Dean's Weekly Message

March 14, 2022

Dear colleague: 

Match Day for the Class of 2022 is Friday, March 18, and to celebrate the School of Medicine is hosting a ceremony in the Anschutz Health Sciences Building. Festivities for this rite of passage have been held virtually for the past two years due to the pandemic, so to finally gather for the ceremony is itself a cause for celebration. Our soon-to-be graduates and guests are invited to attend and everyone else can check out a livestream. Check this webpage for details. The Class of 2022 has faced the extraordinary challenges of COVID-19 with extraordinary resilience and grace. We are proud of their achievements, and we look forward to learning where they will go next as resident physicians. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has posted a video with interviews of five medical students from across the country who share how the pandemic shaped their training experiences. While the students in the video are not from our school, their stories are familiar. They remind us that we are all in this together and we must depend on one another. If you see someone who needs help, offer help. If you need help, ask for it. The AAMC also has posted a short documentary, “This Is What We Do: Academic Medicine Rising to the Challenge of COVID-19,” that shows how our colleagues learned, innovated, and supported one another and their communities. 

Another cause for celebration is the completion of the Anschutz Health Sciences Building, where we are hosting the Match Day event. It is first major new university building constructed on our campus in more than a decade, and it will be home to several programs that are important to our future. Last Wednesday evening, we paid tribute to Chancellor Don Elliman with a reception in the Donald M. Elliman Conference Center in the new building. Don’s leadership has been a guiding force for our campus through his tenure and it is fitting that we have a gathering place named in his honor. 

The University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) is administering the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) patient safety survey until March 22. The survey provides UCH with information to support the mission of providing high-quality care for patients and their families. UCHealth is using an outside vendor, Patient Safety Group, to administer the survey. To encourage all providers to share their opinions, survey respondents will remain anonymous. The results of the survey can help create lasting improvements for patients, families, and staff, so watch your inbox for an email from Patient Safety Group and follow the link to take the AHRQ Patient Safety Survey. 

The AHRQ patient safety survey will not be the only survey our faculty will get this year. UCHealth will be doing its own survey later this spring, Children’s Hospital Colorado plans to conduct a medical staff survey in November, and after a pandemic-induced hiatus in 2020, the School of Medicine intends to deploy its faculty survey. We are targeting the fall for ours. Each one of these surveys is important and critical to our responsibilities and I ask you to make time to take them when they arrive. We rely on the responses to improve our workplace and the quality of care, research, and education we provide. Our School of Medicine Office of Professional Excellence is readying the details of our survey, which we will share when they become available.

Jeffrey Druck, MD, professor of emergency medicine, has been elected as member-at-large of the board of directors for the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). His term begins in May. SAEM is dedicated to the improvement of care of the acutely ill and injured patient by improving research and education. Jacqueline Ward Gaines, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, has been elected to the Board of the Academy for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Medicine. 

Condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Jerome “Jerry” Schaack, PhD, who had been an associate professor of microbiology and immunology. Jerry died on February 10. Jerry joined the School of Medicine faculty in 1988, conducting basic science research, teaching for 31 years, welcoming students at all levels of education to his laboratory, and publishing over 100 scientific papers. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Virology and as co-chair of the Institutional Biosafety Committee. Jerry, the son of a naturalist for the National Park Service, was an ardent supporter of human rights and protecting the environment. Among his survivors are his wife Betsy McFarland, and two daughters.

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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