Dean's Weekly Message

June 13, 2022

Dear colleague:

Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, has announced that he plans to step down when a national search for his successor is completed. Jon joined the Colorado School of Public Health in 2017 and he has been effective leader who has strengthened the school during his tenure. His role in helping state officials understand the COVID-19 pandemic was critical in raising the profile of the school as a critical resource for public health. Jon plans to remain on the faculty. We join Chancellor Don Elliman in thanking Jon for his many contributions to our campus and to the public health of our community, and we wish continued success in the next stage of his career. 

Allison Kempe, MD, MPH, professor of pediatrics, has announced that she plans to step down as the director of the Adult and Child Center for Outcomes Research and Delivery Science, or ACCORDS. The center provides services to help campus researchers with translational science studies aimed at improving delivery of care in clinics and communities. The School of Medicine will convene a committee to conduct a national search and I would like to thank Myra Muramoto, MD, MPH, chair of family medicine, for agreeing to lead the effort. We appreciate Ally’s willingness to serve as director while we conduct the search. Ally became director of ACCORDS when it was established in 2014 through the combination of the Colorado Health Outcomes Program and the Children’s Outcomes Research Program. 

The Office of Advancement hosted a reception Thursday in the Anschutz Health Sciences Building to celebrate establishing the Sohrab Amini, MD, FACS, Endowed Chair in Pancreatic Cancer Research. The chair is made possible with a $2 million gift from Christine Amini, in gratitude for the care she and her family received on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The chair is named for her father and the inaugural recipient is Christopher Lieu, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology. We are fortunate to have and grateful for the generous support from the Amini family. 

The School of Medicine’s Program to Advance Physician Scientists and Translational Research has announced its 2022 Translational Research Scholars Program awardees. The goal of the program aims to foster translational research among the School’s early career faculty. The awardees are:

  • Shanlee Davis, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics;
  • Jasper Heinsbroek, PhD, assistant professor of anesthesiology;
  • Sujatha Jagannathan, PhD, assistant professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics;
  • Hunter Moore, MD, PhD, assistant professor of surgery;
  • Erin Schenk, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine; and
  • Mia Smith, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics. 

Ernest “Gene” Moore, MD, Distinguished Professor of Surgery, delivered the presidential address, “The Physician Scientist is an Endangered Species” at the Shock Society annual conference in Toronto June 4-7.  Gene, who had been president-elect, became president at the meeting. 

Jane E.B. Reusch, MD, professor of medicine, has received the American Diabetes Association Albert Renold Award for Mentorship and the Endocrine Society Laureate Award for Mentoring. These national and international honors recognize Jane’s contributions as a research and career mentor for many scientists, and her national efforts on behalf of physician scientists, women in medicine in science, and the translational research workforce. 

J. Mark Petrash, PhD, professor and vice chair for research of ophthalmology, has been elected to a five-year term as executive vice president of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology. The group is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world, with nearly 11,000 members from 75 countries. 

James Hodge, associate vice chancellor of advancement, has been recognized by the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy for contributing chapters to “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising,” which was recently published in its fifth edition. Jim and his co-author wrote the chapter on co-creating major gifts. Jim has been a contributing author to the book since its first edition was published more than 30 years ago. Jim joined the University of Colorado team about eight years ago after 30 years at the Mayo Clinic and he has been a major force in the fundraising efforts for our campus. 

The CU Anschutz Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield Research and the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative last week hosted a national summitto discuss strategies to address firearm suicide among active-duty military service members. The summit brought together military and academic experts to discuss the topic. The U.S. Department of Defense is supporting several research projects for which Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine, is principal investigator, including “PROtECT: Promoting Responsible Ownership and Elevating Community Togetherness,” a qualitative methods study that adapts pre-existing lethal means safety counseling intervention for delivery and evaluation at Buckley Space Force Base. Maj. Gen. Michael Keating, deputy commander for support (U.K.) of III Corps and Fort Hood, who was present at the summit, said, “It’s something that goes beyond any one branch, because it’s about people. It’s about saving lives.” 

The Farley Health Policy Center, the Department of Family Medicine’s Practice Innovation Program, and Well Being Trust last week released a report to help primary care practices better address the behavioral health needs of patients. The report, The Building Blocks of Behavioral Health Integration: A Framework for Care Delivery Expectations, recommends flexible options that can be part of alternative payment models. 

The state of Colorado will establish a Rare Disease Advisory Council after Gov. Jared Polis signed Senate bill 22-186 into law last Wednesday. The council, which will be part of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, is to survey the needs of rare disease patients, caregivers, and providers in the state and then make recommendation to improve patient access to care. Any condition that affects fewer than 200,000 Americans is considered rare. There are more than 7,000 known rare diseases, affecting as many as 30 million Americans. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Roberta “Robin” Beach, MD, MPH, professor emerita of pediatrics, who died May 28. After graduating from Duke Medical School, Robin completed her internship and residency in pediatrics at the University of Colorado. She also earned a master of public health degree at University of California, Berkeley. Robin served in many leadership roles throughout her career, including director the CU Student Health Center; team leader of pediatric and adolescent clinics at Westside Health Center; and assistant director of community health services at Denver Health.

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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