Dean's Weekly Message

April 25, 2016


Dear colleague: 

Senior Associate Dean for Education Robert Anderson, MD, reported to the School of Medicine Executive Committee last Tuesday on the results of the independent medical student survey to be shared with the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME), which will conduct an accreditation site visit next March. There was encouraging news – students consider the overall quality of their education to be high, concerns about mistreatment are declining, and there are improvements in the perception that the School administration is responsive to their concerns. And there were reminders about areas where the LCME standards are appropriately high – meaningful mid-course feedback and direct observation is required for 100 percent of students during third-year rotations; diversity of students, residents and faculty; interprofessional education could be improved in clinical settings. Working together, we will address these issues so that we are giving our students the education they deserve and that our community needs. Overall, the survey reports were positive and encouraging.

Speaking of surveys, this is a reminder that the School of Medicine’s Office of Professionalism is conducting a survey of faculty to evaluate the level of workplace satisfaction. If you receive an email requesting your participation, please take the 5 to 10 minutes needed to complete the survey. The survey is being conducted by an independent third party and respondents will remain confidential. Any demographic data requested in the survey is processed separately and will be reported in aggregate only. To assure anonymity, the demographic data cannot be cross referenced to the survey data. I would encourage all faculty to complete the survey so that we have meaningful results.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center announced last week that Myles Cockburn, PhD, will be joining as its program co-leader for prevention and control and as the inaugural holder of the CancerCure/AMC Cancer Fund Chair for Prevention and Control. Myles joins us June 1 from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, where he is associate professor of preventive medicine. His research focuses on the prevention of skin cancer by changing the behaviors of school children in high risk communities. He also is designing methods to improve prevention and early detection of skin cancer and other cancers like breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

David Biggerstaff, the new chief operating officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado, has joined us here on the Anschutz Medical Campus and we welcome him. David most recently was president and chief operating officer at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, where he worked for nine years in several leadership roles.

On Friday afternoon, on behalf of the School, I accepted a $102,950 gift from the COPIC Medical Foundation presented on behalf of the foundation by COPIC’s chairman and CEO, Ted Clarke, MD. This gift was provided to support the purchase of the Victoria S2200 Maternal and Neonatal Birthing Simulator for the Center for Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE), which is directed by Eva Aagaard, MD. This new high fidelity mannequin will support advanced labor and delivery training for health professions learners across the campus and more broadly. COPIC has long been an important supporter of education on our campus, including funding the COPIC birthing suite at the CAPE in 2008, supporting the COPIC scholars program, and training over 200 residents per year in error disclosure, patient safety and risk management. We are grateful for the foundation’s support of education. You can learn more about COPIC and the important work they do at the COPIC website.  

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., Tuesday, May 31, and should be submitted to Cheryl Welch, director of faculty affairs.

Congratulations to Nazanin Bahraini, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and physical medicine and rehabilitation, who was part of a team of researchers who shared top honors at the Brain Trust: Pathways to InnoVAtion conference sponsored by the VA Center for Innovation and MyVA Partnerships. The goal of the national summit was to explore innovative ways to assist veterans living with mild traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. Nazanin’s team pitched a voice-based assistant designed to help veterans connect to the services they need.

Congratulations to Jeannette Guerrasio, MD, associate professor of medicine, on joining the ranks of the President’s Teaching Scholars. The title is CU’s highest recognition of excellence in and commitment to learning and teaching. Jeannette is director of resident and medical student remediation and she is recognized as a leader in identifying and remediating struggling learners. She developed and implemented the clinical remediation program for medical students and residents at the CU School of Medicine, and played a critical role in developing the faculty involved in the remediation program. Her research explores understanding and early identification of at-risk learners and remediation methods and outcomes.

Catherine Lozupone, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, has been selected to join the Department’s Outstanding Early Scholar Program, which provides financial support for their scholarly endeavors. Cathy has written or contributed to more than 50 papers and has been key to the development of commonly used computational tools for microbial community analysis.

Malik Kahook, MD, professor of ophthalmology, has been named one of the 100 most influential people in ophthalmology by The Ophthalmologist. Malik was recognized for his research on devices and surgical instruments for glaucoma and cataract surgery.

Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and E. Stewart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, recently received the Endocrine Society 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award. The award recognizes mentors who have significant impact on the education and careers of others. In Nanette’s case, the Society noted that her mentees have received more than 25 NIH and foundation grants and many have become leaders in other programs. Nanette also recently completed the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program at Drexel University College of Medicine.

The Human Touch 2016, the ninth annual anthology of poetry, prose, photography and graphic art by members of the Anschutz Medical Campus, is now available for free at the AMC Bookstore in Education II South and the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities. An exhibit of artwork is also on display on the second floor of the Fulginiti through the end of June.


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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