Dean's Weekly Message

Oct. 30, 2017


Dear colleague: 

Leaders from the School of Medicine and the University of Colorado Medicine, our faculty practice plan, last Tuesday hosted a celebration honoring recipients of the CU Medicine Scholarships. Our faculty have been generous in creating scholarships to help attract some of the best and brightest students to our School and I am very grateful to everyone for their hard work and valuable contribution to our educational mission. Also thank you to Jane Schumaker, executive director of CU Medicine, and the entire team who manage the day-to-day operations of our practice, ensuring that we are providing cost-efficient, high-quality care to our patients. This year’s  scholarship recipients are especially impressive and we are proud to have them join us here at the School of Medicine. 

Erin Lennon, PA, instructor in the Department of Surgery, recently returned to campus after helping people recover from this season’s hurricanes. Erin originally signed up for a two-week tour to help people in Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. But the storms kept coming, so Erin continued her service, providing care in the U.S. Virgin Islands and hunkering down in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Maria stormed the island. Erin’s total service stretched to six weeks and tapped PA skills she learned working in emergency rooms and surgical suites. For more details about Erin’s experience, read this UCHealth Today article. It’s yet another example of how our faculty work every day to make the world a better place. 

Last Monday, Chancellor Don Elliman and I were invited by COPIC to meet with Republican state lawmakers who came to our campus to visit the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE). The goal of the meeting was to let legislators experience health care delivery from the provider’s perspective and to explain to them how we on the Anschutz Medical Campus improve the quality of care. Democratic lawmakers are scheduled to make a similar tour in November. COPIC is a Denver-based provider of medical professional liability insurance and its foundation has been a generous supporter of our campus and CAPE. For example, in April 2016, the COPIC Medical Foundation donated more than $100,000 for the purchase of a birthing simulator. The meeting with lawmakers was an excellent chance for us to showcase our campus and to recognize the importance of COPIC’s support. 

The sixth annual Down Syndrome Symposium was held last Tuesday. The event has become a key campus event to promote research on Down syndrome and to raise awareness about how that research could have a profound effect on understanding other ailments. For example, people with Down syndrome are prone to developing Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and other autoimmune disorders, but they are largely protected from most solid tumors and from heart disease. The Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome each year sponsors the Crnic Grand Challenge Grants Program to promote such research. Last week was a banner week for raising public awareness of such issues. On Wednesday, Crnic Institute Executive Director Joaquín Espinosa, PhD, professor of pharmacology, joined with Global Down Syndrome President and CEO Michelle Sie Whitten testifying before a Congressional committee and the institute’s work was featured in a Denver Post article

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has issued a call for judges for the 32nd Annual Student Research Forum. The forum is intended as a campus-wide student research showcase featuring research from all schools on campus. The poster presentations are Tuesday, December 12, in Education 2 North and South. The registration for the event begins at noon. Session one is at 1 p.m. and the second session begins at 2:15 p.m. Faculty judges can sign up on the online call for judges. Questions can be addressed to

The School of Medicine and the Alumni Association are requesting nominations for the 2018 Medical Alumni Association Awards. The University of Colorado 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 campus memorial for Richard Traystman, PhD, vice chancellor for research and Distinguished Professor of the University, will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Room 1102 of Education 2 South. The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has established the Richard Traystman, PhD, Memorial Fund  to honor his memory. The family also suggests donations to the American Heart | Stroke Association


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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