Dean's Weekly Message

October 4, 2021

Dear colleague: 

We welcome Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, to the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Friday, October 1, was her official first day as chair of the Department of Family Medicine. Myra joins us from the University of Arizona College of Medicine, where she has been chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine since 2015 and a faculty member since 1990. She has dedicated most of her career as an educator and researcher to substance-abuse education and treatment, with a particular focus on alcohol and tobacco use. As an educator, she has helped to develop national and international educational projects to train health care and human service providers in prevention, screening, and treatment of alcohol and tobacco use disorders. We are pleased to have Myra join the School of Medicine. The Department of Family Medicine has posted a video introduction with Myra that is worth watching. 

Another video that is worth your time is the Department of Surgery’s new video outlining its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The video features faculty and staff explaining how important diversity is to improving the quality of care we provide and to raising the level of our teaching and research. “I’ve always tried to build a team that is as diverse as possible. In my opinion, a mosaic of superstars is much more powerful than a cookie-cutter type of approach,” said Elizabeth Pomfret, MD, PhD, professor of surgery and chief of transplant surgery. The goal is to make the department one of the most diverse in the country within the next few years, said Kia Washington, MD, professor of surgery. While aggressive recruitment efforts are key, it is also important to create a welcoming environment, and surgery is leading the way. “When I came here, I thought my background would make a difference in the way people will treat me, but look what happened,” said Mohammed Al-Musawi, MD, research instructor in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. “They didn’t make me feel that I’m international. They made me feel that I’m at home.” 

The Anschutz Medical Campus announced last week that it will continue to offer the Care@Work by family care subscription program for another year. The program was initiated last fall to help members of our campus community balance the demands of work and home. The program provides eligible employees the ability to post a job or search for caregivers for childcare, senior care, tutors and distance learning facilitators, pet care, house care, and more. The campus is providing a premium subscription membership, as well as subsidized backup care, to benefits-eligible CU Anschutz and consolidated and administrative services employees who are 0.5 FTE and above. representatives will present a live overview webinar and take questions at noon Thursday, October 21. The webinar also will be recorded and posted online. For program and enrollment questions, contact For eligibility questions, contact 

The 2021 edition of Momentum, the Office of Advancement’s annual publication highlighting the impact of philanthropy at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, has been posted online. This year’s issue includes features on investments in bioinformatics, regenerative medicine, CU Innovations, and community outreach and inclusive excellence. The community’s philanthropic support has been a significant boost to our School of Medicine, and we are grateful for the generous support of all donors. Thanks also to the everyone on the Advancement team for constantly striving to share news about the work of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus. 

Huntington Potter, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the University of Colorado Alzheimer’s and Cognition Center, and Peter Pressman, MD, assistant professor of neurology, and their colleagues have been awarded a $4.6 million, five-year grant from the National Institute on Aging to determine the safety and tolerability of Leukine in young adults with Down syndrome, and to investigate its potential efficacy with regard to cognitive function, quality of life measures, and biomarkers associated with neuronal damage. 

The School of Medicine has posted the job description for director of the Colorado Center for Personalized Medicine. We are seeking a scientist who can unify and focus research, education, and clinical care to accelerate the development and application of personally tailored health care strategies. A search committee, led by Peter Buttrick, MD, senior associate dean for academic affairs, will be reviewing applications. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of John Harney, former president and chief executive officer of the University of Colorado Hospital, who died Tuesday, September 28.  John joined the hospital in 2008 as chief operating officer and became CEO in 2012, taking over day-to-day operations after the hospital completed its agreement to form UCHealth by combining with Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins. He was a key leader at a time of transformational change in the health care industry and for our school. John retired from his leadership role in 2015, after more than 30 years in hospital administration and operations. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Michael Peter Weissberg, MD, former professor and executive vice chair of psychiatry, who died August 29. Michael joined the School of Medicine in 1972 after earning his medical degree at Tufts University and completing a residency at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. In Colorado, he became an esteemed colleague who was known for his sense of humor and dedication to mountain climbing and other outdoor activities. A celebration of Michael's life will be held at Chautauqua Community House, 900 Baseline Rd., Boulder, at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 10.

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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