Dean's Weekly Message

March 20, 2023

Dear colleague:

We celebrated Match Day last Friday when our soon-to-be graduating medical students found out the next destination of their training. More than 40 members of the class are staying in Colorado, and others are heading to sites coast-to-coast, including Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Stanford Health Care in the San Francisco Bay Area, Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, Calif., University of Michigan Hospitals, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, University of California, San Francisco, and many other places across the country. 

Many thanks to our teams in the Office of Medical Education and the Office of Student Life for teaching and taking care of our students as they progressed through the program here. Thanks also to the Match Day planning committee for organizing a meaningful event for all who attended. And our gratitude to Chancellor Don Elliman for granting permission to host the event in the Benson Atrium of the Anschutz Health Sciences Building, and to everyone on the events-planning crews who handled the preparations, set-up, and clean-up of the space. 

We have been fortunate to have a strong and growing medical school, thanks to dedicated faculty and staff, generous benefactors, and strong clinical partnerships. The Class of 2023 was impressive when they joined us, and through the pandemic, they have demonstrated resilience, adaptability, thoughtfulness. Their commitment to becoming excellent physicians has been impressive and we are looking forward to watching them as they journey through their careers. Complete coverage of our Match Day celebration is available in our newsroom and on the School of Medicine website

State lawmakers began hearings last week on legislation that would protect health care providers delivering reproductive health care and gender-affirming care services in compliance with Colorado law. Senate Bill 23-188 would protect medical care providers and patients from interference in receiving care that is legal in Colorado. The School of Medicine endorses this bill. We thank the University leadership for its support of this important legislation. 

A committee hearing on House Bill 23-1215, which undermines the existing billing structure for medical services and gives government officials the power to decide where our patients get medical care, was postponed from March 17 to March 24. We continue to monitor this harmful bill and we have asked lawmakers not to pass it. 

Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, has been selected as winner of the 2023 David Calkins Award in Health Policy Advocacy by the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM). Lily is receiving the honor for her work advocating for the compassionate and timely care of all patients undergoing dialysis, successfully leading efforts to get Medicaid to cover regular dialysis, including for those without documentation to be in the United States. SGIM is also recognizing her successful efforts to expand coverage of emergency COVID-19 care. Lily will be recognized at the SGIM’s annual meeting in Aurora on Saturday, May 13. 

Evalina L. Burger-Van der Walt, MD, chair of orthopedics, has been named a member-at-large of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons’ Board of Directors. Her appointment took effect this month during the academy’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. The academy has more than 39,000 members and is the world’s largest medical association of musculoskeletal specialists. 

Philip S. Mehler, MD, former chief medical officer and medical director at Denver Health and professor of medicine, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Academy of Eating Disorders Professionals at the group’s annual meeting in February. He is founder and executive medical director of the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders at Denver Health. 

The School of Medicine has an opening for a faculty member in our COMPASS Program. On entry to medical school, each student is assigned a COMPASS Guide who works as a longitudinal coach and dedicated teacher for their own cohort of students, overseeing the arc of their time at the School of Medicine, from orientation to commencement. Guides are clinician-educators, selected for their success and enthusiasm working with students. The position description is posted in CU Careers.  The FTE for this position is 0.2 and applications are now being accepted. 

The Colorado Area Health Education Center’s Mini Med School program for the spring semester begins April 5 with the session “HEART ATTACK!” presented by Michael Overbeck, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine. The Mini Med School program was launched in 1989 by the late JJ Cohen, MDCM, PhD, professor of immunology and microbiology.  The Mini Med School program will be presented one night weekly for four weeks in the spring and four weeks in the fall. Each session will be livestreamed via zoom to sites across the state. Details are available on the AHEC website

Many of our School of Medicine colleagues are featured in the latest marketing campaign for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The “Possibilities Endless” campaign includes televised, print, and digital advertisements, and displays at Denver International Airport and in downtown Denver, and it runs through the end of May. 

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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