Dean's Weekly Message

Nov. 19, 2018


Dear colleague: 


The annual meeting of CU Medicine, our faculty practice plan, was Wednesday, November 14, and the news, as usual, was extraordinarily good. CU Medicine improved on its previous year’s performance by several important measures: total income, patient income, contract income, physician productivity. Total income increased 18.7 percent for the year. Not only is CU Medicine the largest multispecialty medical practice in the state, our revenue places us among the largest academic medical centers in the country. 

These results, of course, are because of the outstanding work by our faculty and the staff of CU Medicine. Every day, our physicians and advanced practice providers are giving the best care, while the professionals at CU Medicine ensure timely and appropriate payment for those services. Working together, we have created a powerful engine for our School. The CU Medicine board has shown wise stewardship of this precious asset. Over the past five years, CU Medicine has invested $10 million in scholarships and endowed chairs, a direct commitment to the School’s education mission. 

Because of its strong financial performance, CU Medicine has established programs such as the Office of Value Based Performance, to prepare us for new reimbursement models. The practice has also been able to focus on quality-of-care efforts that have resulted in national recognition. This fall, CU Medicine and our partner, UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, ranked No. 1 among participating academic medical centers nationwide in the Vizient Ambulatory Care Quality and Accountability Study. In this video, Christina Finlayson, MD, associate dean for clinical affairs and associate medical director for CU Medicine, explains: “An award like this validates that work we’ve done and energizes us for the future work that we want to do. It is worth the effort and you will find that over time you have really been able to impact those things that are most important to your organization and to your patients.” 

Our pride in your success is balanced by the need to change with the times. We recognize that past performance is not a guarantee of similar results in the future. When patients have a choice, they are coming to us for access to the best care for the most complicated cases. We must protect that trust while seeking ways to extend our care to as many as possible. 

I particularly would like to thank Jane Schumaker, executive director of CU Medicine and senior associate dean for administration and finance, for her leadership and thoughtful guidance. She announced earlier this year that she plans to retire when her successor is hired. With the executive recruitment firm Spencer Stuart, we have launched that search. We have been served remarkably well by Jane and she will leave us in an even stronger position than when she came in 2011. 

At the CU Medicine meeting, we announced that Karen Chacko, MD, professor of medicine, has been named the associate dean for clinical outreach for the adult health practice. Karen succeeds Ben Honigman, MD, who retired from the role earlier this year. Karen brings a strong background in medical education research. She has concentrated her research on resident education models, rural health care outreach, and medical complications of pregnancy. She also brings deep ties to the community. She has built and maintained a network of affiliated clinical faculty across the state who support the primary care general internal medicine residency, which she has led. She has been instrumental in helping launch the DAWN clinic in Aurora, working closely with community and campus stakeholders to ensure its success. Karen officially begins serving as associate dean for clinical outreach in January. 

Congratulations to the team at CU Medicine on receiving a Bronze Leaf Award from the Colorado Healthcare Communicators for the 2017 CU Medicine Annual Report, which covered last year’s financial performance by the faculty practice plan. The awards recognize the best in health care communications, marketing, and public relations, and materials are judged on planning and goals, implementation, results and evaluation, and overall excellence. 

Congratulations to Dennis Roop, PhD, professor of dermatology and director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine, who was recognized Tuesday, November 13, as the 2018-19 ARCS Foundation Colorado Chapter Honoree of the Year. Founded in 1958, ARCS is a national organization that advances science and technology by providing financial awards to academically outstanding U.S. citizens studying science, engineering, and medical research. Tuesday’s lunch featured 46 award recipients studying at colleges and universities in Colorado, including 10 currently studying at CU Anschutz Medical Campus. Blake Snyder, a fourth-year medical student, was designated the ARCS Honorary Dr. Dennis Roop Scholar. Dennis will be honored at ARCS’ annual gala scheduled for May 3, 2019. 

The Colorado Area Health Education Center program is seeking Anschutz Medical Campus volunteers to staff a booth at the National Western Stock Show in January. Each year, volunteers from our campus provide free health screenings for adults and children attending the stock show. Students and clinical and non-clinical faculty are welcomed as volunteers. The screenings include blood pressure, blood glucose, vision, balance, and oral health. This National Western Stock Show draws more than 700,000 attendees and it is a major opportunity for our School to show how we support our entire state. Volunteers sign up for four-hour shifts. For more information, contact Cindy Armstrong at 303-724-8927 or 

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus School of Medicine is seeking nominations for the 2019 Medical Alumni Association Awards. The Medical Alumni Association recognizes alumni for service and commitment to the practice of medicine with the Silver and Gold Award, Distinguished Achievement Award, Humanitarian Award, and the Richard Krugman Award for Distinguished Service. To submit a nomination or for more information, visit or contact the Office of Alumni relations at Nominations are due Friday, November 30.   

We offer condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Donald W. King, MD, who died on October 27 at his home in New York. Donald was a professor and served as chair of the Department of Pathology from 1960 to 1966, serving as a founding director of the Given Institute of Pathobiology. He left CU to become the chairman of pathology at Columbia University in New York, where he remained for fifteen years. In 1983, he became Dean of the College of Medicine and the Division of Biological Sciences at University of Chicago. He later became executive director of the American Registry of Pathology in Washington, D.C., and in 2002, he joined the National Library of Medicine as deputy director for research and education. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in New York City at 11 a.m. December 15. 

Best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the Anschutz Medical Campus community.


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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