices, no action is required. You will be automatically re-enrolled. There’s one exception: If you have a Health Care Flexible Spending Account and a Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account, you must re-enroll for plan year 2021-2022. The Employee Services office has posted an Open Enrollment webpage with details about the open enrollment process.

The campus office of human resources is reminding CU employees to use vacation hours you have in excess of the annual carryover limit before the end of the fiscal year. Full-time university staff and 12-month faculty can carry up to 352 hours (44 days) of vacation leave from one fiscal year into the next. Anyone with a balance over 352 hours will lose those excess hours during the annual leave sweep, which is performed after July payrolls. The leave sweep action does not apply to nine-month contract faculty.

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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