Dean's Weekly Message

July 25, 2015


Dear colleague: 

At last Tuesday’s meeting of the School of Medicine Executive Committee, Robert Anderson, MD, senior associate dean for education, discussed our ongoing preparations for the 2017 visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), which accredits medical schools. The importance of our planning efforts for that visit cannot be underestimated. Eleven committees have been formed – one for each standard evaluated by the LCME – and there are now 125 members of faculty and staff who have agreed to devote time and energy to this effort. As Bob said at the meeting, “We want to address the issues that come up before the LCME visit.” A formal institutional kick-off of our self-study period is slated for September and I expect to remind you frequently about this effort. Our success in the accreditation process is essential for recruitment of top students and faculty, for research funding and for ongoing philanthropic support.

The School received affirmation last week that such planning pays off. Our Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development Office was notified that it received Accreditation with Commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). That accreditation is based on a self-study report, evidence of performance-in-practice and an interview by the ACCME. Only 20 percent of U.S. organizations receive Accreditation with Commendation from the ACCME. With that notice, the office’s accreditation term has been extended through July 31, 2021. Many thanks to Brenda Bucklin, MD, associate dean for continuing education and professional development, and all who supported the work of preparing for this successful accreditation process.

University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) was again ranked as the best in the state and one of the nation’s top hospitals by U.S. News and World Report, with 11 specialties ranking among the best in the country. The rankings, which were released last week, analyze nearly 5,000 hospitals to recognize those that excel in treating patients with the most complex medical conditions. Three UCH rankings were in the top 20: pulmonology (No. 2, in a ranking shared with National Jewish Health), kidney disorders (No. 12) and cancer (No. 15). Other specialties that were nationally ranked were orthopedics (No. 25), neurology and neurosurgery (No. 26), urology (No. 30), diabetes and endocrinology (No. 30), gynecology (No. 31), cardiology and heart surgery (No. 40), gastroenterology and GI surgery (No. 42) and geriatrics (No. 43). The consistency of the hospital’s high ranking is a tribute to the hard work of the hospital’s leadership, staff and our faculty. 

Children’s Hospital Colorado has been named winner of the 2015 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, an annual award that recognizes an institution for its commitment to six quality aims: safety, patient-centeredness, effectiveness, efficiency, timeliness and equity. The commendation cites several ways the hospital has ensured that patients and their families get excellent care, such as recruiting parents to serve on more than 50 committees at the hospital and the “Target Zero” campaign that has raised the level of awareness on efforts to eliminate harm. This award is an excellent achievement and a well-deserved honor.

Private support to the University of Colorado reached a new one-year record of more than $375.4 million, according to an announcement last week by the CU system office. Of that total, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus received $176.7 million, more than any other campus in the CU system.

University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) announced last Friday that Will Cook has been named president and chief executive officer of University of Colorado Hospital, effective September 2015. He succeeds John Harney, who retired last month. Will comes to UCH from UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center), an academic medical center with 21 hospitals, 3,400 employed physicians and 60,000 employees. In his most recent role, he served as senior vice president of UPMC’s Health Services Division, chief operating officer of Physician Services and president of UPMC Mercy. Will is a proven leader with outstanding experience. I’m confident that he’ll be a great addition to the Anschutz Medical Campus.

University of Colorado Health (UCHealth) announced that Laurie Blumberg-Romero, MA, CRA, has been named the system’s director of research administration, effective Aug. 24. Laurie is joining UCHealth from Denver Health, where she is director of sponsored programs and research. In that role, she has been instrumental in advancing and enhancing research and research staff development. At UCHealth, she will be responsible for oversight of enterprise-wide research administration processes and she will be working with investigators, research coordinators and University of Colorado research administrative and regulatory staff to ensure efficient, compliant and effective research processes and procedures. Laurie will report to Jean Kutner, MD, MSPH, chief medical officer of University of Colorado Hospital, until the UCHealth chief clinical research officer is named.

Jeff Glasheen, MD, professor of medicine, has been named chief quality officer of University of Colorado Hospital (UCH) effective Sept. 1. In this role, which is jointly funded by the School of Medicine and UCH, Jeff will lead and improve adult health quality and patient safety by promoting and implementing best practices in these activities. He is currently the founding director of the University of Colorado Hospital Medicine Group, director of the Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety and Efficiency and vice chair for clinical affairs for the Department of Medicine. He brings tremendous expertise and experience to his new role.

ClinImmune Labs and its University of Colorado Cord Blood Bank have announced that they will be moving to the new BioScience 2 Building, 12705 E. Montview Blvd., Suite 250, in early August. Brian Freed, PhD, said the new space doubles Clinimmune’s clean room capacity and will enable it to pursue growth opportunities, such as potential treatments for diabetic wounds. ClinImmune also expects to expand its private cord blood storage services at the new location.

Congratulations to three faculty members who are honorees of the Endocrine Society’s 2016 Laureate Awards, which will be presented at the society’s annual meeting in Boston next April: 

  • Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics and the Charles A. Boettcher Chair in Atherosclerosis, received the Outstanding Clinical Investigator Award. His research has concentrated on the impact of nutrition and hormones on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and how this relates to energy balance and body weight regulation.
  • Steven M. Anderson, PhD, the James C. Todd Professor of Experimental Pathology and vice chair for research in pathology, received the Distinguished Educator Award. He has served as program director for the Biomedical Sciences program for ten years. He established the GEMS (Graduate Experience for Multicultural Scientists) Program in 1998. He currently serves as the principal investigator for the Endocrine Society Minority Access Program.
  • Nanette Santoro, MD, professor and E. Stewart Taylor Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, received the Outstanding Mentor Award. The society cited Nanette’s clinical acumen and scientific expertise as inspiration for the careers of many young investigators. She has been involved in mentoring through several of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s career development programs.




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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