At the beginning of last week, the number of people in the United States who have died of COVID-19 crossed more than 500,000. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported last Friday that 5,860 people in our state have died of COVID-19. Even as we make progress in protecting people with vaccinations, we must pause to consider the toll of the pandemic. While the numbers are so large that they can obscure individual cases, we are reminded that it’s personal for our patients and their families. It’s also stressful for us and our colleagues. This report last week gave the point of view of nurses working in a COVID ICU in a Phoenix hospital. While the numbers can be overwhelming, take time to remember it is compassion that elevates our skill and knowledge. We are here to help and care for one another.
The Anschutz Medical Campus last week announced a new check-in process for those who have been approved to be on campus. Beginning today, March 1, students, faculty, and staff approved to be on campus will no longer be required to go through an in-person screening before heading to their work space. Instead, those on campus will be expected to take their temperature at home or at a self-service station on campus. The daily health questionnaire will still be required. All other safety protocols remain. Those on campus must wear masks and maintain physical distancing. The university also is updating its online campus training module, which all on-campus employees and students will be required to take by March 31. Check the university coronavirus webpage for details.
Physician surveys for the hospital rankings compiled by U.S. News and World Report are now open to those who have registered with Doximity, a social network for health care professionals. To be eligible to vote, physicians must have been registered with Doximity prior to November 1, 2020. Physicians are surveyed in specific categories matching their specialty. While U.S. News considers multiple factors in ranking hospitals, the reputation surveys have major influence, so I encourage you to complete the survey. For more information about its process, see the U.S. News FAQ. Because of COVID, U.S. News has changed this year’s pediatric hospital survey so that the only new data affecting a specialty’s rank is the expert opinion score. If you practice at Children’s Hospital Colorado and have questions, contact Ani.Ermoyan@childrenscolorado.org. If you practice at UCHealth hospitals and have questions, contact Spencer.Eisele@uchealth.org.
Fernando Holguin, MD, professor of medicine, took a star turn during last evening’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony. His co-star was actress Carey Mulligan, with whom he traded lines about surviving in a time loop. Fernando described his participation in the awards show’s tribute to frontline workers in a news report on 9News. While Fernando’s acting was award show-worthy, we’re pleased to report that he has not gone Hollywood and that he plans to keep his day job on our faculty.
Chancellor Don Elliman last week unveiled a new advertisement to market our campus. The ad was broadcast during the Golden Globes Award ceremony. The commercial will be on television, online, and at the Denver International Airport.
The School of Medicine Clinical Effectiveness and Patient Safety Small Grants Program is now accepting proposals for the 2021-2022 grant cycle. The CEPS and COEPS Small Grants Program funds initiatives that put evidence into practice, implement innovative process improvements, improve patient safety, or enhance the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care delivery. Eligibility is open to School of Medicine faculty, residents, and fellows. Proposals can be submitted on the CEP/COEPS webpage. Letters of Intent will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 14, 2021. Email questions to Maggie Sommers, Maggie.Sommers@cuanschutz.edu.
Leah Lleras, former division administrator for the Division of Hospital Medicine, and Lily Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, have been named recipients of Awards of Excellence from the Society of Hospital Medicine. Leah, who was recently named director of finance in the Department of Surgery, was recognized with the Leadership for Practice Manager Award, while Lily was honored for Excellence in Diversity Leadership.
Have a good week,
John J. Reilly, Jr., MD
Richard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine