Dean's Weekly Message

April 17, 2023

Dear colleague:

State lawmakers have made significant improvements to a bill that would have directed how some nonprofit hospitals make community benefit contributions. House Bill 23-1243 was amended in the Colorado House of Representatives to allow contributions for research, education, and training to count as community benefits. The bill is considerably better as amended. This bill recognizes the importance of addressing the social determinants of health and the impact they have on our communities. Our hospital partners have the valid concern that this legislation does not acknowledge that solving broader societal problems like homelessness, food insecurity, and comprehensive mental and behavioral health care is not solely the responsibility of hospitals. Substance abuse, job loss, wage inequality, and many other matters contribute to public health and need broad governmental and societal participation in creating programs to address them. 

Please join me in offering condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Mary E. Krugman, PhD, who died Wednesday, April 12. Mary was a vital force in the field of nursing and the beloved wife of Richard Krugman, MD, Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and former dean of the School of Medicine.  Mary began working at University of Colorado Hospital in 1992, ultimately serving as director of nursing, innovation, and outcomes. She co-created the concept of graduate nurse residency programs that have been widely adopted as a best practice across the country. She was a mentor to dozens of nursing colleagues over her 23 years at the hospital. In 2017, she served as interim dean of the CU College of Nursing. Mary was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing and received the Florence Nightingale Award for her leadership. In 2020, she received a University Medal from the University of Colorado Board of Regents. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, whom she met when he was a medical student and with whom she raised four sons. In lieu of flowers, the Krugman family requests donations to the Dr. Mary E. Krugman Endowed Fund for Nursing Quality, Practice and Outcomes Education. To donate, go to and enter Fund 0254290 in the search box. A memorial service will be held at a later date. 

Camille Stewart, MD, assistant professor of surgery, has been named to the 2023 cohort of the National Cancer Institute’s Early-Stage Surgeon Scientist Program, which aims to train surgeon scientists and retain them in cancer research. Cohorts train together for up to three years. In an article in the CU Cancer Center newsroom, Camille describes her study project to better understand how cannabis affects the immune system in melanoma patients. 

Thomas Jansson, MD, PhD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology, received the Society for Reproductive Investigations Mentorship Award at its annual scientific meeting in Brisbane, Australia, in March. The award recognizes Thomas for contributions to training and career development of investigators in the field of reproductive science and women's health. 

Laura Peters, DNP, assistant professor of medicine, has been selected to receive the 2023 Nursing Clinical Excellence Leadership Award from the Heart Failure Society of America at its annual meeting in October. The award recognizes clinical nursing excellence by a registered nurse who works directly with heart failure patients, their families, and other nurses providing heart failure services. Awardees must demonstrate exemplary leadership in direct care with heart failure patients and their families. 

C. Neill Epperson, MD, chair of psychiatry, has been elected to the Council for the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Founded in 1961, the college is a professional organization of more than 1,100 leading scientists, including four Nobel Laureates. Its mission is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields. 

Helen L. Coons, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry, received the Joseph D. Matarazzo Award from the Association of Psychologists in Academic Health Centers in March. The award recognizes exceptional senior psychologists who have made substantial contributions to psychology in academic health centers across their careers. Helen was honored for her work in women’s health and mental health, and leadership development training for psychologists in health care. 

Chris Nyquist, MD, MSPH, professor of pediatrics, received the 2023 Colorado Woman of the Year award from the Colorado Diversity Council at the 2023 Colorado Women in Leadership Conference in March. The award recognizes professional excellence and leadership. 

Colby Simmons, DO, MBA, assistant professor of anesthesiology, and Julio Montejano, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, are featured in an article posted in the School of Medicine newsroom that describes their work developing a virtual training program to improve patient care in Uganda. The effort, which is part of the Global Anesthesia Program, introduced intraoperative neuromonitoring to offer safer surgical interventions at CURE Children’s Hospital Uganda. 

Nominations for the School of Medicine Faculty Professionalism Award are now being accepted. This award recognizes a full-time faculty member who has served as a role model for professionalism, as defined in the School of Medicine Rules. Nomination letters and three letters of support should be submitted on the online form. Nominations are due Friday, May 19. 

A memorial tribute to Stephen Berman, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Global Health in the Colorado School of Public Health, will be held at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, at the Krugman Conference Hall. Steve was an influential leader whose advocacy and research improved children’s lives here and around the world. Several colleagues are scheduled to speak about Steve’s impressive contributions. RSVP to attend the tribute and to read a summary of Steve’s life and accomplishments. 

The Office of Advancement hosted a celebration on Wednesday, April 12, to commemorate the establishment of the Richard Traystman, PhD, Endowed Chair in Anesthesiology, made possible with a $2 million gift funded by the Department of Anesthesiology. Susan Ingram, PhD, has been named the inaugural endowed chair and vice chair of research of anesthesiology. The endowed chair honors our former colleague who was vice chancellor for research for our campus and CU Denver, as well as vice chair of research for the Department of Anesthesiology. Dick was an accomplished scientist, prolific author, and thoughtful administrator who spent 35 years researching brain blood vessels, cardiac arrest, and stroke. This endowed chair funded by his colleagues in his home department is a fitting tribute.

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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