Dean's Weekly Message

June 28, 2021

Dear colleague: 

The School of Medicine Class of 1967 has raised more than $1 million in its class fund to support future medical students with scholarships. More than 30 classmates have donated to the fund through gifts and bequests. The first student scholarship will be awarded this fall, and the School of Medicine will recognize the class with a Dean’s Distinguished Scholarship award. We are grateful for the generous support from the class and offer special thanks to committee members David Gordon, MD, John Sharp, MD, Robert Stofac, MD, Allan Willett, MD, and James Mallow, MD, for their leadership.

Jay Lemery, MD, professor of emergency medicine and co-director of the School of Medicine’s Climate & Health Program, was featured last week in Grist. The article, “The search for the Dr. Fauci of climate change,” spotlighted the growing number of physicians transforming health care to meet the challenges posed by climate change and the Biden administration’s interest in climate-focused policy. Under Jay’s leadership, the School of Medicine created the first climate-focused medical education fellowship in the country in 2017. This year, the fellowship will expand to support five physicians. 

Robert Meguid, MD, MPH, associate professor of surgery, performed Colorado’s first COVID-related lung transplant earlier this spring. He and his patient, Bryan Raymond, were featured in CPR News, where they shared their fortunate connection and spotlighted the importance of organ donation. It is an excellent report and worth your time. “You saved my life. I mean, not only you, but your whole team, and I can't thank you enough for that because if you weren’t there I don't know if I would be here today. And not only is it you, but it’s also the donor. We don’t know the donor’s family, hopefully, one day we hope that we get to meet them. And, you know, they had to go through something terrible for me to live. But yeah, for me and my family, we can’t thank you enough for what you did for us,” said Bryan. 

Richard Zane, MD, professor and chair of emergency medicine, is the latest faculty member to be highlighted as part of the Anschutz Medical Campus’ “This is Breakthrough” marketing campaign. In his video, Rich embraces the need for change and innovation in how health care is delivered. He discusses how patient-focused innovations can occur even in a pandemic. 

Jennifer Spicer, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University, presented at the June 18 School of Medicine’s Academy of Medical Educators Grand Rounds. Jennifer’s presentation, “Myth of Meritocracy,” uncovers how the admission process perpetuates inequities and discusses the steps needed to achieve diversity in medicine. She also shared tips for approaching admissions from a lens of equity and inclusive excellence. 

Chancellor Don Elliman announced last week that the minimum wage at CU Anschutz will increase to $15/hour, effective July 1. This is an important investment and recognition of our hardworking staff and student workers who were essential throughout the pandemic and who continue to be essential as we return to campus. This wage increase also allows the campus to attract and retain a skilled workforce that is critical for our growth and moving our mission forward. 

As we continue the transition from pandemic-era restrictions to social and working conditions more like before the pandemic, we must pay attention to the mental health toll of the past 16 months. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression, I urge you to seek expert assessment and treatment from our professionals on campus. Care for faculty members and staff is available through the Department of Psychiatry. Support provided by our campus professionals is confidential, and there are safeguards in place to protect your privacy. Please use these valuable services. 

As students return to campus for in-person coursework and as events are planned for this fall, the amount of available space on campus is limited. There are new rules for booking campus space for events, meetings, and gatherings scheduled through September 1, and into the fall. Please review the event FAQ on the campus coronavirus website for updated information and how to reserve space on campus. 

There will be no message next Monday, July 5, due to the Independence 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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