Dean's Weekly Message

June 29, 2015


Dear colleague: 

The University of Colorado Board of Regents met on the Anschutz Medical Campus on Monday and Tuesday last week and it was a good opportunity to showcase some of the outstanding work done here. On Monday, Robin Shandas, PhD, chair of bioengineering, organized an event with demonstrations and posters in the recently completed Bioscience 2 building. I addressed the Regents on Tuesday afternoon and discussed how well-positioned our School is for continued success. The problems we have here are related to managing growth, in contrast with many other academic medical campuses, where leaders are fighting to hang on to what they have. Our faculty clinical practice has been a source of strength and has allowed for much of our growth, our research programs have remained competitive in a tough funding environment and our philanthropic support has been increasing. We aim to make all of these sources of support even stronger. As I told the regents, “we have started that wheel turning and my job is to increase the RPMs.”

The Aspen Ideas Festival’s Spotlight Health event this past Thursday through Saturday was sponsored in part by the School of Medicine and by our partners on the Anschutz Medical Campus, including the Chancellor’s office, University of Colorado Health and Children’s Hospital Colorado. One of the highlights was a powerhouse panel of Lilly Marks, the University’s vice president of health affairs, Liz Concordia, president and CEO of UCHealth and Jena Hausmann, president and CEO of Children’s, speaking on the future of academic medical centers. Dennis Roop, PhD, was featured in a roundtable discussion organized by The Atlantic magazine about the promise of regenerative medicine.

Congratulations to Perry Dickinson, MD, professor of family medicine, on the recently awarded three-year, $14.8 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to establish EvidenceNOW Southwest. The effort will recruit and engage 260 small, independent primary care practices to use the latest medical evidence to improve the heart health of people throughout Colorado and New Mexico. 

Congratulations to Erik Wallace, MD, associate dean for School of Medicine branch in Colorado Springs, on receiving the John A. Benson Jr., MD Professionalism Article Prize from the ABIM Foundation, a nonprofit arm of the American Board of Internal Medicine. Erik’s article, “Hospital Relationships with Direct-to-Consumer Screening Companies,” appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association last September. In the article, Erik and his co-authors urge direct-to-consumer screening companies and hospitals to provide evidence for tests and treatments they offer. They also suggest that hospitals publicly disclose their relationships with such companies.

The Department of Emergency Medicine has announced that Anne Libby, PhD, has been named vice chair for academic affairs effective Aug. 1. Anne is already familiar to many on our campus; she has been an associate professor at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and held a joint appointment in the School of Medicine. Her scholarly work focuses in part on the organization and financing of health care systems, with an emphasis on behavioral health.

Congratulations to two members of the Department of Pathology for recent recognition from their peers:

  • Steven Anderson, PhD, James C. Todd Professor of Experimental Pathology and vice chair of research, Department of Pathology, received the Distinguished Educator Award from the Endocrine Society at its annual meeting earlier this year. Steven was lauded for his dedication to the education and recruitment of minorities into research careers. 
  • Bette “BK” DeMasters, MD, professor of pathology, received the Meritorious Contributions to Neuropathology Award from the American Association of Neuropathologists at its recent meeting in Denver. This award recognizes significant lifetime achievements to neuropathology through scholarly, educational and clinical contributions to the field.

Mark Nehler, MD, Professor of Surgery, Vascular Surgery Section Chief, Surgery Residency Director, was recently cited in the New England Journal of Medicine for his work as a steering committee member on a multicenter trial of drug-coated balloon therapy for occlusive disease in the lower extremities. The findings allowed the balloons to be approved by the FDA and are now in use in the U.S. for patients diagnosed with lower extremity arterial occlusive disease.

Last week’s email included the incorrect year when third-year medical students in the school’s branch in Colorado Springs begin clinical rotations. They will start in 2016.


Have a safe and happy July Fourth holiday,

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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