Dean's Weekly Message

March 12, 2018


Dear colleague: 


Friday, March 16, is Match Day and the School of Medicine will again offer an online livestream of the festivities. Members of the Class of 2018 are invited to share the link with friends and family who are unable to be with them in downtown Denver for the brunch ceremony. The livestreaming commences at 9:30 a.m. 

Congratulations to Daniel Sherbenou, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, on being selected as one of 20 early-career hematologists participating in the 2018 Translational Research Training in Hematology program of the American Society of Hematology and the European Hematology Association. The program is a yearlong training and mentoring experience for junior scientists and begins with a weeklong course this month in Milan, Italy. 

Congratulations to the University of Colorado Hospital Palliative Care Service, which has been recertified by the Joint Commission for Advanced Certification in Palliative Care. This is the third recertification of the program since it was initially certified in 2013. The surveyor who reviewed the program also offered high accolades, noting that the program here provides the highest quality of care in comparison to other programs nationally. I offer my thanks to all on the Palliative Care team, including the leaders Harri Brackett, CNS, lead advanced practice provider, and Jeanie Youngwerth, MD, associate professor of medicine and director of the Palliative Care Service. 

Congratulations to Brianna Hoffner NP, assistant professor of medicine and lead advanced practice provider for medical oncology, and Jessica Anderson CNM, instructor in the College of Nursing and clinical director for the Center for Midwifery, who were awarded Nightingale Luminary Awards at the central Colorado ceremony on Saturday. The Nightingale Award honors nurses who advance the profession of nursing and have positively impacted their community through advocacy, leadership and/or innovation. They will be honored in May at the State Luminary Gala.   

William Sullivan, MD, associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation and service chief of PM&R at Denver VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, has been named to the presidential line of the North American Spine Society (NASS). He began a term that involves a new role in each of the next four years: 2nd vice president, 1st vice president, president, and past president. The society was founded in 1985 and has grown to represent over 8,500 members. NASS is a global, multidisciplinary medical society that fosters the highest quality, ethical, value- and evidence-based spine care for patients through education, research and advocacy. 

The Office of Advancement announced last week that the University has received a $1 million estate commitment from Anne Carr to establish the Bette Arnold and Anne Carr Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund. Anne Carr made this commitment to recognize the compassionate and patient-centered care that her sister, Elizabeth “Bette” Carr Arnold, received from Stephen Leong, MD, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology. We express our gratitude for such generous support of our programs and this tribute to Bette, who with her husband Ed Arnold ran a successful home-building business in metro Denver. 

Joanne Posner-Mayer, PT, alumna from the CU Physical Therapy class of 1973 and a leader in establishing scholarship programs for the Physical Therapy Program, hosted a reception at her home last week. These scholarships for PT students have been key to recruiting high-quality students and have helped boost diversity in the classes. Physical Therapy Program Director Margaret Schenkman, PT, PhD, reported last week that 23 percent of the incoming class of PT students are students from backgrounds underrepresented in the field. For our PT program, which is already one of the best in the country, the scholarships have helped recruit superior students to the program. We are grateful to Joanne and others who support our students and programs with these scholarships. 

The Green Tie Gala last Saturday, March 10, raised money and awareness for the Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN), a federally qualified health center that provides medical, dental, and community-based services to the underserved of suburban Denver, including Aurora. For the past 14 years, the MCPN gala has been supporting the essential health services provided by the network. Shanta Zimmer, MD, senior associate dean for education, and representatives of the DAWN Clinic attended to show our support for the MCPN’s valuable work in our community. 

The University of Colorado School of Medicine Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists is now accepting applications for two positions starting June 1. The purpose of the fund, which is supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, is to provide supplemental, flexible funds to early-career physician-scientists working on clinical research projects and facing extraprofessional demands of caregiving. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, April 25.  

The Teaching Scholars Program is now accepting applications. The program is an 18-month certificate program designed to enhance knowledge and skills, and develop future leaders in healthcare education with a focus on core components of educational scholarship and curriculum development. Held on the Anschutz Campus, the program consists of twice monthly seminars held during the 2018-2019 academic year, a curriculum development and/or education scholarship project, and faculty mentorship/guidance. Additional information, and applications for the cohort beginning in September 2018, is available on the Academy of Medical Educators website. Applications must be submitted by close of business Monday, March 19, and must include a concept for a curriculum development or education research project and a commitment of protected time from the applicant’s department chair or division head. Faculty applicants from all schools and departments are welcome, including residents in two-year educational tracks, and fellows. 

“Physician Burnout: Integrated Strategies for Diverse Stakeholders” is an evidence-based conference scheduled for May 10-11 at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon. The event will focus on causes and potential solutions, including tools and resources for mitigating burnout and achieving a holistic approach to wellness. Among the speakers will be Christine Sinsky, MD, vice president of professional satisfaction at the American Medical Association, Kathleen Gibney, PhD, director of the Center for Physician Wellbeing at Florida Hospital, Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities, and Will Cook, president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital. For questions or information about attending, contact

The 3rd International Extreme Sports Medicine Congress will be held June 1-2 at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder. The event is presented by the Department of Orthopedics Division of Sports Medicine. Early registration ends Friday, May 18. This symposium is directed toward sports medicine specialists and allied health professionals involved in the care of extreme athletes. Orthopedic surgeons, primary care physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, athletic trainers, and anyone else interested in expanding their knowledge of athletic injuries in extreme sports are welcome to attend. For questions or information about attending, contact


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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