Dean's Weekly Message

May 2, 2016


Dear colleague: 

The School of Medicine’s Colorado Springs Branch last week welcomed its first group of medical students to pursue their third year of education and training through the branch. The branch, which we have been developing since 2012, receives substantial support from UCHealth through an agreement that provides $3 million per year for 40 years. Our medical students there will participate in a longitudinal integrated clerkship model that gives them a patient-centered view of the health care system. Of the 22 third-year students training through the branch, 15 of them will start a hospital-based immersion experience at UCHealth’s Memorial Hospital. We are thankful for the support from UCHealth and from the Colorado Springs community, which has been very enthusiastic about the branch. Our students are also happy to be there. Eric Webster, for example, says the branch gives him a chance to study in his favorite place on the Front Range as he prepares for a career practicing medicine in a rural community. We are looking forward to serving the health care and physician workforce needs in Colorado Springs and southern Colorado for years to come.

Chancellor Don Elliman and I attended the Children’s Hospital Colorado board of directors’ retreat last Thursday and Friday where we had productive discussions with the hospital’s leadership about the future direction of the hospital in the competitive health care marketplace. We also had an opportunity to highlight the importance of the partnership between the hospital and the School of Medicine. About 40 percent of the clinical revenue at University Physicians, Inc., was from child health in fiscal year 2015 and our Department of Pediatrics accounts for about 20 percent of our total grant awards in the past two and a half years.

Congratulations to Donna Parrish, assistant professor of pediatrics and associate director for diversity and inclusion at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, on receiving the University of Colorado President’s Diversity Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to diversity and inclusion. The citation for Donna notes that she been dedicated for more than two decades to raising awareness and generating solutions concerning disproportionality and disparities in child-serving systems.

Children’s Hospital Colorado gave its Medical Staff Awards on Thursday, April 21, at the annual meeting of the medical staff dinner. More than 250 guests were there to celebrate the accomplishments of the talented team of professionals. The award recipients were:

  • Oren Kupfer, MD, assistant professor of pediatrics and the hospital’s inpatient director of pulmonary medicine, received the Century Award, which recognizes a staff member with five or fewer years of training who has made major contributions through committee work, leadership and/or advocacy.
  • rthopedic Institute Spine Program, received the Excellence in Quality and Patient Safety for outstanding contributions to organizational performance improvement, patient safety and/or clinical outcomes.rthopedic Institute Spine Program, received the Excellence in Quality and Patient Safety for outstanding contributions to organizational performance improvement, patient safety and/or clinical outcomes.
  • Jenny Reece, MD, associate professor of pediatrics, and Eileen Yager, MD, associate clinical professor of pediatrics, each received the Outstanding Service Award. Jenny was recognized for leadership on the hospital’s hand-off steering committee and for her peer support work. Eileen was honored for volunteering her time each week to see patients who need chronic pain management assistance and for giving workshops on stress reduction for staff members.
  • Robin Deterding, MD, professor of pediatrics, received the James E. Strain Award, which is given to a practitioner who exemplifies the ideals of the American Academy of Pediatrics and its advocacy for child health. Robin was recognized for her work founding the Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease foundation.

John Messenger, MD, professor of medicine, has been elected to the Board of Governors of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) representing Colorado. His term began in April and runs through March 2019 and he will serve concurrently as president of the ACC’s Colorado chapter.

The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine honored Emmy Betz, MD, MPH, associate professor of emergency medicine, with its Young Investigators Award. Emmy has been a leading voice nationally in recognizing the need for physicians to ask patients about firearm safety. Last week, for example, she was one of the expert voices discussing the topic in a report on Colorado Public Radio.

Cecilia Pascual-Garrido, MD, assistant professor of orthopedics, has been presented the Academic Network of Conservational Hip Outcomes Research’s 2016-2017 William H. Harris Career Development Award in Hip Preservation. The award recognizes Cecilia for her “academic productivity, basic and translational research, clinical focus on hip preservation surgery and tremendous potential to be a leader in the field.”

The Department of Medicine last week announced its 2016 Rising Stars recipients: Associate Professor Jose Castillo-Mancilla, MD, Assistant Professor Brendan Clark, MD, Associate Professor Jessica Kendrick, MD, MPH, and Assistant Professor Kathleen Suddarth, MD. They have made impressive contributions to our School and community. Congratulations.

Kudos to the “Lymph Notes,” an a cappella group that won the Spring Stampede talent show on Saturday, April 23. The stampede is an afternoon of friendly competition among the School of Medicine’s advisory colleges that includes talent, photography and baking contests. I joined Colm Collins, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Eva Aagaard, MD, professor of medicine and associate dean for educational strategy, as judges of the talent contest.

The School was notified last week that Sidney L. Werkman, MD, a longtime member of the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry died on Feb. 28, in Spokane, Wash. He was 88 years old. Sidney joined the School’s faculty in 1969 as associate professor, was promoted to professor in 1972 and he served until 1987. He was the author of books, including The Role of Psychiatry in Medical Education (1966), Only a Little Time (1972), and Bringing Up Children Overseas (1977). After his time in Colorado, he moved to Washington, D.C., and served at Georgetown Medical Center until 2013. He is survived by his partner, Nancy M. Folger, and Russell Werkman, his son by his first wife, Alexandra Colt Werkman, deceased, about whom he wrote Only a Little Time, and their families. We offer condolences to his family and friends.

The Medical Alumni Association is hosting a reception at the Denver Botanic Gardens at 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 25. The program will honor Warren Johnson, MD ’79, and Randall Rottman, MD ’85. Alumni, faculty, students and housestaff are invited to attend. Also happening that week is the Silver and Gold Alumni Banquet to honor the School of Medicine Class of 1966, to celebrate the 2016 graduating class, and to recognize four alumni who have had extraordinary careers and service in medicine. That event will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 26, at the Denver Art Museum. If you plan to attend, please register online or call the alumni office at 303-724-2518.


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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