Dean's Weekly Message

Sept. 17, 2018


Dear colleague: 


The University of Colorado System Office announced earlier this month that CU research was supported by $1.05 billion in funding for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018. That is a 1.8 percent increase over last year’s amount and a second record-setting year in a row. For the year, CU Anschutz Medical Campus accounted for $516.2 million of the total and CU Boulder collected $511.1 million. For our campus, $280.8 million was from federal sources and $235.5 million were non-federal awards. According to the record-keepers on our campus, the School of Medicine is the largest recipient of research support, collecting total research funding of $426.1 million, of which $182.1 million was from the National Institutes of Health, $43.9 million came from non-NIH federal agencies, $93.2 million from private industry, with the rest coming from the state, hospitals, foundations and other private entities. The health of our School depends on successful functioning of all activities: clinical care, education, and research. We should be proud of our colleagues and their accomplishments in scientific discovery. Their work identifies better ways to provide care, offers a strong foundation for our efforts to teach new generations of healthcare providers, and is a mighty economic force in our community. While all that individual work poring over grant applications may seem grueling, the rewards of your efforts are exponential. Keep up the good work. 

Last Thursday, the CU Board of Regents, President Bruce Benson, and Chancellor Don Elliman hosted a ceremony to celebrate the renaming of Building 500 on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus the Fitzsimons Building. The dignitaries unveiled a new sign for the rechristened Fitzsimons Building. For most of the 20th Century, the structure carried the name of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons, MD, who was the first U.S. Army medical officer to die in World War I. He died from wounds suffered during a German air raid on Sept. 4, 1917, while he was stationed at Base Hospital No. 5 near Dannes-Camiers in Pas-de-Calais, France. He was 28 years old. The renaming, which occurred last week by a unanimous vote of the Board of Regents, recognizes our heritage and the deep connection we have to the Aurora community. We honor Dr. Fitzsimons’ sacrifice and we bear his name with pride. 

The new dean of the College of Nursing, Elias Provencio-Vasquez, RN, PhD, was welcomed to the CU Anschutz Medical Campus last Monday, September 10, at a reception in the Education 2 South building. Prior to joining CU, he was dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Texas at El Paso. He brings substantial experience in nursing practice, research, teaching, academic administration, and community outreach and he will be a strong contribution to our University. 

Congratulations to Larry Green, MD, professor of family medicine and Epperson Zorn Chair for Innovation in Family Medicine and Primary Care, on being named a Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado. The designation is the highest honor awarded to faculty and its awarded to those who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in teaching, and outstanding service to the profession, the university and its affiliates. Larry has set a standard for scholarship, service, and leadership in the practice of family medicine and was elected to the Institute of Medicine, now the National Academy of Medicine, in 1991. He’s been on the School of Medicine faculty since 1977, chaired the department for 14 years, and maintained an active medical practice until 1999. Throughout his career, he has led major profession-changing programs and been a highly respected mentor of medical students, residents and fellows. 

Congratulations to Janine Young, MD, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Denver Health Refugee Clinic, and Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, on being named recipients of Health Equity Champion awards from the Center for Health Progress. They are set to receive their awards tomorrow at a luncheon ceremony at The Studio Loft at Ellie Caulkins Opera House in downtown Denver. Janine and Lily practice at Denver Health and they are being recognized for their efforts to reduce inequities in health outcomes and health care, and for changing the systems and policies that keep some Coloradans from achieving their best health.  According to the Center, Janine is being recognized for providing “supportive, loving, culturally responsive care to Colorado's children—many of whom are facing traumatic life circumstances due their family’s immigration statuses” and Lily is being honored for her “important research to demonstrate the human and financial cost of dialysis policies on immigrant communities.” 

The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome will be holding its Annual Down Syndrome Symposium on Wednesday, September 26 in the Gossard Forum of the Fulginiti Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Several speakers from our campus and affiliates will be discussing current research projects and Roger Reeves, PhD, professor of physiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, will be delivering the keynote address. Registration is online. Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, executive director of the Crnic Institute, plans to outline new funding opportunities at the symposium and he notes that the School of Medicine is well-positioned to be at the forefront of research activity in the field. The National Institutes of Health in June announced that it was launching the INCLUDE (INvestigation of Co-occurring conditions across the Lifespan to Understand Down syndromE) project to address health and quality-of-life needs for individuals with Down syndrome. 

The seventh Annual Education Scholarship & Innovation Symposium, which is hosted by the Academy of Medical Educators, is scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, 2019. All CU Anschutz Medical Campus students, residents, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and faculty are invited to submit an abstract on educational research and innovations in the health sciences professions. Abstracts are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 15. Details about the abstract submission process and the symposium are available at the Academy of Medical Educators website. All abstracts will be considered for poster presentations, with some selected for oral presentations. 


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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