Dean's Weekly Message

Aug. 7, 2017


Dear colleague: 

Students pursuing medical degrees in the Class of 2021 arrived on the Anschutz Medical Campus last week to a round of welcoming events, mounds of paperwork, lines for campus badges, and fittings for their white coats to be worn at the Matriculation Ceremony set for Friday, Aug. 11. Today and Tuesday, Aug. 8, the class is in Winter Park for team-building exercises and some fresh mountain air before they begin their training in medical school classes. We have an extraordinary class and we are looking forward to having them join our academic community. I would like to thank Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, and the entire staff of the Office of Student Life and the admissions team for their efforts in recruiting these outstanding students and giving them a safe landing place and secure launching pad for the next phase of their studies. We are also fortunate to have joining us – just in time for the new medical students’ arrival – our new associate dean for student life, Brian Dwinnell, MD.

Matthew T. Roe, MD, MHS, has been named the next executive director of the Colorado Prevention Center (CPC) and will be joining the School of Medicine faculty as a professor in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Cardiology. His expected start date is Jan. 1, 2018. Matt is currently professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. Matt has extensive experience in the design, conduct, and reporting of large cardiovascular outcome trials and currently serves as the co-principal investigator for the ADAPTABLE Trial (Aspirin Dosing: A Patient-centric Trial Assessing Benefits and Long-Term Effectiveness), which is evaluating low- vs. high-dose aspirin dose for thousands of patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. William Hiatt, MD, president of CPC, plans to remain on the CU faculty and continue to support the research and training missions of CPC. 

5280 magazine last week released its annual listing of “Top Doctors in Denver” and more than half of the 347 physicians on the list are members of the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty. By our count, there are at least 182 members of our faculty represented on that list. While it is an honor for all the faculty who are on the list, the magazine itself notes that the list is in many respects a popularity contest. Those selected to appear on the list are voted on by peer physicians in an online ballot that is posted from mid-January to mid-March. I commend those who are admired enough by their peers to be listed, but I also want to thank all our faculty physicians who provide outstanding care to those who depend on us. Our faculty team is providing some of the best healthcare in the country for the benefit of our patients and community. Thank you for everything you do. 

Along with the list, 5280 also published an article that features faculty members or programs that are part of or related to the School of Medicine. That article, “Closing the Gap,” covers a lot of ground. Among the topics: the new Children’s Hospital Colorado hospital under construction in Colorado Springs; the Discover Health/Descubre la Salud exhibition, a project of the Colorado Area Health Education Centers, on display at Colorado libraries; a profile of Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine and internist at Denver Health, and her research on end-stage renal disease; the medical school’s Rural Track; and Project Shine, a program that includes our medical students and residents working with refugees and immigrants. 

The University of Colorado announced last Friday that the university system set a record for fundraising for the eight consecutive year. CU raised $386.3 million in private contributions during the fiscal year 2016-2017, a $1.8 million increase from the previous year. The announcement noted specific gifts for each of the four CU campuses. For the Anschutz Medical Campus, the announcement focused on $47.8 million in private support to help military veterans. The Marcus Foundation, a philanthropic organization created by Bernard Marcus, retired co-founder of The Home Depot, committed $38 million over five years to establish the Marcus Institute for Brain Health at CU Anschutz. The institute will serve military veterans with traumatic brain injury and related psychological health conditions. In addition to that gift, the campus announced a partnership totaling $9.8 million, with the Cohen Veterans Network to build a mental health clinic to serve veteran and military families in greater Denver with free or low-cost personalized care and integrated case management support. The network was founded by Steven A. Cohen, a hedge fund manager and philanthropist. 

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Richard Zane, MD, chair of emergency medicine and chief innovation officer for UCHealth, was moderating a panel session called “Leading Physicians Well,” during a free, live web event, Physicians Leading | Leading Physicians. According to the event’s sponsor, NEJM Catalyst, the event drew more than 1,100 viewers to the live stream. The sponsors have since invited Rich to become an NEJM Catalyst Thought Leader. According to NEJM Catalyst, Thought Leaders are chosen for their credentials, expertise, and knowledge related to a specific theme. In Rich’s case, NEJM Catalyst cited leadership. Thought Leaders work with Catalyst editors to contribute content of their interest for publication on Catalyst and to participate in the active dialogue that Catalyst is leading to transform health care delivery. Kudos to Rich on the recognition and for bringing attention to the outstanding work being done here in Colorado. 

The work of another faculty member from our Department of Emergency Medicine also received some national recognition last week. On Tuesday, U.S. Surgeon General nominee Jerome Adams, MD, mentioned the work of Marian “Emmy” Betz, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine. In his testimony, Dr. Adams said in response to a senator’s question about guns: “There are evidence-based programs – some good ones out in Colorado – where they’re bringing law enforcement, gun owners, and the public health community together to look at solutions to lowering the violence. And it’s not just homicides, it’s also suicides. There are more suicides than there are homicides in this country. And I think there are lots of partners out there if we’re just willing to stop demonizing each other and really work together to look at evidence-based programs that help lower violence.” The comments are at about 1 hour, 25 minutes into the testimony. Emmy’s research on gun safety matters has been widely cited, including in an article earlier this year on the AMA Wire. Emmy said she and colleague, Megan Ranney, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, met Dr. Adams at the AMA meeting discussed in that article. 


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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