Dean's Weekly Message

August 28, 2023

Dear colleague: 

Jennifer Adams, MD, professor of medicine and assistant dean for education, and the clerkship curriculum team earlier this month hosted an appreciation dinner for faculty preceptors and longitudinal integrated clerkship coordinators to celebrate the conclusion of the first year of our new Trek Clinical Curriculum. In her role as assistant dean, Jennifer oversees the clerkship phase of our medical education program, which in our Trek Curriculum nomenclature is known as the Foothills in a nod to our geographical location.

The terminology also reflects that medical education can be an arduous journey that requires thorough preparation, continual attention to detail, and a dependence on guides who have traveled ahead of us on the path. At the dinner celebration, Jennifer showed the audience of 200 the data that explains how successful our impressive and effective curriculum is thanks to the engagement and excellence of our faculty. For the year, more than 1,100 faculty preceptors across multiple specialties taught 197 students in 16 individual longitudinal integrated clerkship programs.

This substantial commitment of time, energy, and resources ensures that our medical students are on a path to becoming physician leaders capable of transforming the health of diverse communities. It is also a tribute to the hard work of our educators in creating an exceptional experience for our students. Our School of Medicine is now the only medical school our size in the country to transition from a traditional block model to an all-LIC clinical curriculum. We are grateful for the support of our departments, clinical partners, and communities across the state who contribute to the training of our students.

More than 70 faculty were recognized at the dinner on Friday, August 18, with individual teaching awards. Notably, clerkship students made 579 heartfelt and inspiring award nominations of their teachers. It was a wonderful evening filled with examples of how the physicians teaching our medical students are outstanding role models offering excellence in achievement and compassion in care.

Faculty Updates

Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, has been awarded a $3.9 million grant over five years by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for her project to develop a community-engaged intervention to reduce disparities in care for Latinos with kidney disease. Lily received her notice from the NIH last week. The consortium working with Lily includes colleagues at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Denver Health, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Eric Simões, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, was quoted by National Public Radio last week in a report on a new RSV vaccine for expectant mothers that is aimed at protecting newborn babies. The single-dose shot, made by Pfizer, spurs production of protective antibodies that transfer from the mother to the baby. The Food and Drug Administration approved the vaccine, called Abrysvo, last week. Eric is one of the authors of an article in The New England Journal of Medicine in April that reported that the vaccine was effective.

Led by the CU Anschutz Center for Combat Medicine and Battlefield (COMBAT) Research, our School of Medicine was well-represented earlier this month at this year’s Military Health System Research Symposium, which is the largest annual military medicine research meeting hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense. More than 40 faculty and staff from our campus attended, presenting a plenary session, 12 posters, and 10 oral presentations. In addition, two groups received awards:

  • The Strategy to Avoid Excessive Oxygen team, led by Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and principal investigator for the Airway, Trauma, Lung injury, and Sepsis (ATLAS) Research group, received the National Outstanding Research Accomplishment Team Award, and
  • Ian Stanley, PhD, assistant research professor of emergency medicine and psychological health lead for COMBAT, won first place in the symposium’s Young Investigators Competition for his research on lethal means safety counseling.

In addition to COMBAT and ATLAS, researchers from Cape-Colorado-Combat Global Trauma Network, Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative, and the departments of surgery and anesthesiology presented research at the meeting in Kissimmee, Fla. An article in the Department of Emergency Medicine newsroom includes more information.

Block Party

Mark your calendar for the return of the CU Anschutz Medical Campus Block Party on Wednesday, September 13. There will be food trucks, booths, and live music during the party, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Bonfils Circle, south of the Fitzsimons Building.

There will be no message on September 4 due to the Labor Day holiday.

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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