Dean's Weekly Message

Nov. 13, 2017


Dear colleague: 

During the first weekend of November, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) held its annual meeting in Boston, where some 4,500 leaders from medical schools across the country gathered to learn and discuss best practices and current issues facing our profession. During her speech to the assembly, Marsha Rappley, MD, chair of the AAMC Board of Directors, offered a challenging inquiry into the cost of medical education. “Today the cost and the length of time in training would discourage me from the career that has given me so much joy and satisfaction,” she said. “I ask you to think about what sociodemographic of people will even imagine for themselves a career in medicine, given this cost. We are making this hardest for the people we are trying to include.” The cost of attending a medical school and the expense of providing a high-quality medical education remain a critical issue for medical schools across the country. Our School is working to establish scholarships with an enduring base of funding, an endowment that can provide aid to worthy students now and in the future. If we believe that a prospective student belongs here and will make a worthwhile contribution, we do not want them choosing to go to another medical school, or even foregoing a career in medicine, due to financial considerations. We are working with the Office of Advancement to address this important concern and we thank those who have previously established scholarships. Scholarships are an excellent investment in talented individuals who will make a lasting contribution to our community. 

Also at the AAMC meeting, the association announced Lilly Marks, vice president for health affairs for the University, will serve as chair-elect on the AAMC Board of Directors. Lilly has been a remarkable leader at our University and at the AAMC and she continues to make strong contributions to the future of academic medicine. The AAMC also announced that M. Roy Wilson, MD, president of Wayne State University and former chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver, will serve as the AAMC board’s chair. 

Denver voters last Tuesday approved a package of bond issues to pay for several infrastructure projects in the city. Of particular note for the School of Medicine was the passage of Referred Question 2C, which provides funding for a new $75 million outpatient ambulatory center at Denver Health. The new 272,000-square-foot outpatient center is expected to centralize 17 medical specialty clinics and other services. The center will also create new spaces for behavioral and mental health care. Construction is expected to be completed by 2020. 

The annual Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation to benefit the Crnic Insititute for Down Syndrome at the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Sie Center for Down Syndrome at Children’s Hospital Colorado was held Saturday, November 11, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. The event attracts celebrities such as actors Jamie Foxx and Eva Longoria, but the real stars are the young models who walk the runway. Funds raised at the event support research, medical care, education and advocacy. We are grateful for the widespread and generous community support for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. 

The annual member meeting of the University of Colorado Medicine is scheduled for Wednesday, November 15, in the Krugman Conference Hall of Research Complex 2. A reception begins at 5 p.m. followed by the business meeting at 6 p.m. 

The ZATA (Zimbabwe AIDS Treatment Assistance) Project is holding a Zimbabwe art and sculpture auction at the Fulginiti Pavilion on Thursday, November 30. The ZATA Project is a University of Colorado initiative started in 2004 to raise funds for the Division of Infectious Diseases’ partner site at the University of Zimbabwe. ZATA has raised over $350, 000 for AIDS programs (research, clinical, and even a micro-loan program for HIV-infected farmers) that have played an important role in combating the epidemic in Zimbabwe. There is a $25 ticket charge for the event, which includes live music, artwork, and food and drinks. You can register online or buy tickets at the door.

A reminder: The School of Medicine and the Alumni Association are requesting nominations for the 2018 Medical Alumni Association Awards. The CU School of Medicine Alumni Association recognizes alumni for service and commitment to the practice of medicine with the Silver and Gold Award, Distinguished Achievement Award, Humanitarian Award, and the Distinguished Service Award. To submit a nomination, visit or contact the Office of Alumni relations at Nominations are due Friday, December 8. 

The Colorado Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) program office, in association with the Anschutz Medical Campus, is offering free health screenings for adults and children January 6-21, 2018, at the National Western Stock Show. The health screening booth will be staffed by volunteers including non-clinical staff, health professions students from various disciplines, and supervising licensed clinical providers. The National Western Stock Show attracts over 700,000 attendees and AHEC anticipates screening over 2,500 participants. Faculty who are licensed healthcare providers are needed to cover four-hour shifts supervising the students conducting the screenings. You can register online

memorial service for Richard Traystman, PhD, vice chancellor for research and Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado, was held on the Anschutz Medical Campus last Tuesday afternoon with several speakers paying their respects. CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell, PhD, described being startled during a meeting with Dick in his office when he boomed out a request from his desk to Executive Assistant Paula McGuigan in the adjacent room. “I soon learned that everything about Dick was supersized,” Dorothy said. “That included his intellect, his passion, his work ethic, his expectations, his accomplishments, his generosity, and his wit. And I found that once Dick took you into his fold, he became an ardent advocate, a trusted confidant, a sage resource, and a cherished friend.” Many speakers described his dedication to work (Alison Lakin, PhD, for example, noted that the last time she saw Dick he reminded her to turn in annual accreditation paperwork by December), his great sense of humor and that his emails were always in bold type. Dr. T will be missed. 


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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