Dean's Weekly Message

January 31, 2022

Dear colleague: 

Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and representing the CU Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield (COMBAT) Research, was invited to discuss suicide prevention with U.S. Army senior leaders and III Armored Corps earlier this month. Emmy, who is co-founder of the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition, joined other physicians and military leaders in Fort Hood, Texas, on January 20 in the training seminar. The panel’s recommendations to reduce firearm-related suicide will be included in a final report and action plan to be presented to senior Army leadership. 

Wells Messersmith, MD, professor of medicine and head of the Division of Medical Oncology, has been named UCHealth’s chief medical officer of oncology services. In this new role, Wells will oversee cancer care at all UCHealth locations with a focus on expanding advanced treatments and the clinical trials offered in partnership with the University of Colorado Cancer Center. He also was named associate director for clinical services at the CU Cancer Center; he previously served as associate director of translational research. 

The Colorado Chapter of the American College of Physicians has announced the recipients of awards that will be presented at the chapter’s scientific meeting on February 4. Three CU School of Medicine faculty members will be among the awardees:

  • Heather Cassidy, MD, assistant professor of medicine and assistant dean for the Office of Community Based Medical Education, will receive the Early Career Physician Award;
  • Karen Chacko, MD,  professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical outreach, will receive the Robert Gibbons, MD, MACP Distinguished Medical Educator Award; and
  • Rita Lee, MD, professor of medicine and director of health equity education and training for the Anschutz Medical Campus, will receive the Joel Levine, MD, MACP Distinguished Healthcare Advocate Award. 

If you weren’t able to join the most recent “Conversation on COVID-19 with the CU Anschutz Medical Campus” virtual panel discussion, you can find it posted online. Many thanks to Michelle Barron, MD, professor of medicine, and Thomas Campbell, MD, professor of medicine, for taking time to talk about the current state of the pandemic. 

Voting has opened for 5280’s 2022 Top Doctors. Each year the Denver magazine lets physicians in metro Denver vote for peers whom they would trust to treat themselves or a loved one. The directory of doctors who get the most votes is published in the summer. The publisher admits that the tally is a popularity contest. Nevertheless, the results are highly visible in the community. If you are a Colorado-licensed physician located in the seven metro-area counties (Denver, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Adams, Douglas, and Jefferson), you are eligible to vote. The polls are open through March 11. 

Each year, U.S. News and World Report publishes a list of best hospitals that it bases on several factors, including medical outcomes, such as survival rates; patient experience; and nurse staffing. U.S. News also conducts a survey of physicians in specialty areas of care. This year’s survey opens in February 2022. To participate, physicians must be a member of Doximity, an online networking service for medical professionals. U.S. News has posted information about its physician survey on its website or you can click here for more details on voting. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Glenn W. Kindt, MD, professor emeritus of neurosurgery, who died January 20. Glenn joined the University of Colorado in 1981 and served as chief of neurosurgery for 20 years. Glenn served four years in the U.S. Air Force. He was a weatherman stationed at the Suwon Airbase during the Korean War. After his military service, he attended medical school at the University of Michigan. As a neurosurgeon at the University of Michigan, Glenn contributed to the development of surgical tools and to the advancement of football helmet technology. In his memory, Glenn’s family suggests contributions to the CU Neurosurgery General Fund for Research.

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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