Dean's Weekly Message

January 12, 2015


Dear colleague: 

Exactly one year ago today as I sit here watching the Broncos-Colts game on Sunday (better to write this than watch that) I reported that I had asked the Chancellor and Vice President to start a search for my successor. It took six months to establish the process, advertise the position and have the search committee meet at the end of June, but then it only took six months for one of the candidates to rise to the top of a large and very good group of candidates. John J. Reilly, Jr., MD, was named dean of the School of Medicine and the University’s vice chancellor for health affairs, effective April 1. John is currently the Jack D. Myers Professor and chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. I am sure you will all make him feel welcome and all of us will work with him to make his transition a success. 

I had a really good week last week. On Wednesday, there was a dinner for the rising third-year medical students, at which Philip Stephens, who sadly passed away on Christmas day, was made an Honorary Member of the Class of 2017, and his classmates spoke about his contributions to their class.  Steve Lowenstein, MD, MPH, professor of emergency medicine and medicine and associate dean of faculty affairs, gave an inspiring talk to the class summarizing many of the “Letters to Third Year Students” that have been written over the years by our senior students along with several of his own observations.  The class still needs to get through some coursework and the national boards, but it was fun to see them beginning to emerge from their classroom-heavy Phase 2 and look ahead to the clinical years.  

I spent Saturday afternoon at the National Western Stock Show with 10 of our medical, pharmacy, nursing and physical therapy students and Mona Pearl, PhD, RN, professor of nursing at the College of Nursing. Mona and I primarily oversaw the students do health screening on dozens of adults and children who came out on the first day of the show. Faculty preceptors are still needed for four-hour shifts the next two weeks before the Show closes Sunday, Jan. 25. Sign up here. It is a community service and it is a great opportunity to meet and learn more about our students. 

Ronald Sokol, MD, professor of pediatrics, has been appointed assistant vice chancellor for clinical and translational science, concurrent with his role as director of the Colorado Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. This position recognizes the importance of this program to the research enterprise of our campus and also recognizes Ron’s terrific work over the past seven years of the grant’s funding. 

Congratulations to Robin Deterding, MD, professor of pediatrics, who has been named head of the Department of Pediatrics’ section of pulmonary medicine. Robin has been an accomplished leader on our faculty in clinical care and research. She also has recently completed the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. As Robin takes over the leadership, Frank Accurso, MD, professor of pediatrics and physiology and biophysics, will step back into a regular faculty role, a move that he has been looking forward to making. 

Jeffrey Thompson, director of government and corporate relations at University of Colorado Health, has been named the Aurora Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year, a well-deserved honor for his longtime service and accomplishments representing the hospital and health system. Jeff will be recognized at a Chamber event on Friday, March 6. Congratulations Jeff. 

April Armstrong, MD, MPH, associate professor and vice chair of clinical research in the Department of Dermatology, had an article published last week in JAMA Dermatology. She and her co-authors estimated the annual U.S. cost of psoriasis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, at between $112 billion and $135 billion in 2013. A summary of the article is posted on the School of Medicine’s website

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Medical Specialties recently recognized three of our faculty for serving on an effort to develop measurable outcomes for graduate medical education. Thank you to Eva Aagaard, MD, associate professor of medicine, Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD, professor of neurosurgery, and James Borgstede, MD, professor of radiology, for your contributions to this important effort. 

Mark your calendars for the Wednesday, Jan. 28, open house celebration of the Charles C. Gates Biomanufacturing Facility. The event will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Bioscience Park Center at Fitzsimons, 12635 E. Montview Blvd. The facility will serve academic, clinical and commercial investigators who are looking to translate their discoveries into clinical-grade products suitable for investigational use in humans. The facility should be a significant boost to researchers and clinicians on our campus. 

The CU School of Medicine’s Office of Women in Medicine and Science will sponsor two participants to attend the Early Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar, July 11-14, in Englewood, organized by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Information about the seminar, which is targeted to junior women faculty holding regular medical school appointments, can be found on the AAMC’s website. The deadline for applying is Friday, Jan. 23. If interested, please send your application materials, including a current CV, a one-page statement of qualifications and a letter of support from your department chair, to CJ Klingler. 

The Health Sciences Library is hosting an exhibit of art created by the faculty, staff and students of the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The art is on display in the library’s gallery through March 31. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

Finally, we offer condolences to the friends and family of Max Bartlett, MD, a 1954 CU School of Medicine graduate who was a tireless champion for the Medical Alumni Association and steadfast supporter of the stethoscope fund. Max died on Friday, Jan. 9. His wife, Diane, and their family and friends will be gathering from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Jan. 31, at Citroen Bistro, 3535 S. Yosemite St., Denver, to remember and celebrate Max’s life.  

No weekly email next week.  The University will observe Martin Luther King Day. 

Have a good two weeks,

Richard D. Krugman, MD
Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs and
Dean, School of Medicine



"What’s Going On Here" is an email news bulletin from Richard Krugman, MD, Dean of the CU School of Medicine, that is distributed to inform University of Colorado School of Medicine faculty members about issues pertaining to the School’s mission of education, research, clinical care and community service. See the UCH-Insider →

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