Dean's Weekly Message

June 25, 2018


Dear colleague: 


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine this month released an important report, “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,” that reveals high rates of sexual harassment of students and faculty in our nation’s colleges and universities. “What is especially discouraging about this situation,” the authors write, “is that at the same time that so much energy and money is being invested in efforts to attract and retain women in science, engineering, and medical fields, it appears women are often bullied or harassed out of career pathways in these fields.” I urge you to read and share this report.

This report is a milestone in understanding the working conditions for women in academic medicine and scientific research and a reminder that while effort has been made to encourage women in these fields, not enough has been done to ensure that all are able to contribute their skills toward our mutual goal of improving the quality of life for our patients, students and peers. Too often the steps that have been taken by academic institutions and our research and training sites have focused on legal compliance rather than the cultural changes that provide an equal opportunity for all to achieve their potential.

Let me be clear: Any form of harassment in any environment is unacceptable. It is particularly so in our professions. Teaching, discovering, and providing care for others are among the noblest human endeavors and we cannot allow discrimination and harassment to impede that work

There are resources that are available to assist you if you have experienced or witnessed harassment or discrimination in the workplace. The University’s Office of Equity provides policies, resources and a way to report incidents. A list of resources on campus and off are provided by the office. The School of Medicine also has an Office of Professional Excellence that handles complaints about workplace behavior. Contacts in that office are Jeff Druck, MD, or Abigail Lara, MD, at or

Last Monday, June 18, Richard Krugman, MD, distinguished professor of pediatrics and former dean of the School of Medicine, and Lori Poland, who received care from Dick after she was abducted, abused and abandoned as a three-year-old, announced the creation of the National Foundation to End Child Abuse and Neglect (EndCAN) at a news conference with Gov. John Hickenlooper at the state capital. EndCAN aims to change how society handles child abuse and neglect, raising awareness as a public health issue, not just as a legal matter. “The model that foundations have taken to address polio, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and every other major malady of childhood has never been done for child abuse and neglect,” Dick said. “We are 50 years behind in understanding the causes and changing the outcomes for abused and neglected children.” A society suffers immeasurably when it fails to prevent harm to children.

Congratulations to CU School of Medicine students William Kromka, Garrett Prince, Frederick “Taylor” Lynch, Ahmed Tahseen, and Charlie Ventriglia, who submitted an essay selected as a finalist in the AMA Global Health Challenge. Their team, CUSOM, was one of 10 selected from among hundreds of peers for writing a compelling essay about providing medical care abroad. CUSOM wrote about working in the emergency department of Khayelitsha District Hospital in South Africa. “A majority of the trauma that presented to the emergency department was derived from gangs composed of boys with no direction, no other option within an opportunity-barren landscape beget by a lack of community bond, itself a product of the destruction of vibrant communities by apartheid policies,” they wrote. “Unquestionably there has been tremendous progress in South Africa; however, 20 years later, there are still sizable inequities that are too blatant to be ignored.” As finalists, CUSOM now prepares a video that will be posted on the AMA Global Health Challenge website. The videos will be voted on by the public and the winning group will be sent on a global health trip to Guatemala, Ecuador, or the Dominican Republic.

The CU School of Medicine and Colorado State University have launched a collaborative effort to develop a four-year branch MD training program in Fort Collins. Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, professor and vice chair of education in the Department of Medicine, will lead the initiative as interim associate dean for medical education. Suzanne served as the Department of Medicine’s residency program director for 10 years. Currently, she serves as the director of interprofessional education for the Anschutz Medical Campus. Suzanne is nationally recognized for her teaching in internal medicine and primary care and was awarded the Distinguished Medical Educator Award this year by the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine. As a primary care physician who has practiced in Colorado since graduating from the CU School of Medicine in 1990, Suzanne is an outstanding clinician, educator, and leader well-positioned to initiate our new project in Fort Collins. Suzanne will begin her work on the CU School of Medicine-CSU MD training program next month by exploring clinical opportunities for current School of Medicine students in Fort Collins. With enthusiastic partners at CSU and in the northern Colorado community, we are looking forward to building a unique experience for our students focused on innovative educational design, rural medical practice, and interprofessional clinical experiences with an emphasis on community and public health initiatives.

Denver Health and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation (Global) have launched a pilot adult Down syndrome clinic. Barry Martin, MD, assistant professor of medicine, and Bryn Gelaro, LSW, director of adult initiatives and special projects for Global, have been recruited to provide medical and behavioral health care on Wednesday mornings at the Denver Health Federico F. Peña Southwest Family Health Center and Urgent Care. This is an extraordinary opportunity to provide care to those who need it. Information for patients looking to make an appointment can be found at the Global website announcing the launch of the clinic.

On Tuesday, June 19, the School of Medicine’s Center for Women’s Health Research and UCHealth hosted 50 girls from across the state for the fourth annual Girls’ Career Day. The teenagers were offered opportunities to learn from and interact with professionals in nursing, bioengineering, emergency medicine, surgery, and neurology. They also talked with staff and leadership about programs at the School of Medicine, College of Nursing, the Physical Therapy program, School of Dental Medicine, and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy.

Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Michael Manco-Johnson, MD, professor emeritus and former chair of radiology, who died on Monday, June 18. Michael joined the School of Medicine in 1976, served as chair of the Department of Radiology from 1987 to 2004, and retired in 2013. He was an accomplished academic, with more than 120 peer-reviewed papers, five books and 28 book chapters, and a dedicated professional serving in significant leadership positions in state and national radiology societies. As importantly, Michael was recognized for his gregarious spirit. Tributes from colleagues noted that he enjoyed introducing friends to his favorite Mexican restaurant, Chez Jose, and that he was especially proud of his role in conducting CT scans of mummies on display at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Michael is survived by his wife, Marilyn Manco-Johnson, MD, professor of pediatrics, five children and 10 grandchildren. A memorial mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, June 26, at 10 a.m., at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, 2250 S. Harrison St., Denver. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Michael be made to the Krugman Award Endowment, a scholarship fund for the CU School of Medicine, at

Condolences also to the family, friends and colleagues of John Strain, MD, professor of radiology and chief of pediatric radiology services at Children’s Hospital Colorado, who died on Friday, June 22. Gerald Dodd III, MD, chair of radiology, remembered John as “a wonderful member of our family.”  Details about memorial services for John were not yet available on Monday morning.

Kathy Green, former communications director for Gov. John Hickenlooper, has been named to the newly created position of chief communications officer for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Chancellor Don Elliman Jr. announced in his State of the Campus address last fall that he wanted to strengthen the University’s marketing efforts. Hiring Kathy to lead that effort is an important step in the process. She had previously served as strategic marketing and communications director for the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade and as communications director for various agencies within the City and County of Denver. She also worked in advertising and public relations and started her career with University Hospital in Chicago. She will join CU Anschutz on July 16 in a part-time role while finishing work with current clients. She will begin full time on September 1.

Friends and colleagues of Benjamin Honigman, MD, are invited to the retirement reception to be held Wednesday, June 27, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Fulginiti Pavilion. Ben has had a distinguished career with the School of Medicine. He completed his residency in emergency medicine at Denver General Hospital (now Denver Health) in 1979. In 1985, he joined the School of Medicine as an assistant professor of surgery and he led the transition of emergency medicine from a section to a division within the Department of Surgery and, in 2010, to its designation as a separate academic Department of Emergency Medicine. For the past eight years, he served as associate dean for clinical outreach. Among his many honors, Ben received the Chancellor’s Diversity Award, the Faculty Professionalism Award, and at this year’s graduation ceremony he received the Joseph Addison Sewall Award for “exceptional contributions of leadership and vision to the health sciences.” We wish him a happy and healthy retirement.

The third annual Aspen Ethical Leadership Program, which will be held in Aspen, October 8-10, is currently accepting applications. The program features nationally renowned experts and combines case study analysis with plenary sessions in an interactive forum to explore practical approaches to some of the most difficult challenges confronting health care organizations today. In addition to the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, other collaborating organizations for the 2018 program include the American Association for Physician Leadership, the National Center for Ethics in Health Care of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Centura Health, the University of Colorado Law School in Boulder. Application information is posted online. For questions or other information contact

A reminder: the School of Medicine’s Office of Professional Excellence is overseeing a faculty climate survey. Survey responses are anonymous and demographic data will be handled so that respondents’ privacy is protected. I ask everyone who receives the survey to complete it. The deadline for completing the survey is Friday, June 29. If you are a faculty member and you didn’t see this message from Faculty Affairs in your email, please check your junk and clutter folders. If you have any questions regarding the survey or did not receive the link, please contact Jeff Druck, MD, or Abigail Lara, MD, at or

Bike to Work Day is Wednesday, June 27, so drivers should take extra care for the additional number of our colleagues who have chosen to ride bikes to work that day.

All faculty are invited to the welcome lunch for the School of Medicine Class of 2022, which will be Friday, August 3, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Student Community Bridge between Education 2 North and South. Please join me in welcoming the newest members of our academic community. RSVP here.


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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