Dean's Weekly Message

April 10, 2017


Dear colleague: 

The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) University of Colorado School of Medicine Chapter held its annual mentor day/graduation banquet last Friday morning where faculty and staff gathered to welcome accepted students in the Class of 2021 and honor the graduating seniors in the Class of 2017. We are fortunate to have a strong SNMA chapter here and I would like to thank our admissions staff for its diligence in recruiting students from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. We have seen an improvement in our recruitment efforts in recent years and I am optimistic that we are going to build on that success. The SNMA event was organized to coincide with the school’s second-look day, where about 178 prospective medical students and guests came to campus. I’d like to thank our faculty and alumni who volunteered to facilitate problem-based learning, and the Emergency Medicine and Radiology department faculty who also played a significant role in facilitating sessions for the group. I’d also like to thank the Medical Alumni Association for providing gift bags with snacks and other treats for the prospective students, and Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, and the rest of the team for coordinating the festivities. 

Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), have been listed among 100 great hospitals in America by Becker’s Hospital Review. In addition, UCHealth’s Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins is on the list. The Becker’s Hospital Review editorial team selected hospitals for inclusion based on analysis of several ranking and award agencies, including U.S. News and World Report’s 2016-17 Honor Roll and specialty rankings, CMS star ratings, Leapfrog grades, Truven Health Analytics top hospitals, Most Wired hospitals and Magnet accreditation. In UCHealth’s announcement of the honor, Will Cook, CEO and president of UCH, said that UCH is set apart from other hospitals in our region because it is an academic medical center that is dedicated to high-quality patient care and innovation. Congratulations to the hospitals on the recognition and to our faculty providers who contribute so significantly to this distinction. 

The faculty teams participating in the Leadership for Innovative Team Science (LITeS) program made presentations Friday afternoon to campus leaders, including Chancellor Don Elliman, College of Nursing Dean Sarah Thompson, PhD, and Elaine Morrato, DrPH, MPH. The LITeS program was initiated by the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) and is now supported by the School of Medicine as well. LITeS annually enrolls a cohort of 21 to 28 senior faculty and academic leaders in a year-long program focused on the development of leadership skills for biomedical and health research.  As part of the LITeS leadership training experience, participants also work in multidisciplinary teams of 5 to 7 to address questions and issues of importance to the Anschutz Medical Campus, its affiliated hospitals and CCTSI institutions. This year’s 21 participants considered three major issues facing our campus: maintaining a quality academic mission in an era of changing health care systems; catalyzing an innovation-entrepreneurship ecosystem at academic clinical and translational research campuses; and emerging ethical considerations for public-private partnerships. The teams put considerable time and effort into the recommendations they presented. The past reports of the LITeS teams are posted online and I would encourage you to watch the website for these teams’ reports.

LITeS is seeking participants for its 2017-2018 class. Participants should be senior or advanced mid-career faculty involved in clinical/translational research or with responsibilities related to academic administration or training programs in which clinical/translational research is involved. The participants attend a quarterly series of two-day workshops, work together throughout the year on a team project and receive individual coaching sessions. The program schedule and additional details are posted on the program website. Nominations should be sent to Galit Mankin, program manager,, by May 20. In addition, LITeS is seeking an intact team of leaders who wish to enhance their teamwork through the program. This intact team will be participating alongside a senior research leadership team from the University of Minnesota, who will be commuting to Colorado to participate. For more information, contact LITeS Director Judith Albino,, or Associate Director Susan Johnson,

Randy Repola is joining the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus as the Chief of Police on April 17. He will succeed Doug Abraham who is retiring in May. Randy has nearly 20 years of law enforcement experience, most recently serving as deputy chief of police at CU Boulder. Doug has led the CU Denver | Anschutz University police for more than 12 years. An article about his career was published in CU Anschutz Today in late March. We join others in wishing Doug happy retirement and in welcoming Randy to our campus. 

Andy Fine, MD, assistant clinical professor of medicine, has been named governor of the Colorado chapter of the American College of Physicians. He is a general care internist in independent practice in Littleton. The American College of Physicians represents 148,000 internal medicine physicians, related subspecialists, and medical students. 

Children’s Hospital Colorado hosted it annual medical staff dinner last Thursday at the Hyatt Regency Aurora, where several faculty received staff awards. The award recipients were:

  • Tessa Mandler, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, received the Century Award, which recognizes a staff member with five or fewer years of training who has made major contributions through committee work, leadership and/or advocacy.
  • The Pediatric Kidney Injury and Disease Stewardship Program and its co-leaders Katja Gist, DO, assistant professor of pediatrics, Danielle Soranno, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Timothy Stidham, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, received the Quality and Patient Safety Award for outstanding contributions to organizational performance improvement, patient safety and/or clinical outcomes.
  • Christine Robinson, PhD, scientific director of the microbiology virology laboratory, Lynne Studebaker, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, and Scott Turner, FNP, assistant professor of pediatrics, each received outstanding service awards.
  • Jay Markson, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics, received the James E. Strain Award, which is given to a practitioner who exemplifies the ideals of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its advocacy for child health. 


The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) each year presents two prestigious awards recognizing individuals in the fields of health, medicine, and science. The Gustav O. Leinhard Award recognizes individuals for outstanding achievement in improving health care services in the U.S. and includes a medal and $40,000. The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations worldwide for their outstanding achievement in improving mental health. This award includes a medal and $20,000. More information about the awards and links to the nomination forms are available on the NAM’s website. Nominations are due by Tuesday, May 23. 


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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