Dean's Weekly Message

August 31, 2015


Dear colleague: 

I joined CU President Bruce Benson and Anschutz Medical Campus Chancellor Don Elliman on Wednesday evening to recognize our medical students who have been awarded President’s Scholarships. The reception at the Fulginiti Pavilion was an opportunity to encourage these promising students, to thank President Benson for supporting the program and to recognize the many faculty members who have contributed funding to make matching scholarships available. The President’s Scholarship provides aid to students of diverse backgrounds who would not be able to attend the School of Medicine without the support. There are 12 students in the Class of 2019 who received these scholarships and there have been more than 80 President’s Scholars since the inception of the program six years ago. Supporting a diverse class enhances the quality of clinical care we provide and strengthens our research enterprise. This program has been a contributing factor to the significant increase in diversity in our classes. Six years ago, about 10 percent of the class came from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine and this year’s class is more than 30 percent.

The School of Medicine’s chapter of the national medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) has elected 21 members of the class of 2016, joining five other students who were elected as juniors. The newly elected members are listed on the chapter’s website. Under the AOA’s constitution, the top 25 percent of each class is eligible for consideration, but only one-sixth of the class may be elected to membership. Members are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, scholarly activity, and community service. James M. Beck, MD, professor and vice chair in the Department of Medicine, serves as the AOA Chapter Councilor. All new AOA members will be inducted next May during graduation week. Congratulations to all.

Mark your calendar for the gala to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nurse Practitioners and honoring the two CU medical educators who are credited with establishing the profession: Loretta Ford, EdD, RN, and Henry Silver, MD. “The Magic of Nurse Practitioners” will be held Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 1750 Welton St., Denver. Details are available at

The CU Foundation announced last week that Mike Pritchard has been named vice president of finance and chief financial officer, effective Sept. 14. Mike joins the CU Foundation from Goodwill Industries, where he has been chief financial officer since 2013 and part of the leadership team since 2009. Mike is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder.

The School of Medicine’s Undergraduate Medical Education section is searching for a Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Renal (CVPR) Block Director with a start date of Dec. 1, 2015. Candidates must have a faculty appointment at the University of Colorado, and applicants must have a PhD, MD or equivalent degree from an accredited university.  The position is at-will and will receive 0.25 FTE. Details of the position are listed online in the job announcement.  

UCHealth announced last week that its new facility in Longmont will be called Longs Peak Hospital. Groundbreaking is planned for the fall with opening set for late 2016 or early 2017. The three-story, 48-bed facility, will be located on the northwest corner of Colorado Highway 119 and County Line Road.

commentary by CU President Bruce Benson called “Giving College Administrators a Business Education” appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required to read the link), describing many steps the University has taken to pare expenses, make its administration more efficient and generate new revenues at a time when state financial support for higher education has been decreasing. State support for CU has declined from $229 million in 2008 to $184 million today, with a low of $146 million in 2011. (The state appropriation for the School of Medicine for that period has dropped from $19 million to $14 million.) President Benson describes several ways CU has handled the demanding fiscal environment: cut paperwork approval for some events, laid off 148 administrators, increased philanthropic support, sold unneeded property, audited the health insurance plan to find ineligible participants, expanded online education, among others. “There is always more work to do,” he concludes. “If public institutions want to remain a viable option for all students, they must learn to operate more like businesses – because easy state money is not coming back.” We are fortunate here at the School of Medicine to have strong partners who are committed to smart business practices and to have a physician practice plan that is a model for others across the country. At the same time, we remain mindful that we get better by always finding ways to get better.


Next Monday is Labor Day, so the next message will be Monday, Sept. 14. 


Have a good two weeks,

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 →


If you would like to receive these emails directly, please contact  
To unsubscribe →

CMS Login