Dean's Weekly Message

August 1, 2016


Dear colleague: 

The Beginning-to-Advanced Radiology Laboratory (BAR Lab) celebrated its grand opening last Thursday evening. The lab offers a model for a “flipped classroom,” where learners develop analytical and critical-thinking skills working together and using advanced technology. Nicole Restauri, MD, Bar Lab Director and assistant professor of radiology, says the lab offers a teaching style that engages students and tests their skills with equipment they use in a clinical setting. Investments in the BAR Lab’s innovations are made possible with annual funding for research and education that the School of Medicine receives through an agreement with UCHealth. Congratulations to the team in Radiology for this impressive classroom and teaching method that is offering excellent learning opportunities on our campus. 

George Sam Wang, MD, and Genie Roosevelt, MD, MPH, were featured in several media reports this past week for an article they wrote that appeared in JAMA Pediatrics on July 25. In the article, “Unintentional Pediatric Exposures to Marijuana in Colorado, 2009-2015,” they report that the number children’s hospital visits and regional poison center case rates for marijuana exposures increased between the two years prior to and the two years after state laws changed to allow for the purchase of marijuana for recreational use. Sam, who is an assistant professor of emergency medicine practicing and Children’s Hospital Colorado, is also featured in a JAMA Report video on the topic. Genie, who is an associate professor of emergency medicine practicing at Denver Health, was quoted in a The New York Times article, explaining that while medical professionals expected cases to go up, most were “not prepared for the dramatic increase.” 

The School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion organized a ceremony on campus last Thursday evening to commemorate people who have died and remember those injured in recent acts of violence in the United States and around the world. There have been far too many. The ceremony featured personal testimonies of colleagues on campus who have experienced bias in their lives and how they coped with it, a compelling reading of Langston Hughes’ poem “Let America Be America Again,” and encouragement to listen to one another. Thanks to all who organized and participated. 

Marian “Emmy” Betz, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine, was the author of an original research article, “Public Opinion Regarding Whether Speaking with Patients about Firearms is Appropriate: Results of a National Survey,” published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Emmy and her co-authors report that 66 percent of those surveyed said it is at least sometimes appropriate for healthcare providers to talk with patients about firearms. By comparison, that’s a lower level of support than providers at least sometimes discussing with patients seat belts (81 percent), tobacco (95 percent), or alcohol (96 percent). 

Edward Havranek, MD, professor of medicine, has been selected as the new director of medicine at Denver Health. Ed has been with Denver Health since 1991 and since 2010 he has been the director of health services research. He has been interim director of medicine since September 2015. In addition to being a professor at the School of Medicine, Ed is director of the adult program for ACCORDS (Adult-Child Consortium for Outcomes Research & Delivery Science). 

The University of Colorado’s Center for Bioethics and Humanities is one of the sponsors of the Aspen Program for Ethical Healthcare Leadership conference on Sept. 18-21. Each day will include two 2.5-hour sessions focused on topics relevant to today’s healthcare environment. Some topics to be covered are implementing ethical quality improvement, managing population health, preventive and reproductive care coverage mandates, and business-disrupting activities, such as accountable care organizations and new pharmaceutical pricing strategies. Faculty for the event include Anne C. Beal, MD, MPH, chief patient officer for Sanofi; James Block, MD, former president and CEO of Johns Hopkins Health System and the Johns Hopkins Hospital and William Hurlbut, MD, former member of the President’s Council on Bioethics and consulting professor in the Department of Neurobiology at Stanford University Medical Center. Preferred admissions deadline is Monday, Aug. 15, and attendance is limited to 100 people. Application information is available online and from Late applications may be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Volunteers are still needed to guide first-year medical students in small group discussions at 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10. The sessions are a crucial part of “First Course,” a two-day curriculum to introduce our new students to health equity, disparities and medicine as a profession. This is an excellent opportunity to meet and offer meaningful leadership to some of the talented young people joining our School. I encourage you to participate. Please contact Helen Gurnée at or 303-724-5851. 

Our chief residents last week attended a retreat sponsored by the Graduate Medical Education Office to encourage team learning and to cover such topics as interpersonal styles, conflict resolution and stress resiliency. Faculty leaders of the retreat were Matthew Rustici, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Rita Lee, MD, associate professor of medicine. A highlight of the meeting was a town hall discussion with hospital leaders including Jean Kutner, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and chief medical officer of University of Colorado Hospital, Joan Bothner, MD, chief physician transformation officer at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Abraham Nussbaum, MD, chief education officer at Denver Health. 

Last Friday morning, I offered my congratulations to 29 students who presented original research posters in the Skaggs Conference Room. The students were graduating from two summer programs that introduce talented and enthusiastic young people to our campus and they were presenting posters that were equivalent to those presented at national meetings. Twelve of the students, visiting Colorado for the first time, were pre-med undergraduates from diverse backgrounds from Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Williams, Middlebury, North Carolina State, and Southern California. These students trained in the Colorado Undergraduate Summer Program (CUSP), led by Webb-Waring Center Director, John E. Repine, MD. CUSP is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the North Foundation and the Fitzgerald Foundation. There were also six CU undergraduates in CUSP, supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and trained in a School of Pharmacy Colorado Undergraduate Research in Environmental Health Sciences (CUREHS) program led by Jared Brown, PhD, associate professor of toxicology at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, David Schwartz, MD, chair of medicine, and John Repine. And there were 11 emerging second-year Colorado medical students in the Department of Medicine Research and Equity in Academic Medicine (DREAM) Program, also led by John Repine. I would like to thank John and the many mentors, speakers, staff, and supporters who organized CUSP, CUREHS and DREAM this year. 

We welcome new leaders to two important groups on campus, the Housestaff Association and the Faculty Senate. On Friday, I met with the new officers of the Housestaff Association: Co-Presidents Jeremy Hosein, MD, PGY3 in neurosurgery, and Christina Osborne, MD, PGY3 in pediatrics. The 2016-2017 Faculty officers have also been announced. They are President Rebecca Braverman, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology; Past President Jennifer Richer, PhD, professor of pathology; President-Elect Kathleen Torkko, PhD, assistant research professor of pathology; and Secretary Tamara Terzian, PhD, assistant professor of dermatology. I look forward to a productive working relationship with them this year. 

The Academy of Medical Educators last week inducted 18 new members and recognized four faculty members and one staff member with education awards. The Academy enriches our School by cultivating and promoting excellence in teaching. Thanks to the Academy’s director, Eva Aagaard, MD, and the team there, the Academy continues to be a valuable resource. For more information on all the programs offered through the Academy of Medical Educators, visit its website. Congratulations to this year’s award recipients:

  • Michael L. Fisher, MD,  volunteer professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, for excellence in direct teaching;
  • Frank Scott, MD, associate professor of orthopedics, for excellence in mentoring and advising;
  • Kristina Oatis, coordinator of the Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship for excellence in educational administration and leadership; and
  • Jason C. Brainard, MD, assistant professor of anesthesiology, and Matthew Rustici, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics, for excellence in curriculum development and educational innovation. 

Healthline, a consumer health information website, has named Colorado Cancer Blogs one of the top 15 cancer blogs in the country. The CU Cancer Center runs the blog and shares space on the list with a group of other websites that span the personal (“Boyfriend with a Brain Tumor” and “The Liz Army”) to the institutional (the University of Pennsylvania’s OncoLink) to the journalistic (Well by The New York Times). The CU Cancer Center team, including Erika Matich, Taylor Bakemeyer and Garth Sundem, was recognized for offering a site “packed with the latest on news and clinical research on the causes, treatments and path to a potential cure for cancer.”

For those who park in the Henderson Parking Garage on the north side of campus, there is a construction disruption. Beginning last Wednesday, work began to build a new parking lot with 175 spaces south of the parking garage. For those parking in the garage, the sidewalk going south from the garage’s elevator lobby to 19th Avenue will be closed due to construction. Questions or concerns should be directed to Ken Neeper at


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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login