Dean's Weekly Message

May 15, 2017


Dear colleague: 

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus on Friday, May 12, announced a $38 million gift from the Marcus Foundation of Atlanta to establish the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, a first-of-its-kind center serving military veterans with traumatic brain injury and related psychological health issues. Chancellor Don Elliman, with Bernard Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, hosted an event at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center to celebrate the announcement. Neurologist James P. Kelly, MD, has been named executive director of the MIBH. Jim led the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for seven years. NICoE has successfully treated more than 1,300 servicemen and women suffering from traumatic brain injury and psychological health issues with a patient-centered model that Jim will bring to the MIBH. In addition to the Marcus Foundation gift, the University also announced a $9.8 million partnership with Cohen Veterans Network to build a mental health clinic that will serve veteran and military families in metro Denver with free personalized care and case management. The Cohen Veterans Network, which was founded by hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen, is creating 25 Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinics throughout the U.S. over a five-year period. 

As the School of Medicine prepares for commencement later this month, it’s also the time of year when our Office of Admissions is putting the final touches on the MD class that will join us in August. Last week, Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, reported that 183 of the 184 seats in the Class of 2021 are filled. While there are always possibilities that some of the details about the class can change, it is clear that we will have an impressive group joining us this summer. The current details about the class show that 65 percent are from Colorado, the class is equally divided between men and women, and 27 percent of the class are from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine. That group includes 17 percent who are the first generation in their families to attend college and 15 percent from rural communities. The average student age is 24 and the average MCAT score ranges from 88th to 91st percentile depending on which exam was taken. A notable feature about the incoming class is that one of the students participated in the summer program overseen by John Repine, MD, associate dean for student advocacy. That program brings undergraduate students to our campus for a summer program that introduces them to biomedical and clinical practice, social activities and mentorship with our faculty. I would like to thank everyone on the admissions staff and in the Office of Student Life for their exceptional work. 

The Faculty Senate met Tuesday, May 9, and received a presentation from Terri Carrothers, senior vice chancellor for administration and finance and chief financial officer for the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus about the University of Colorado intercampus dependent tuition benefit pilot program that is set to begin in the fall semester 2017. The pilot program will provide a benefit of up to $2,430 (or $270 per credit hour). The University’s benefits webpage regarding employee tuition waiver benefit says more details will become available in July. Also at the Faculty Senate meeting, Pamela Peterson, MD, MSPH, associate professor of medicine, provided an update about the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Council of Faculty and Academic Societies. The council aims to give a voice to academic faculty within the AAMC’s governance and leadership structures. 

Thanks to all who attended the CU Anschutz Medical Campus spring faculty gathering at the Fulginiti Pavilion, hosted by Chancellor Don Elliman, on Tuesday, May 9. Every day, we rely on the dedication of our faculty to achieve our goals of providing excellent care, educating current and future medical professionals and expanding our understanding of biomedical science. Our successes are due in large part to your commitment to our students, patients and colleagues and we plan to continue building on that strong foundation. 

The Denver Health Nightshine Gala on Saturday, May 13, honored concert and event promoter Chuck Morris, who has been active in supporting the Denver Health Foundation. Each year, the Nightshine Gala draws hundreds of people to raise money for the Denver Health, which is a vital asset in providing care to people in our community. This year, event chairs were Steve Farber, David McReynolds and Dan Scherer and the entertainment headliner was Kenny Loggins. The Footloose singer also made an appearance at Denver Health, where he met patients and staff. 

The School of Medicine’s Foundations of Doctoring program held its eight annual Golden Stethoscope awardsbanquet on Monday, May 8. Each year, the Office of Faculty Affairs honors preceptors for their dedication to medical student education. We are grateful to the 12 honorees and all the preceptors who so generously offer their time and skill to help train the next generation of physicians. Preceptors work with medical students about two or three half-days per month in at the physician’s place of practice, working with the students to develop individual learning goals and completing an evaluation of your student each semester. 

Thanks to Lilia Cervantes, MD, associate professor of medicine, who invited me to join her at the Latina First Foundation luncheon last Thursday, May 11, where she was named a 2017 Unsung Heroine by the foundation. Lily is a hospitalist at Denver Health and has been researching how care is provided to undocumented immigrants with end-stage renal disease and the physical and psychological toll imposed on these patients and their families by policies that do not allow scheduled dialysis treatments. Another honoree at the luncheon was Irene Griego, chair of the University of Colorado Board of Regents, who has been named a 2017 Trailblazer by the foundation. has been named among “The Best Cancer Blogs of the Year” by Healthline, an online consumer health information site.  The 18 blogs were selected “because they are actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high quality information,” according to Healthline. Other awardees include CancerWise by MD Anderson, Stand Up To Cancer, and the website Cure Today by Cure Magazine. The list is high-quality company and the team at the CU Cancer Center, including Communications Manager Erika Matich and Science Writer Garth Sundem deserve commendation for their standout work. This is the second year that has been featured on the Healthline list. 

Randy Repola, the new chief of police for CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, will be welcomed at an open house reception Friday, May 19, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Ridgway Board Room (Room 7000) of Academic Office Building 1. Randy joined CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus in mid-April to ensure a smooth transition from retiring Chief Doug Abraham.  Randy has nearly 20 years of police work, most recently serving as deputy chief of police at CU Boulder. 

Welcome to Kimberly Spiering, who has joined the legal team as associate university counsel. She joins us with experience in the private and public sector. For the past three years she has worked with higher education institutions – first as an assistant attorney general and then as associate general counsel for Metropolitan State University. Prior to that, she worked with private law firms and as a clerk to former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Mullarkey. 

CU President Bruce Benson announced last week that Venkat Reddy, PhD, has been named chancellor of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs after a national search to replace Pam Shockley-Zalabak, who retired in February. Reddy began his career at UCCS as a finance faculty member in the College of Business. After rising through the faculty ranks he became dean of the College of Business, a position he held for almost 13 years. He also served as the associate vice chancellor for online education and initiatives, responsible for on-campus, cross-campus and CU system-wide programs. 

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities is hosting a Launch Celebration on Thursday, May 18, for publication of the 10th edition of The Human Touch, an anthology of poetry, prose and visual art published annually featuring the creative work of members of the Anschutz Medical Campus community. The 2017 edition is dedicated to Henry N. Claman, MD, founder of The Human Touch and Distinguished Professor of the University. The editorial board of The Human Touch, contributors and friends will gather for readings and refreshments 4 p.m. at the Fulginiti Pavilion. 

Congratulations to the Arts and Humanities in Healthcare Program at University of Colorado’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities, which last week was named the recipient of the Science, Medicine and the Arts Award by the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.  J. Landis Martin, chairman of the board for Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, commended the program “for changing the way healthcare education can use the arts to help patients, students and providers alike, and achieve better healthcare outcomes for all.” The Arts and Humanities Program provides educational opportunities for our students and is home to the Journal of Medical Humanities, the leading peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of health humanities. The foundation also noted the program’s community outreach endeavors, which include lectures, film series, art exhibits, theatrical and musical performances, and presentations and workshops with visiting artists and writers. The program will be recognized at the foundation’s annual luncheon on Friday, May 19, along with other award winners. 


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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