Dean's Weekly Message

July 18, 2016


Dear colleague: 


The University of Colorado System office last week released data from its first systemwide survey of alumni. The survey, conducted in late April and May, included 1,173 respondents from the Anschutz Medical Campus. Seventy-five percent of the respondents from the Anschutz Medical Campus reported that they were very satisfied with the education they received here and another 21 percent reported they were somewhat satisfied. The survey also found that 66 percent of the respondents with degrees from CU Anschutz currently live in Colorado, indicating the importance of our School and the campus in providing health care providers to the state. CU President Bruce Benson said this survey offers a holistic view of the contributions of CU to Colorado. “We do a lot of surveying of alumni in various units across the university, but this is the first big-picture look at how CU performs collectively,” he said in a CU Connections article. “The results demonstrate what I know from personal experience and many others know either through their experience or anecdotally – that the value of a CU degree is extremely high and it is a ticket to higher earnings and greater opportunity.” 

At its final meeting of the fiscal year, the Medical Alumni Association’s board of directors recently approved its 2017 strategic priorities, which include expanded regional outreach programs and broadening support for current medical students. Elected to the board of directors were Nia Mitchell, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine; Jessica Rice, MD ’16; and Ronald Pinkerton, MD ’73.  Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, is joining the board as an ex-officio member and she will be essential to the group’s efforts to develop stronger relationships with current and prospective medical students.  More information about the board is available on the Medical Alumni Association website

The University recently posted a video “How Does CU’s Budget Work?” that offers an overview of how funding for the overall university works. Todd Saliman, the University’s chief financial officer, unveiled the video at the June meeting of the Board of Regents and it offers a primer that helps explain how the University depends on multiple revenue streams and it demonstrates how important state support is to the overall CU system. 

The Undergraduate Medical Education Program is accepting applications for a Women’s Care Clerkship Block Director. Candidates must have a faculty appointment in the School of Medicine and a MD degree from an accredited University to be eligible for this 0.20 FTE position. For details, please review the job description. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest and current CV, to Talitha Appel at and 303-724-2068. 

We offer condolences to the friends, family and colleagues of Reuben Cherniack, MD, Distinguished Professor of the University of Colorado and former vice chair of the School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine. He was also formerly chair of the Department of Medicine and director of the pulmonary physiology unit at National Jewish Health. Reuben, who was 92 years old, died on July 14 at Sunrise Senior Living in Denver. Before coming to Denver, Reuben had helped establish the University of Manitoba as a leading institution in pulmonary physiology. In an article in the Canadian Respiratory Journal in 2007, Reuben was recalled as “the sparkplug” who inspired his contemporaries “to pursue academic careers in respiratory medicine. He was our taskmaster, champion and friend. He was an instigator, builder, developer and innovator – impatient with bureaucracy, generous in sharing credit for achievement and with a keen eye for spotting and nurturing talent.”

We pause to remember those who died and were injured by recent acts of violence in Orlando, Dallas, Baton Rouge, La., Falcon Heights, Minn., and Nice, France. The pain of these events is immeasurable and there seems to be no end to this cycle of violence. On the Anschutz Medical Campus, our pursuits are aimed at improving the quality of human life and providing care to those in need. Our desire to make the world a better place for everyone must not waver in the face of those who try to weaken us by dividing us. Montrell Jackson, one of the Baton Rouge police officers killed Sunday, offered an emotional plea on social media just days before his death. “Please don’t let hate infect your heart,” he wrote, according to a news report. We recognize that these national and world events have also had a serious and very personal impact on the lives of those who work, care for patients and study at CU Anschutz. Many are understandably experiencing a range of emotions from sorrow and frustration to anger, fear and helplessness. The School’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion currently is planning a vigil to be held on campus for people to join together as community and a show of support and solidarity. We will share those details when they are available.


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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