Dean's Weekly Message

December 6, 2021

Dear colleague:

Thanks to Vik Bebarta, MD, professor of emergency medicine, and his colleagues at the CU Anschutz Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield Research for hosting CU Regents Sue Sharkey, Lesley Smith, Ilana Spiegel, and CU President Todd Saliman last week. Vik is the founding director of the center and a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. The center includes over 100 campus and military researchers who have been awarded multiple federal grants. Notable recent support includes a $750,000 grant on the effect of noise-masking technology to reduce insomnia and improve sleep quality, a $7 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense to study prehospital trauma care, a $2.8 million award from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command to test a whether a device called the BioSticker can detect if the wearer has been exposed to COVID, and a $6.3 million award to study strategies to avoid excessive oxygenation in critically ill trauma and burn patients. The growth and impact of the center has been remarkable and we were proud to share its successes with university leaders. 

Swati Patel, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, has been elected president of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers. The group was established in 1995 to improve understanding of the basic science of inherited colorectal cancer and the clinical management of affected families. Swati is the first author of an update to colorectal cancer screening recommendations from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, which represents the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association, and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The update, published in the journal Gastroenterology in November, reports that sufficient data exists to support screening begin at age 45 for those with average risk of colorectal cancer. 

Lisa Brenner, PhD, professor and vice chair of research of physical medicine and rehabilitation, has been named to the planning committee of the Community Interventions to Prevent Veteran Suicide: The Role of Social Determinants workshop to be organized by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The planning committee is organizing a three-day virtual workshop to address social, cultural, and economic factors driving changes in suicide risk among veterans, and ways that current best practices for suicide prevention and treatment can be applied at the community level. 

Denise Abdoo, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, has been named a recipient of a 2021 National Magnet Nurse of the Year Award. Denise is an international leader and mentor in the field of child abuse prevention. She built Colorado’s only pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner program and recruited, educated, and mentored nurses for this specialized practice across the Mountain West region. In five years, the program grew from treating 13 patients to treating 70. 

Bruce Mandt, PhD, assistant research professor of medicine in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, assistant dean in the Graduate School, and director of the postdoctoral office and career development office, has been elected to a three-year term as co-chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Research, Education, and Training (GREAT) and chair of the GREAT Postdoctoral Training Section. This national group provides professional development to and fosters the exchange of information and ideas among the faculty and administrative leaders of biomedical PhD, MD-PhD, and postdoctoral programs. 

Mark Chandler, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology, has been named director of service for anesthesiology at Denver Health. He has been serving as interim director of service since April 2020 and has been an anesthesiologist at Denver Health for nearly 18 years. Mark is a military veteran, who served 32 years in the active and reserve components of the U.S. Army, including 17 years in the Colorado Army National Guard while on staff at Denver Health. He rose in rank from private to colonel, serving around the globe, including two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He served as the Colorado Army National Guard state surgeon for 11 years before retiring from the military in 2018. Mark specializes in the anesthetic management of trauma and lectures extensively on the subject. He has received multiple teaching awards, including the Denver Health “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” from three separate graduating CU School of Medicine Anesthesiology Residency classes.    

Thomas Flaig, MD, vice chancellor for research and professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, will deliver the campus State of Research 2021 address virtually at noon Tuesday, December 7. You can register online to attend. 

The Office of Student Life in the School of Medicine is seeking candidates for 18 COMPASS Guides and a director of the COMPASS program. The guides interact directly with medical students as part of our support structure through all four years of the student’s education. Guides will teach, coach, mentor, and advise students in the Trek curriculum. The COMPASS program director will oversee faculty development for guides and implement longitudinal curricula in professional identity formation, student wellbeing and leadership. A detailed job description and link to apply, is posted on the CU Careers website.

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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