Dean's Weekly Message

Dec. 11, 2017


Dear colleague: 


CU President Bruce Benson addressed the Faculty Senate on November 30 and outlined numerous accomplishments that have occurred during his tenure, which began in March 2008. Total enrollment at the University and the number of degrees awarded annually have both increased. Enrollment now stands at 65,375, compared with 54,174. Degrees awarded annually increased to 15,693 from 12,939. Total research funding is $1.03 billion, compared with $660 million, and annual fundraising is $386.3 million, up from $135 million. Such growth in the University System is impressive. At the School of Medicine, we are strengthened by and make significant contributions to many of the markers that indicate the success of our University. Thank you to all of you for your dedication and commitment to  our University. An article in CU Connections covers details about President Benson’s speech. 

The Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Program hosted a 40th anniversary celebration last Thursday, December 7, at the Hyatt Regency Aurora. AHEC has six regional offices and its program office is based on the Anschutz Medical Campus. AHEC works with those offices on four core missions: health careers and workforce diversity, health professions student education, health professions continuing education, and public health and community education. Yesterday, the Denver Post published an article on the shortage of physicians in rural Colorado. AHEC is one way our University works to address this urgent need. Mark Deutchman, MD, professor of family medicine and director of AHEC, discussed the School of Medicine’s Rural Track program. According to Mark, about half of the 130 medical school graduates in the Rural Track program have chosen to practice medicine in rural communities, which is a remarkably high number when compared with medical school graduates across the country. We have one of the country’s most highly regarded Rural Track programs and our AHEC earlier this year received a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the Health Resources Services Administration to continue its valuable work. Congratulations to the AHEC team on the anniversary of this important program. 

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Fund to Retain Clinical Scientists held its annual directors meeting on our campus last Thursday. The purpose of the fund is to provide supplemental, flexible funds to early-career physician-scientists working on clinical research projects and facing extraprofessional demands of caregiving. Ten U.S. medical schools, including our School, administer these funds to eligible faculty. We’ve had six faculty members supported by the fund, including three – Melanie Cree Green, MD, PhD, Kristin Jensen, MD, MSc, and Lilia Cervantes, MD – who were featured recently in an article in CU Medicine magazine. The School and our Center for Women’s Health Research, which administers the program here, were proud to host the foundation. 

The Department of Pediatrics will be honoring this year’s Career Teaching Scholars Award recipients on Friday, December 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Education 2 North, Room P28- 1102. A reception in the lobby will immediately follow. This year’s honorees are Susan Niermeyer, MD, MPH and Julie A. Parsons, MD, both professors of pediatrics, and Sorenna Kirkegaard, MD, associate clinical professor of pediatrics and Lynne R. Studebaker, MD, clinical professor of pediatrics. They will be recognized for outstanding contributions to pediatric education throughout their careers. 

The Academy of Medical Educators is seeking applications for membership from all departments and programs within the School of Medicine. Members are chosen via a competitive, peer-reviewed application process. Membership represents a significant achievement in the field of medical and healthcare education. Members are expected to have an ongoing commitment to medical and healthcare education and the mission of the academy. More information is available on the academy’s webpage. Anyone interested in applying should submit a brief email of intent (a one-line note will suffice) to by Friday, December 29. Final applications are due Monday, February 5. 

The annual Dean’s Circle Dinner to thank alumni for supporting the School of Medicine was last Tuesday, December 5, at the Wellshire Inn in south Denver. We are extremely fortunate to have alumni support and pride in our School. Through their support, we have boosted scholarships and provided stethoscopes to all matriculating medical students, establishing strong bonds between distinguished alumni and the next generation of physicians. I would like to thank our Medical Alumni Association leadership, including President Jan Kief, MD ’82, Vice President Linda Williams, MD ’84, Secretary/Treasurer Dennis Battock, MD ’64, and Immediate Past President Wagner Schorr, MD ’63. Also thank you to the Offices of Alumni Relations and Advancement, including Georgette Vigil, MA, director of alumni relations, and Vanessa McDougall, assistant director. 


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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