Dean's Weekly Message

January 11, 2016


Dear colleague: 

University Physicians, Inc., (UPI) held its annual member meeting last Wednesday and reported another year of strong revenue growth, with expanded clinical volumes based on increased numbers of faculty and continued improvements in productivity. UPI’s management team, led by Executive Director Jane Schumaker, Medical Director Doug Jones, Jr., MD, Associate Medical Director for Adult Health Christina Finlayson, MD, and Associate Medical Director for Child Health Michael Narkewicz, MD, outlined the many reasons for UPI’s ongoing success and offered insight into the preparations UPI is making to handle the challenges ahead. I am proud of the great team at UPI for its success. UPI’s growth has been fueled by our faculty’s collective willingness to invest in the long-term success of our School. That is a commitment not frequently found at other medical schools and it is an advantage that sets us apart from our peers. While leaders at other medical schools are looking to protect what they’ve got, we are able to look at how to manage growth. We are better together. Thank you and let’s work together toward another successful year.

The University of Colorado Board of Regents gathered on the Anschutz Medical Campus on Friday for a mid-winter study session. The event included a tour-de-force presentation by Lilly Marks, Vice President for Health Affairs, on the relationships between the University of Colorado, the University of Colorado Hospital Authority, University of Colorado Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado. “The campus is a complex brew of independent, but interdependent, relationships,” Lilly said. “The market drove it and the results have been spectacular. The challenge is managing it.” I joined a panel of the campus deans to talk about our respective schools and then discussed our School’s relationship with the hospitals on a panel with Will Cook, president and CEO of University of Colorado Hospital, and Jena Hausmann, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Colorado. While there are a range of challenges on the horizon – from reimbursement rates to changing markets – Chancellor Don Elliman explained that the single most important factor for the ongoing health of our campus is growth of the clinical enterprise, which makes our campus quite different from the rest of the University of Colorado System. 

A great example of Anschutz Medical Campus members working together for a common purpose – providing the best health care to our patients – is featured in an excellent article, “Take It Personally,” in the January issue of 5280 magazine. The article discusses the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, which was established in 2014 with investments from both hospitals, the School and the University. The article is worth reading.

The Cheyenne Regional Medical Center (CRMC) last week announced a care alliance with Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty. During the next few months, CRMC and Children’s Colorado will conduct a needs assessment and prioritize enhancements in the areas of staff education, shared protocols, outpatient specialty clinics and support of CRMC’s neonatal intensive care unit and pediatric services. The School of Medicine, in affiliation with Children’s Colorado, has hosted specialty outreach clinics for children in Cheyenne and the outlying region for several decades. 

The School of Medicine’s Rural Track last week posted its 2015 in Review. Each year, the program’s weeklong Interdisciplinary Rural Immersion experience gives medical, physician assistant, nursing and pharmacy students a chance to experience the professional, community and personal life of a rural area. Last summer, 13 students spent the week in Craig. The program aims to increase the number of graduates who practice medicine in rural Colorado. Since the program was established in 2005, 60 percent of its graduates are practicing in Colorado, with 30 percent in rural parts of the state.

Commendations to the University Office of Advancement for completing the fundraising for the Nancy Anschutz Endowed Chair in Women’s Health Research in the Center for Women’s Health Research. The endowment was established in 2014 with a $1 million challenge grant from The Anschutz Foundation. Vice Chancellor of Advancement Scott Arthur announced last Friday that fundraising for the $2 million endowed chair was recently completed. The inaugural Nancy Anschutz Chair recipient has not yet been named. We wish to thank Nancy and Phil Anschutz and The Anschutz Foundation for their generous and ongoing philanthropic partnership with our campus.

We want to thank Terri Carrothers for her many years of service and outstanding commitment to the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She officially started her role as Senior Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus at the beginning of this month. She has a thorough knowledge of the School and has been a reliable and hard-working leader. I’m confident she’ll make significant contributions in the years ahead as a key member of the University leadership team. Most recently, Terri served as the School’s Chief of Staff and as the Associate Dean for Finance and Administration.

As Terri transitions to her new position, we have made leadership changes in the Dean’s Office. Mark Couch has been named Chief of Staff for the School of Medicine. He has served as the Director of Communications for the past three years and he will continue in that role. Mark brings many years of experience in senior administrative leadership and in communications. Prior to joining the School in 2013, he was the Legislative Liaison and Public Information Officer for the Colorado Department of Revenue for five years, handling negotiations over legislation with lawmakers and the Governor’s Office, other state agencies and business groups. He also was a newspaper reporter for more than a decade, including six years covering business and politics for the Denver Post.

As we announced last November, Chris Smith has been named the Assistant Dean for Finance and Administration for the School of Medicine. Chris had been director of business intelligence at University Physicians, Inc., (UPI) and before that was director of finance and administration for the Department of Medicine. His knowledge of the Anschutz Medical Campus, the School of Medicine, and UPI as well as his unique experience and skill set will be invaluable in his new role. Chris will also continue to devote a portion of his time to UPI until a successor is in place there. In his new role, Chris will report to Jane Schumaker, senior associate dean for finance and administration and executive director of UPI.

Congratulations to Jennifer Wiler, MD, MBA, associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, on her appointment as a delegate for the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) to the AMA House of Delegates. Jay A. Kaplan, MD, president of ACEP, noted that Jen’s effectiveness as a leader and her strategic approach to issues will give her a valuable perspective in working on behalf of emergency medicine in the AMA. Jen’s term ends in January 2017.

Condolences to the family and friends of Richard Wright, PhD, who died on Jan. 4. Richard was an associate professor of medicine whose lab was part of the Webb-Waring Center. His research aimed to develop treatments and preventive strategies for breast cancer. Richard was an avid rock climber who put up new routes throughout Colorado. Memorial services will be scheduled at a later date.

The 30th Annual Student Research Forum is recruiting faculty members to judge the poster presentation sessions on Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Health Sciences Library in the 1st Floor Lobby. Poster sessions will be from 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. and from 2:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. An award ceremony will follow at about 4:30 p.m. These sessions offer students an opportunity to explore their interests in a self-directed learning experience and faculty judges offer excellent models for them. You can sign up online. The deadline to sign up is Sunday, Jan. 24th. Faculty participation in this event is greatly appreciated.

The School of Medicine’s Academy of Medical Educators is now accepting applications for its Teaching Scholars Program. This 18-month certificate program is designed to enhance knowledge and skills, and develop future leaders in medical and health care education with a focus on core components of educational scholarship and curriculum development. The program consists of monthly seminar sessions during the 2016-17 academic year, a curriculum development and/or education scholarship project and faculty mentorship/guidance. The program culminates in a peer-reviewed presentation at the annual Education Scholarship and Innovation Symposium. The online application is available on the Academy’s website and is due by Monday, March 14.

The National Western Stock Show opened last weekend and volunteers are still needed for the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus booth at the National Western Stock Show. Students, clinical and non-clinical faculty and staff are needed to help with health screenings and education for adults and children. The stock show runs until Jan. 24. There are multiple daily shifts, which can last either four or six hours. This event is an excellent opportunity to provide valuable community service. 


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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