Dean's Weekly Message

June 12, 2017


Dear colleague: 

Bob Anderson, MD, senior associate dean for education and former chair of the Department of Medicine, will be stepping down at the end of this month after having led the School through the process of re-accreditation with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). Bob came back to the School in mid-2013 as our faculty accreditation lead with the LCME and then assumed the role of senior associate dean for education when Celia Kaye, MD, PhD, retired in December 2013. We have been fortunate to have Bob at the helm for the LCME process. His thorough knowledge of the School and his attentiveness to each detail required by the LCME ensured that we made an excellent case for re-accreditation. Based on the comments of the LCME site visitors earlier this year, Bob did an outstanding job. The LCME’s report is due later this year and Bob has promised to be available for any questions that arise.We offer best wishes to Bob for a happy retirement. 

As a result of Bob’s departure, I have asked Shanta Zimmer, MD, to serve as the interim senior associate dean for education. Shanta has made a significant impact as associate dean for diversity and inclusion since her arrival on campus in June 2016, reorganizing our Diversity Leadership Council, serving on or leading search committees for leadership posts at the School, coordinating “A Toast to Diversity” event last summer that affirmed our commitment to recognizing diversity as a source of strength, as well as becoming a go-to resource for diversity and inclusion issues. Shanta, an infectious disease physician, joined us from the University of Pittsburgh, where she directed the Introduction to Being a Physician course for first-year medical students, served as a mentor for students in all four years and was vice chair of education for the Department of Medicine and the internal medicine residency program director.

Congratulations to Judy Regensteiner, PhD, director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and professor of medicine, and Nanette Santoro, MD, chair of the department of obstetrics and gynecology, who have received notice that National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved their grant application through the NIH’s Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health program. This five-year, $2.5 million grant, supported by the School of Medicine, provides funding for junior faculty salaries and research needs. Female and male faculty members with MDs and/or PhDs are eligible to apply for funding if their work focuses on one of several topics, including pregnancy, lactation and developmental programming of health and disease, immunology/precision medicine, and adult health issues, including obesity, menopause, aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Participants are chosen through peer review and the request for applications will go out later in the summer or early fall. 

The Dean’s Office recently completed renovation of its reception suite (Room E1354 in Building 500) with the installation of an exhibit space where artifacts highlighting the School’s history and notable figures will appear. In order to offer a welcoming and informative entry for alumni and visitors coming to our offices, we plan to have rotating exhibits featuring faculty and others who have made significant contributions to the CU School of Medicine and the Colorado health care community. The first exhibit features Florence R. Sabin, MD (1871-1953), who was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the first woman member of the National Academy of Sciences. In her retirement, she returned to her native Colorado where for several years she was a public health activist and instrumental in passing health reform legislation.  She also served in public health roles for the city of Denver. A special thanks to Carolyn Goble, office manager for the Dean’s Office, who has added curator to the many talents she brings to the School of Medicine. Please stop by to see the exhibit. 

The Spring 2017 issue of CU Medicine Today magazine has been published on the School’s website. This issue features articles about the five Transformational Research Funding projects, an essay by Lilia Cervantes, MD, about a patient who inspired her research, and an outstanding profile of Col Joseph Horam, MD ’87, who had a very unusual patient – Saddam Hussein – during a final tour of duty in Iraq. 

Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, has been named to the steering committee for a new UNESCO Department of Bioethics and the Holocaust at the University of Haifa. The new department is an international group that will provide tools for educating undergraduates, graduates and professionals in healthcare about the continuing relevance of bioethics and the Holocaust to medical practice, public policy and human rights. This is the first such UNESCO-sponsored department at a medical school and offers opportunities for collaboration and outreach related to the Holocaust Genocide and Contemporary Bioethics Program on our campus. 

UCHealth announced last Thursday that it had signed an agreement with Yampa Valley Medical Center (YVMC) in Steamboat Spring that will make YVMC one of eight hospitals in the UCHealth system. In July 2016, YVMC announced its intention to seek a Front Range partner. On March 1, 2017, after an extensive competitive review process, YVMC announced it would be pursuing a partnership with UCHealth. In the announcing the news, Elizabeth Concordia, UCHealth president and CEO, said: “We are excited to welcome YVMC, their patients, employees and providers into the UCHealth family. UCHealth believes in providing advanced care close to home, and we’ll be looking for opportunities to continue YVMC’s growth and tradition of excellence while adding new services and access to specialists for patients in this region.” 

On Wednesday, June 7, I welcomed to our campus about 20 high school students participating in the Colorado Rural Health Scholars program. This annual camp begins the first Sunday in June and lasts for three weeks, ending with a graduation ceremony. The students stay in a dormitory at Regis University, attend classes and laboratories on our campus, and are exposed to clinical experiences in Denver-area hospitals. This is an outstanding program that offers high school students a chance to learn more about medicine and research, with the intention of inspiring them to pursue careers in the field. I would like to thank all faculty and students who help make this program a success. 


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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