Dean's Weekly Message

May 16, 2022

Dear colleague:

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus announced last Wednesday that it is establishing the Gates Institute with a gift from the Gates Frontiers Fund. The Gates Institute, with funding expected to grow to as much as $200 million over the next five years, will be focused on developing cell and gene therapeutics. Terry Fry, MD, who was recruited to the School of Medicine in 2018 from the National Cancer Institute, has been named the executive director of the institute. He is senior vice president of Sana Biotechnology and clinical professor of pediatrics for the School of Medicine. Terry is a pioneer in the development of chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies. This funding will help us significantly support clinical trials and recruit additional talented faculty to our campus. We are grateful to the Gates Frontiers Fund and its co-trustees Diane Gates Wallach and John Gates for their longtime partnership and continuing investment in our campus. 

Last Thursday, our campus celebrated the dedication of the Marcy and Bruce Benson Atrium in the Anschutz Health Sciences Building. We were fortunate to have Bruce and Marcy join us for the occasion. During Bruce’s tenure as CU president, our campus flourished and with Marcy as his partner, we had passionate advocates for the research and care provided on our campus. The atrium is an impressive space, a predominant feature of the building, and an appropriate honor for the Bensons and all they have done for CU and our campus. 

Congratulations to Jacqueline Ward-Gaines, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, who last week received the Visionary Education Award at the 2022 meeting of the Academy for Diversity & Inclusion in Emergency Medicine. This is well-deserved recognition for Jacqueline’s care, teaching, and community service. Last year, her work starting a diversity, equity, and inclusion curriculum for emergency medicine residents was featured in this news report. 

Congratulations to Chad Stickrath, MD, associate professor of medicine and assistant dean of the Colorado Springs branch, on being selected as a 2022 Alpha Omega Alpha Fellow in Leadership. The award recognizes and supports development of outstanding mid-career physician leaders. In his role as the assistant dean, he developed and directs the Colorado Springs Mentored Integrated Curriculum, which is an innovative way for third-year medical students to learn the core clinical competencies in a patient-centered manner.  

Our campus Office of Information Technology sounded the alarm this month about suspicious email hacking activities. Be aware of unsolicited emails that claim you are reaching storage limits for email accounts, and don’t click on the links included in those email messages. For more information about IT security matters, check the OIT website. 

The campus Office of Human Resources has posted a reminder to employees who have accrued vacation leave exceeding carryover limits: Use it or lose it. Full-time university staff and 12-month faculty can carry up to 352 hours (44 days) of vacation leave from one fiscal year into the next. Anyone with a balance over 352 hours will lose excess hours during the annual leave sweep performed after the July payrolls. Don’t let the time off that you’ve earned get swept away. You have worked hard and earned the time, so take it. Taking time to relax is important to your health and offers benefits when you are at work. 

The Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety and Efficiency (IHQSE) has openings in several upcoming programs this summer and fall. The Improvement Academy is for those working on or interested in starting a quality improvement project. It includes two didactics sessions and longitudinal coaching. Applications are due May 31. Registration is also open for the Quality Safety Academy. This series of live, virtual workshops is targeted towards individuals interested in building foundational knowledge in quality improvement and patient safety. Workshops begin in August. Email questions to 

The DAWN Clinic is featured in an article in the School of Medicine newsroom. DAWN (Dedicated to Aurora’s Wellness and Needs) is a multidisciplinary free clinic staffed by students and faculty from the School of Medicine and other schools on our campus. Now in its seventh year of providing free medical care to Aurora residents, DAWN has created a legacy of loyal patients, former student volunteers who have gone on to careers in community-based medicine, and current volunteers like second-year medical student Danielle Gilbert, who find great purpose working with vulnerable populations who have few other options for medical care. Since DAWN opened, more than 500 student volunteers, 100 licensed clinical providers, and more than 20 community members and patients have volunteered at the clinic. Many thanks to Kari Mader, MD, assistant professor of family medicine, and Joseph Johnson, MD, former resident in internal medicine, for their efforts in creating and leading at the DAWN Clinic. 

If you haven’t seen it, there’s a building-sized mural on the CU Denver campus featuring William Mundo, MPH, who is graduating from our medical school on May 27. William, who is heading to Denver Health to do his residency in emergency medicine, earlier this spring was featured in an article about first-generation medical students in the Match by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

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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