Dean's Weekly Message

May 22, 2017


Dear colleague: 

Gov. John Hickenlooper came to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus last Thursday, May 18, to sign HB17-193 into law. The bill establishes the center for research into substance abuse disorder prevention, treatment and recovery support strategies on our campus and provides $1 million from marijuana taxes to pay to establish and expand programs specifically targeting opioid and other substance abuse and addiction. Robert Valuck, PhD, professor of clinical pharmacy in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, who coordinates the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, has been a leader in the effort. Also attending the signing were bill sponsors state Sen. Cheri Jahn and state Rep. Brittany Pettersen, both Democrats. The bill’s other sponsors were state Sen. Kevin Lundberg and state Rep. Bob Rankin, both Republicans. Chancellor Don Elliman welcomed the governor and thanked lawmakers for their support for this important effort. I would also like to thank Jack Westfall, MD, MPH, professor of family medicine, who is working with rural medical practices to help them improve care of patients with opioid addictions, and Joseph Frank, MD, assistant professor of medicine who practices at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center, who has been researching issues related to opioid addiction. Both Jack and Joe juggled their schedules on short notice during this year’s legislative session to head down to the statehouse to testify in support of this bill. 

Gov. Hickenlooper will be making a return trip to campus on Friday, May 26, to deliver the keynote address at the Hooding and Oath Ceremony for the School of Medicine’s MD graduates. We are fortunate to have him making the address and I’d like to thank the graduating class for inviting him to be the speaker. The campuswide graduation ceremony is at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 26, on Boettcher Commons, south of the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities. The School of Medicine Hooding and Oath Ceremony is set to begin at 10:15 a.m., also on Boettcher Commons. The backup site in case of inclement weather is the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center. The Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant Program graduation ceremony will be 10 a.m. Thursday, May 25, on the Library Commons. 

Last Tuesday, May 16, the Office of Student Life hosted a farewell celebration for Maureen Garrity, PhD, who retired as associate dean for student life in February, after serving the School of Medicine for 34 years. Maureen’s dedication to our students is legendary and we have been fortunate to have her on faculty and in the School’s administration. At the White Coat Ceremony for new medical students last August, she was one of the recipients of the Faculty Professionalism Award, a well-deserved honor recognizing her academic and institutional citizenship. For the past 26 years, Maureen has sequentially served the School as associate dean for admissions, associate dean for student affairs and as associate dean for student life. Maureen will be missed. 

The University of Colorado Alpha Omega Alpha Chapter hosted its annual banquet on Tuesday, May 16, where the National Honor Medical Society inducted new members. To be eligible, students must be in the top 25 percent of their class and also exhibit qualities such as leadership, fairness, compassion, integrity and service. Mel Anderson, MD, interim program director of Internal Medicine Residency Training Program and associate professor of medicine, gave the keynote address, “The New Oslerians:  Service in the Modern Era.” A full list of the newly inducted members of the AOA are posted on its website. It was a pleasure to welcome the new members to our AOA chapter. 

The CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities is seeking to appoint a School of Medicine representative to the center’s Academic Leadership Council. The council is charged to integrate, strengthen, synchronize and expand the center’s offerings across the campus, throughout CU and into the community. This work includes enhancing existing curricula, expanding capacity and support for clinical case consultation activities, assisting the growth of the center’s research enterprise, strengthening community engagement activities, and creating and implementing new advanced training programs in bioethics and the health humanities. The School of Medicine member will be appointed by the Dean in consultation with the Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities. The member is required to communicate with Department or Division leadership and others to obtain appropriate approvals prior to initiating work as a 0.2 FTE member of the council.  For more information or to apply, send a CV and cover letter to

The School of Medicine Faculty Senate is seeking nominations for the Faculty Professionalism Award to recognize a full time faculty member who has served as a role model representing the scope of professionalism defined in the School’s rules: “civil and courteous behavior; respect for teachers, students, supporting staff and colleagues; service to the community; dedication to lifelong learning; and, for clinicians, empathy, altruism, compassion and other attitudes and behaviors which represent the core traditions of the profession of medicine.” Nominations may be submitted by any student, resident, faculty or other member of the School and University. Nomination forms are available on the Faculty Professionalism Award website. Nominations are due at 5 p.m., Friday, June 9, and should be submitted to Cheryl Welch, director of faculty affairs. 

The Campus Health Center has announced new hours of operation. Beginning Tuesday, May 30, the Center’s hours will be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for physical health visits, with time for walk-ins from noon to 1 p.m. For behavioral health, the hours will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, with walk-ins from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. To make an appointment, call 303-724-6242. 

The Anschutz Health and Wellness Center is hosting a summer kickoff party on Tuesday, May 30, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. that is open to the entire campus. There will be food trucks on site and volleyball nets set up on the parade grounds.  


There will be no Dean’s Weekly Message on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29. Have a safe and happy holiday. 


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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