Dean's Weekly Message

October 24, 2016


Dear colleague: 

The board of University Physicians, Inc. (UPI), on Tuesday approved University of Colorado Medicine as the new name for the practice plan that serves our providers. While the UPI name has served us well for many years, some members had expressed concern that the moniker was too generic when it came to building recognition for the talented faculty represented by UPI. At a recent national meeting of academic medical centers, there were several other plans that also use UPI for a name. In addition, the name implied that only physicians are represented by UPI. Our practice now includes more than 800 advanced practice providers and so the name of our organization should recognize their valued contributions too. UPI has been highly successful thanks to the dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff and we believe that work should stand out with a name that reflects who we are. This is not the first time that our organization has changed its name. Prior to 1982, it was known as Faculty Practice Fund. Then, in June 1982, the CU Board of Regents approved establishing University of Colorado Medical Foundation, doing business as University Physicians, Inc. The new name, University of Colorado Medicine, will be phased in in the coming months. 

UCHealth announced last Thursday that the Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver is joining UCHealth and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Steadman Hawkins Clinic-Denver has provided world-class orthopedic care for 23 years at its Greenwood Village and Lone Tree locations. The clinic’s seven surgeons and additional providers are joining the faculty of the CU School of Medicine’s Orthopedics Department and CU Sports Medicine, one of the most comprehensive sports medicine groups in the western U.S. UCHealth is building a new health center off Inverness Drive in Englewood that will house its sports performance program, including physical and occupational therapy, surgeries, imaging and clinic appointments. Robert D’Ambrosia, chair of orthopedics, said partnering with these specialists and expanding into this new site will allow our faculty to care for more patients from throughout the Rocky Mountain region, train additional sports fellows and extend clinical trials. 

Congratulations to Colleen K. McIlvennan, DNP, RN, BSN, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology, on being named a 2016 National Magnet Nurse of the Year by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Colleen cares for critically ill patients with advanced heart failure, heart transplants and mechanical heart pumps called left ventricular assist devices (LVAD). She generated groundbreaking research encompassing patients’ and caregivers’ emotional, rational and fundamental beliefs when considering an LVAD. The resulting data was published in three high-impact, peer-reviewed journals targeted at nursing, cardiology and surgical colleagues who implant LVADs. This work led to the development of two innovative decision aids, an eight-page pamphlet and a 26-minute video that are being used by LVAD programs across the U.S. and Canada. These efforts led to a $2 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Colleen’s pilot work and testing of the decision aids has led to national recognition from the American Heart Association and the Heart Failure Society of America. 

Congratulations to Robert Davies, MD, associate professor of psychiatry, who was honored earlier this month by Out Front and the Denver Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce with its annual Power Award for his efforts to launch University of Colorado Hospital’s new clinic to address the mental and behavioral health needs of patients in the LGBT community. The goal of the clinic is to create an environment in which LGBT patients feel accepted, welcome, and safe.  

Dan Theodorescu, MD, PhD, director of the CU Cancer Center, has been invited to join the National Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee, a panel of clinician-scientists who make recommendations to the NCI on the conduct of clinical trials and translational research across the institute. With treatments becoming specific to minute subtypes of the disease, the mechanics of clinical trials targeting cancer are evolving at a rapid pace and Dan’s expertise will serve the committee well.


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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