Dean's Weekly Message

March 29, 2021

Dear colleague: 

We mourn for those who died last week in the horrific attack at the King Soopers grocery store in Boulder. The loss of life is heartbreaking and the pain endured by family, friends, and colleagues of those who died is unremitting. We join all who condemn this senseless violence and who are working for a future when we can be safe going to grocery stores, concerts, schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, movie theaters, and other public spaces. Our society must summon the courage needed to implement common sense measures that would make our communities safer. For example, our public health agencies should adequately fund gun violence prevention research. By depriving funds for such research, data collection has been haphazard, our understanding of effective strategies to address gun violence remains incomplete, and we all are left in the dark about ways to address this scourge. Another common-sense step would be to improve background checks for firearms purchases. While stricter checks might not eliminate all tragedies, such preventative measures would reduce the opportunities for assault weapons to end up in the hands of those who want to kill others. Until we as a society become more concerned about protecting the lives of others rather than allowing easy access to weapons of war, these crimes will recur and we will be forced to witness these horrible scenes again and again. The burden is already unbearable. We must do more. 

For anyone struggling with how they feel as a result the events in Boulder and Atlanta, please use the CU Anschutz Mental Health Services. The Department of Psychiatry has been offering Zoom support sessions to faculty, staff, and students. Some of those sessions were open specifically for members of  the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. The schedule includes times today and tomorrow. There are many other resources listed on the Campus Mental Health Resources website.

The School of Medicine’s new Trek Curriculum for the MD program will be launching this summer with the incoming class of 2025. We have many opportunities for teaching, mentoring, committee work and preceptorship. These opportunities have been centralized and we encourage you to sign up to be included in the database of excellent teachers we will contact to join our curricular efforts. 

Holly Ables (Medical Genetics), Trina Smidt (Vascular Surgery), and Sara Dillard (Psychiatry) have been named recipients of the School of Medicine’s annual Graduate Medical Education Program Coordinator Excellence Awards. Sara Dillard has also been nominated by Carol Rumack, MD, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education, for the 2022 Program Coordinator Excellence Award from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. This national award is presented to program coordinators across the country in recognition of their in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, participation and leadership in local and national associations, as well as for presentations and publications toward improving GME programs.

The Academy of Medical Educators has announced the 2021 recipients of awards from the Rymer Small Grants Program. These awards support efforts to create, implement, and evaluate innovative medical education programs and to develop scholarship in medical education. The recipients are:

  • Jonathan Freedman, MD, PhD, surgery resident – Onboarding Medical Students, Interns and Residents onto Surgical Services using a Wiki
  • Aimee Bernard, PhD, assistant professor of immunology and microbiology – Enhancing Medical Students' Ability to Apply Immunology Knowledge to Immune Diagnostics
  • Matthew Taylor, MD, PhD, professor of medicine – Medical Genetics and Genomics Advanced Integrated Science Course
  • Sneha Thamotharan, PhD, assistant professor of clinical health psychology at CU Denver  –Mitigating sexual and reproductive health disparities in young women of color: Using simulation based assessment to foster cultural responsiveness among medical students

Three faculty members from the University of Anschutz Medical Campus have been accepted into the next class of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program. Leslie Appiah, MD, visiting associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology; Heidi Ford, PhD, professor of pharmacology; and Cathy Bradley, PhD, associate dean for research at Colorado School of Public Health, will be members of the next class. The program, based at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, offers an intensive one-year fellowship of leadership training with extensive coaching, networking and mentoring opportunities aimed at expanding the national pool of qualified women candidates for leadership in academic medicine, dentistry, public health and pharmacy.

Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine and UCHealth Chief Innovation Officer, is one of the 150 nominees on Modern Healthcare’s ballot for the 50 Most Influential Clinical Executives. Readers of Modern Healthcare are invited to vote through Tuesday, April 13. The program honors individuals in healthcare who are deemed by their peers and the senior editors of Modern Healthcare to be paving the way to better health through their executive responsibility, leadership qualities, innovation, community service, and achievements inside and outside of their respective organization

We offer our thanks to Sharon and J. Landis Martin for their $1 million gift establishing the Martin Family Translation to Impact Fund and the Martin Family Translation to Impact Endowment. This gift benefits the Center for Women’s Health Research.

Chancellor Don Elliman announced last week that there will be a special virtual commencement ceremony for all spring graduates at 2 p.m. Friday, May 28. The School of Medicine is planning an in-person Hooding and Oath Ceremony for our graduates at 9 a.m. Friday, May 28. Due to the current ongoing limitations on gatherings and requirements for social distancing, the Hooding and Oath Ceremony will be limited to graduates and their faculty hooders. We plan to livestream the ceremony and post a recording for later viewing.

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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