Dean's Weekly Message

February 29, 2016


Dear colleague: 

Our physicians continue to show impressive leadership in providing clinical care. Last week, the University of Colorado Hospital announced that School of Medicine cardiologists Duy Nguyen, MD, and John Carroll, MD, as well as cardiologists at UCHealth’s Medical Center of the Rockies were the first in the region to implant a new device that can reduce the risk of strokes for patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation and allow patients at high risk of bleeding to stop taking powerful blood thinners. The Watchman device is about the size of a quarter and looks like a tiny umbrella. It was designed to prevent clots from forming in the left atrial appendage by sealing off this section of the heart where most deadly blood clots form in people with atrial fibrillation.  So far, UCHealth’s heart specialists have implanted the device in six patients, and they are evaluating additional patients for eligibility. 

Andrew Monte, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine, is the senior author of research letterpublished last week in the New England Journal of Medicine that attracted extensive coverage in the national media. Monte and Howard Kim, MD, a former resident here who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and fellow researchers found that marijuana tourism is possibly leading to increased emergency room visits. Out-of-towners going to emergency departments for complications apparently related to marijuana roughly doubled while emergency room visits by Coloradans stayed relatively flat. In interviews, Andrew pointed out that public education efforts are essential and he said that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s “Good to Know” campaign may have helped reduce the rates among Colorado residents. 

Congratulations to David Lynch, MD, professor of radiology, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Gold Medal at the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Radiology in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 14. The award recognizes David for outstanding achievement in clinical practice, research and education. David is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific papers, as well as numerous book chapters, review articles and books focused on the study of diffuse lung diseases. 

The Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) has named the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus an HDSA Center of Excellence. The designation is given to sites that provide an elite multidisciplinary approach to Huntington’s disease care and research. We are one of 39 such Centers of Excellence in the United States. The application process was led by Lauren Seeberger, MD, associate professor of neurology. Congratulations to Lauren and the rest of the team for the successful application. 

Lawrence Wissow, MD, MPH, will deliver the Chancellor’s John J. Conger Lecture at 12:30 p.m., Friday, March 4, in the 2nd Floor Conference and Education Center, Mt. Oxford Auditorium, at Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is director of the Center for Mental Health in Pediatric Primary Care and Professor of Health, Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. His presentation, “Why ‘Common Factors’ Matter to Integrated Care,” will be followed by a reception. This lectureship was created in honor of John J. Conger, PhD, who died in 2006. John was a pioneer in developmental and clinical psychology who served as Acting Chancellor of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center from 1984 to 1985. He also served as Dean of the School of Medicine from 1963 to 1968.


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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