Dean's Weekly Message

July 25, 2022

Dear colleague:

At last week’s School of Medicine Executive Committee meeting, Lotte Dyrbye, MD, MHPE, senior associate dean for faculty and chief well-being officer, and Elizabeth Harry, MD, senior medical director of well-being at UCHealth, presented an overview of an April 2022 faculty well-being survey that showed a significant number of our faculty report feeling burned out and expressing a higher level of concern about their professional fulfillment than their peers at other institutions. These results require our immediate attention. Our patients, colleagues, and community deserve our best effort, and that means we must address issues at work that could impede peak faculty performance. The next step in the process will be to provide department-specific data to department chairs, who are then expected to present it to their faculty. School and hospital leaders will be providing support to department chairs and their well-being champions as they develop action plans. They also will be relaying ideas for action from the departments back to School of Medicine leadership and our clinical partners. Our faculty have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, and their accomplishments have been remarkable. To be a premier academic medical center with an enduring impact for our community of patients and learners, we must ensure that our work environment provides opportunity, reward, and growth. In the weeks and months ahead, we will be addressing concerns highlighted in the survey and we ask you to participate in the conversation and subsequent efforts. 

Lisa Neal-Graves, JD, has been named CEO of the Aurora Wellness Community (AWC) and she will be leading the development of the School of Medicine’s program to provide for the health of underserved community members in Aurora. Lisa, who earned a law degree from CU School of Law, previously has served as chief innovation officer for the Colorado Attorney General’s office, director of technology insights for Intel Corp., and vice president of the Cloud Strategic Product Group at Zayo Group in Boulder. We are confident that she brings the skills, determination, and community connections we need to build a program that provides clinical care services while also addressing the factors that contribute to health, including housing, food security, community building, and generational care. Please join us in welcoming Lisa and make time to meet with her when she contacts you because this program is an important priority for all of us. 

Shilpa Rungta, MD, MBA, was introduced at the School of Medicine Executive Committee meeting last Tuesday as the new chief of staff for the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System. She previously had served as the chief of staff for the VA Bedford Health Care System and has held faculty appointments at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and the University of Michigan. She succeeds Clifford “Lee” Parmley, MD, JD. 

Kevin Messacar, MD, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics, is the corresponding author of a comment on the return of endemic viral illnesses in children that was published this month by The Lancet. Kevin and his co-authors, including Jessica Cataldi, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Hai Nguyen-Tran, MD, pediatrics fellow, discuss how behavioral changes – widespread mask wearing, social distancing, working from home, and other measures – during COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted typical patterns of endemic viruses in children. As a result, health systems need to prepare for the possibility of larger outbreaks occurring out of season among older children and with atypical presentations. 

Carey Candrian, PhD, associate professor of medicine, is co-author of an article, “Advance Care Planning Experiences Among Sexual and Gender Minority People,” published last week by JAMA Network Open. The article describes the results of a survey of 603 adults, including 201 sexual and gender minority individuals, and follow-up interviews. This study found that fear of disclosing sexual orientation or gender-identity information and discrimination are important barriers to advance care planning for sexual- and gender-minority individuals in clinical settings. 

The 14 students in the Colorado Undergraduate Summer Program(CUSP) will be presenting posters of their work from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday, July 28, on the first floor of the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building. CUSP annually brings college students to our campus to learn more about biomedical research and careers. The poster sessions are significant part of the 10-week program. This year’s students are working with investigators researching acute respiratory distress syndrome, interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic kidney disease. 

This Friday, July 29, is the Matriculation Ceremony for the Class of 2026 medical students. In addition to giving white coats and stethoscopes to our new students, faculty members James Feinstein, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics, and Jacqueline Glover, PhD, professor of pediatrics, will receive the annual Faculty Professionalism Award. Events begin at 9 a.m. on Boettcher Commons and a livestream will be available.

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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login