Dean's Weekly Message
Nov. 20, 2017
At the University of Colorado Medicine annual member meeting last Wednesday evening, we celebrated another strong year by our faculty practice. Jane Schumaker, executive director of CU Medicine, reported that total income, clinical productivity and total number of faculty continued to grow. She also noted that we face challenges in maintaining our rate of growth. Operating margins are tightening as our expenses for member compensation and benefits have increased in recent years. Another concern is related to our patients who depend on government payers. Those patients make up 55 percent of our work and account for about 30 percent of our payments. State Medicaid has struggled this year to make timely payments due to its conversion to a new computer system and federal lawmakers continue to discuss efforts that could adversely impact Medicaid coverage. While these factors inject uncertainty, we can be confident that our faculty are making substantial contributions to the health and well-being of our patients and communities. Thank you to everyone on staff at CU Medicine for their exemplary efforts serving our outstanding faculty and thank you to our faculty for their dedication to excellent patient care, which in turn helps us fulfill our complementary missions to teach, investigate, and serve our community.
David Schwartz, MD, chair of the Department of Medicine, presented the annual State of the Department address last Thursday, featuring some impressive statistics about the department’s growth since 2011. The Department now has more than 900 faculty and those members have posted remarkable increases in clinical productivity. The Department’s faculty have also notched strong growth in research funding. Between 2012 and 2016, while grant funding by the National Institutes of Health increased 5 percent nationally, the investigators in the department have recorded a 19 percent increase in NIH support.
Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and professor of surgery and pharmacology, has been named a Distinguished Professor of the University, the highest honor awarded to faculty. CU Distinguished Professors are faculty members who demonstrate exemplary performance in research or creative work, a record of excellence in classroom teaching and supervision of individual learning, and outstanding service to the profession, the university and its affiliates. In Dan’s case, he has been a highly accomplished translational cancer researcher and his work has led to the discovery of genes that regulate metastasis in bladder and other cancers, tools that determine effectiveness of drugs in patients, and the discovery of new drugs for cancer. Dan is one of only 92 CU faculty members to earn this distinction since its inception in 1977. Along with Dan, four other professors received the honor this year: Peter Molnar, PhD, professor of geological sciences and fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences; Douglas Seals, PhD, professor of integrative physiology; Thomas Veblen, PhD, professor of geography, all from CU Boulder; and Paul Harvey, PhD, professor of history at University of Colorado Colorado Springs.
Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical affairs at the School of Medicine and chief medical officer for University of Colorado Hospital, has been named one of the 30 most influential leaders in hospice and palliative medicine by members of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM). The association asked its 5,000 members to nominate leaders in the field and the top 30 were named Visionaries who will be honored at the Annual Assembly of Hospice and Palliative Care annual assembly in Boston in March 2018.
Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, vice chair for education and professor in the Department of Medicine, has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 APDIM Distinguished Medical Educator Award. APDIM, founded in 1977, is a member of the Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine. The award is one of the highest honors available to an educator in the field of academic internal medicine. The award will be bestowed at the Academic Internal Medicine Week meeting in San Antonio this spring.
The U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals voting season will soon be upon us and I’d like to remind all faculty members who are eligible to join Doximity to consider registering on the site before December 1. While the U.S. News rankings take several factors into account, one of the key measures is a hospital’s reputation in 16 specialties. The University of Colorado Hospital was ranked No. 15 overall on the 2017-2018 U.S. News Best Hospitals Honor Roll and one of the key strengths was exceptional performance on quality-of-care measures. Another important factor is an institution’s reputation, which gives us and our peers across the country a chance to rate specialty care at hospitals. For this part of the ranking system, which accounts for nearly one-third of the overall score, U.S. News surveys medical professionals and largely relies on a survey distributed to those who are registered with Doximity as of December 1. After you’ve registered with Doximity, review your CV to make sure it accurately reflects your specialty so that, if appropriate, you can be contacted with the survey. The 16 specialty categories considered by U.S. News are: Cancer; Cardiology and Heart Surgery; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; Geriatrics; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Nephrology; Neurology and Neurological Surgery; Ophthalmology; Orthopedics; Otolaryngology; Psychiatry; Pulmonary Disease; Rehabilitation; Rheumatology; and Urology.
The Anschutz Medical Campus Orchestra and Choir held its Fall Concert last Wednesday, featuring students, faculty and staff from across the Anschutz community, including many students, faculty and staff from the School of Medicine. The program also featured a performance by the Soundscape Accordion Trio. The concert was a welcome interlude in a very busy season for everyone on our campus. Thank you to all who shared their talents at the concert. We look forward to your next performance.
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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