Dean's Weekly Message

December 7, 2015


Dear colleague: 

Today is the deadline for applications for the Transformational Research Funding initiative announced in September. The goal of this effort is to establish high-impact multidisciplinary programs of distinction that will attract additional talent and extramural funding to the Anschutz Medical Campus. We will announce the selected proposals at the State of the School address in January. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Applications should be delivered to Patti Balodis in the Dean’s Office in Building 500.

The Anschutz Medical Campus hosted a summit, “The Geriatric Imperative: Caring for Older Adults in an Evolving System,” last Thursday to launch strategic planning for delivery of high-quality, coordinated and patient-centered care for older adults. Robert Schwartz, MD, head of the Division of Geriatrics and director of the Anschutz Medical Campus Center on Aging, and Skotti Church, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Geriatrics, organized a day of thoughtful discussions about this important issue. According to the Colorado Aging Framework, the population of Coloradans over 65 is expected to increase by 150 percent between 2010 and 2030. 

Chancellor Don Elliman and I on Thursday afternoon joined with several others to celebrate the establishment of the George B. Boedecker, Jr. and Boedecker Foundation Endowed Chair in Emergency Medicine. Richard Zane, MD, professor and chair of emergency medicine, will be the first to hold this chair. We are grateful for the support. Endowed chair gifts not only provide a reliable source of funding, but also recognize the valuable accomplishments of our faculty working to advance education, research, clinical care and community service.

Friends and family of E. Chester “Chip” Ridgway, MD ’68, former senior associate dean for academic affairs, gathered Tuesday morning to dedicate the Ridgway Memorial Garden near the southeast corner of Building 500. The garden, with flowers transplanted from Chip’s home, will serve as a living legacy and reminder of Chip’s influence on our campus. Richard Krugman, MD, former dean and professor of pediatrics, noted that the flowers thrived when they were moved here, much as the School did when it moved from its former site at 9th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. We are also pleased to announce that the 7th floor boardroom in Academic Office 1 has been renamed the E. Chester Ridgway, MD, MACP, Board Room as a tribute to Chip. We appreciate the support of Chancellor Don Elliman and President Bruce Benson for permitting us to bestow this honor. We plan to hold an event in the near future to commemorate renaming this space, which is home to many administrative meetings that are central to the operation of our School and the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Dozens of friends and colleagues said thank you and bid happy retirement to Richard Johnston, Jr., MD, associate dean for research development and professor of pediatrics, on Tuesday afternoon at a reception in Building 500. During the past decade and a half at the School of Medicine, Dick has nurtured and spurred many careers. Dick told the assembled friends that he has been encouraged to practice “mindfulness” with the extra time he finds in retirement. As anybody who has worked with Dick knows, he always been mindful of his colleagues.

James E. Strain, MD, distinguished clinical professor in the Department of Pediatrics, will be honored at 12:15 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, during Pediatric Grand Rounds in Mt. Oxford Auditorium, at Children’s Hospital Colorado. The Career Teaching Scholars awards ceremony will immediately follow. The Career Teaching Scholars Award is awarded each year by the Department of Pediatrics to teachers, full-time faculty and clinical faculty who have made outstanding contributions to pediatric education throughout their careers. This year’s award recipients are Jerry Buckley, MD, associate clinical professor emeritus of pediatrics, Susan Pharo, MD, clinical instructor of pediatrics, Adam Rosenberg, MD, professor of pediatrics, and Ron Sokol, MD, professor of pediatrics and director of the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.  A reception in the lobby will immediately follow. 

Richard Tidball Johnson, MD ’56, who became a widely recognized authority on the study of viruses that infect the nervous system, died of pneumonia Nov. 22 at Johns Hopkins Hospital after a highly regarded career at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He was 84 years old. He was recalled by his colleagues as a “true storyteller” and gifted lecturer. He joined the Hopkins faculty in 1969 and served as the neurologist-in-chief until 1997.

The opening reception for “Sensory Paradox: An Artist’s Experience with Multiple Sclerosis,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, in the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities. The event will include introductory remarks by Patricia Daily, LCSW, of the Rocky Mountain MS Center, and a conversation with artist Sarah Richter and curator Simon Zalkind at 6 p.m. The multimedia installation will be on display through March 3.

Volunteers for the 2016 National Western Stock Show are still needed. The Colorado Area Health Education Center (AHEC) each year organizes health screenings at the National Western. It’s a high-profile way our campus shows its support for the community and volunteers get free admission to the event. The shifts are only four hours and volunteers can be students, clinical and non-clinical faculty and staff from the Anschutz Medical Campus. At the 2015 National Western Stock Show, students and faculty from our campus helped 3,000 adults and children with health screenings, flu shots and vision tests. For more information contact Cindy Armstrong at 303-724-8927 or


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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