Dean's Weekly Message

Oct. 15, 2018


Dear colleague: 


Congratulations to CU Medicine and UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital on ranking No. 1 among participating academic medical centers nationwide in the Vizient Ambulatory Care Quality and Accountability Study. The study measures the quality of outpatient care in five domains: access to care, capacity and throughput, quality and efficiency, continuum of care, and equity. The partnership of CU Medicine and University of Colorado Hospital was one of five recipients of the award and our team received the highest overall score among its academic medical center peers. Our scores for access to care, quality and efficiency, and capacity and throughput were particularly notable as being among the very best in the country. Tina Finlayson, MD, professor of surgery and associate medical director for CU Medicine, and Jeffrey Glasheen, MD, professor of medicine and chief quality officer for University of Colorado Hospital, accepted the award at the Vizient Connections Summit earlier this month. Our commendations for the outstanding work by all who contributed to the excellent performance recognized by this award. 

At the end of last week, Chancellor Don Elliman and I presented an overview of the current state of the Anschutz Medical Campus and the School of Medicine at the annual board retreat of Children’s Hospital Colorado. We have had an exceptional year – the largest philanthropic gift in campus history, continued impressive clinical growth by our faculty practice, an in-depth review of the curriculum, and outstanding growth in sponsored funding by the researchers on campus. As reported in September, the CU Anschutz Medical Campus accounted for $516.2 million in the $1.05 billion in sponsored research funding in the CU System. With our partners at Children’s Hospital Colorado, we are currently engaged in review of child health research on campus with the goal of creating an optimal governance, administrative and operational structure.  


On Saturday, October 6, the Carousel of Hope Ball at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., raising more than $1.9 million to benefit the Children’s Diabetes Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes on the Anschutz Medical Campus. The event raises awareness for people living with type 1 diabetes and it has evolved into a Hollywood institution since 1978. This year’s gala honored longtime supporter actor Robert De Niro with the “Brass Ring Award” for his philanthropic efforts and continued dedication to the cause. Comedian Jay Leno served as master of ceremonies and attendees were treated to performances by Gladys Knight, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, and David Foster, among others. We are grateful for the outpouring of support for the important work conducted by our physicians and scientists at the Barbara Davis Center. At an event earlier in the day, scientists discussed challenges in implementing diabetes technologies and developing biomarkers for prevention of type 1 diabetes. 

The School of Medicine celebrated the generosity of William Arend, MD, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the University, on Tuesday, October 9, with an event recognizing the establishment of the William P. Arend Endowed Chair in Rheumatology. With a career spanning 40 years of clinical care, teaching, and service to the university and the medical profession, he has been a distinguished scientific leader whose biomedical research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and several foundations. His discovery of the IL-1 receptor antagonist protein, or IL-1Ra, was important for treating patients with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and for an improved understanding of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as a whole, from diabetes to heart attack and stroke. Bill has donated royalties related to the licensing of that drug to fund the endowed chair, which is held by Kevin Deane, MD, associate professor of medicine. We are fortunate to have faculty members as generous as Bill, who are investing in the future success of our faculty and students. 


Last week was proclaimed by Gov. John Hickenlooper as Physician Assistants Week in recognition of their contribution to quality, affordable, and accessible patient-centered health care in Colorado. We benefit by having nearly 900 talented and dedicated faculty members who are University of Colorado Advanced Practice Providers and we join the governor in offering our respect and gratitude. At the end of the week, on Friday, October 12, the CU Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant (CHA/PA) program and its alumni association hosted the annual fall CHA/PA reception at the Wynkoop Brewing Co. in LoDo with more than 100 alumni, preceptors, students, faculty and staff attending. 

Congratulations to Jennifer Armstrong, MD, MPH, associate professor of pediatrics in the section of neurology, for completing the 2018 Diversity Leadership Program of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Jennifer’s participation in the program included making recommendations to the AAN board on how the group can help academic departments establish diversity officers to enhance careers of people who have been underrepresented in the discipline. This competitive program enrolls up to 10 AAN members each year and gives selected participants mentorship and leadership training. 


The CU Medical Alumni Association hosted A Night at the Ballet on Friday, October 12, bringing together more than 240 alumni, students, residents, faculty, and staff for an evening reception and performance of Sleeping Beauty, presented by Colorado Ballet. Jan Kief, MD, president of the Medical Alumni Association board of directors, welcomed guests and Jessica Parr, MD ’16, thanked generous alumni supporters. We appreciate the great turnout and support from our alumni benefactors. 

The School of Medicine is seeking nominations for the 2019 Medical Alumni Association Awards, which recognize alumni for service and commitment to the practice of medicine. Details about the Silver and Gold Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award, the Humanitarian Award, and the Richard Krugman Award for Distinguished Service and a link for nominations are posted at the Medical Alumni Association Awards website. For questions, contact the Office of Alumni relations at Nominations are due Friday, November 30. 



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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login