Dean's Weekly Message

Aug. 27, 2018


Dear colleague: 


The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus last week celebrated an extraordinary gift from Philip Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation, benefactors who have consistently supported our vision of improving human health and who share a commitment to making our campus one of the nation’s premier destinations for medical care and scientific research. The historic $120 million commitment is an investment in our future from our longtime steadfast partner. Since the creation of the Anschutz Medical Campus, Mr. Anschutz and his foundation have provided nearly $300 million to us and with this gift, the largest in Anschutz Medical Campus history, he is again showing confidence in you. 

This gift means that we can do more today than we could yesterday. We will be able to recruit and retain the nation’s best scientists and clinicians for high-impact programs. We will be able to invest in research that promises new ways to treat disease and improve health. We will be able to turn those discoveries into innovations that extend our reach beyond campus to others who need our care. We will construct a state-of-the-art health sciences building that serves as home to initiatives for mental health, personalized medicine, and translational science. We will improve medical education, research, and clinical care, all because of this gift. 

We are grateful for Mr. Anschutz’s boundless generosity, inspired by his unwavering support, mindful of the responsibility that comes with it, and committed to the shared vision of making our community the destination for all who seek the best medical care. 

The CU Medicine Board last week voted last Tuesday to increase its annual contribution for student scholarships at the School of Medicine. Last year, our faculty practice contributed $790,000 for scholarships to students in our MD, physician assistant, physical therapy and anesthesiology assistant programs. This year, the board approved an increase to $900,000, based on the increase in annual clinical revenues at CU Medicine. The continued strength of our clinical practice is a testament to the hard work of our faculty and the trust of our patients. We reinforce the educational mission of the School by reinvesting earnings into scholarships, which in turn helps the School recruit highly qualified students whose future contributions to the practice of medicine will make us and our community stronger. Thank you to all who contribute to this virtuous cycle. 

Congratulations to Liz Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth, on being named Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Woman in Business in the healthcare category. Liz joined UCHealth in 2014 and has led the system through an impressive period of growth while maintaining the system’s high-quality patient care. She is a smart, hard-working executive leader whose drive to excel is a key factor in the system’s success. The School of Medicine places a high value on our partnership with UCHealth and we commend the Denver Business Journal on giving Liz this well-deserved recognition. 

Congratulations to Luisa Mestroni, MD, professor of medicine and director of the molecular genetics program of the University of Colorado Cardiovascular Institute, on receiving the 2018 Distinguished Fellowship Award at the 23rd World Congress on Heart Disease in late July. Luisa was one of four recipients of the award, which honors cardiologists for their significant contributions to cardiovascular medicine. 

Randall M. Clark, MD, associate professor of anesthesiology, has been elected to the board of directors of the Anesthesia Quality Institute (AQI), effective October 2018. AQI is home to the National Anesthesia Clinical Outcomes Registry (NACOR), the nation’s premier organization for perioperative data collection for the promotion of quality in anesthesiology clinical services. Randy’s new role with AQI expands on his 16 years of service to the American Society of Anesthesiologists Board of Directors. 

The 20th edition of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, a massive two-volume tome of 3,500-plus pages and 477 chapters, has recently been published. Harrison’s is regarded as one of the most authoritative books on internal medicine, and a quick perusal of the Table of Contents finds some CU School of Medicine faculty members are featured as authors:

  • Charles Dinarello, MD, professor of medicine and immunology, Chapter 15, Fever
  • Kenneth Tyler, MD, chair of neurology, Chapter 132, Encephalitis
  • Kenneth Tyler MD, chair of neurology,  Chapter 133, Acute Meningitis,
  • Kenneth Tyler, MD, chair of neurology, Chapter 135, Brain Abscess and Empyema
  • Anne Fuhlbrigge, MD, associate professor of medicine and senior associate dean for clinical affairs, Chapter 280, Diagnostic Procedures in Respiratory Disease
  • Michael Wechsler, MD, MMSc, professor of medicine, Chapter 282, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Pulmonary Infiltrates with Eosinophilia
  • Peter Gottlieb, MD, professor of pediatrics and Aaron Michels, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, Chapter 382, Autoimmune Polyendocrine Syndromes
  • Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine, Chapter 401, Metabolic Syndrome 


The CU School of Medicine Class of 2019 Senior Alpha Omega Alpha members were recently elected, joining the six members who were selected to become members as Juniors. Alpha Omega Alpha, the National Honor Society, was organized in 1902, for medical students who excel academically and have demonstrated leadership, fairness, compassion, integrity and service. According to the AOA constitution, only one-sixth of the graduating class may be elected members. The members are listed on the website of the Colorado Chapter of AOA. An induction ceremony will be held in May 2019, near graduation. Questions can be addressed to the AOA Councilor, James Beck, MD, professor of medicine,

In case you missed it, there was recently a ball pit in the Education quad, where campus members were invited to jump in with a new acquaintance to have a conversation. Some of the brightly colored plastic balls in the box were labeled with conversation topics, including “name three things on your bucket list,” “what is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten,” “describe the first time you fell in love,” and “what did you want to be when you were in kindergarten.” The latter discussion topic found several aspiring astronauts and a few doctors-to-be, but the aspiring tyrannosaurus was probably the most unlikely future healthcare provider. Shanta Zimmer, MD, senior associate dean for education and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, explained that the ball pit was set up to encourage a sense of community on the Anschutz Medical Campus: “This would be a great way for us to celebrate some of the things we have in common and explore some of our differences.” A video of some of those conversations is posted online

There will be no message next Monday, September 3, 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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