Dean's Weekly Message

June 8, 2015


Dear colleague: 

Chancellor Don Elliman and I joined a group of civic leaders from Colorado in Washington, D.C., last week at the Colorado Capital Conference 2015, where we met with elected leaders in the Colorado delegation and received remarks from Ernest Moniz, secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, and Denis McDonough, the White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The events, organized by officials at Colorado Mesa University and the University of Colorado, were a worthwhile opportunity for us to share news from the Anschutz Medical Campus and to hear from national officials about their top priorities.  

While we were in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs on Friday submitted a plan to Congress that the VA says will allow for the completion of construction on the VA hospital complex adjacent to the Anschutz Medical Campus. The plan outlined by the VA reallocates funding and delays construction of a community living center and the post-traumatic stress rehabilitation program facility. The proposal is contingent on approval by Congress, so we should expect to hear much more about this proposal before it is resolved.

Congratulations to Robert Friesen, MD, professor of anesthesiology and vice chair of the section of pediatric anesthesiology, who was awarded an honorary membership of the Association of Paediatric Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland at a recent meeting in Aberdeen, Scotland. The organization confers honorary membership on pediatric anesthesiologists and others who have made an outstanding contribution to pediatric anesthesiology. Rob is only the second American to receive this honor.

Paul Mintken, PT, DPT, was honored last week at the American Physical Therapy Association conference, receiving the Dorothy E. Baethke-Eleanor J. Carlin Award for Excellence in Academic Teaching. Congratulations to Paul on receiving this award.

The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees announced last Thursday its 2015 class of Boettcher Investigators in the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. There are six new Boettcher Investigators, including three from the Anschutz Medical Campus. As part of the program, each Boettcher Investigator will receive a grant of $225,000 to cover up to three years of biomedical research activity. The three Anschutz Medical Campus recipients are James Costello, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology, Santos J. Franco, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, and Melanie Cree Green, MD, PhD, instructor of pediatrics. Congratulations to these investigators.

Richard Schulick, MD, chair and professor of surgery, and the Department of Surgery are hosting a photography exhibition at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities on Tuesday, June 9. The exhibit features photographs by Bryce Boyer, who took outstanding images for the department’s annual reportpublished earlier this year. The event is free and open to the public. If you have questions, contact

Another exhibition, “Women and Children First” by Natalie Kutner, will be on display at the Fulginiti Pavilion for Bioethics and Humanities with an opening reception on Friday, June 19, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Curator Simon Zalkind and Lanny DeVuono, associate professor of art at University of Colorado Denver, will deliver remarks beginning at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The art will be on display through Thursday, Aug. 13. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The main reception area for the Dean’s office on the first floor of Building 500 will be closed due to a window installation project from Tuesday, June 9, to Thursday, June 11. The contractor will be sealing the suite – Room E1354 – to contain varnish fumes and will be exhausting air from that office to the outside. If you need to reach Chief of Staff Terri Carrothers, she will be available through email or by phone. School of Medicine Communications Director Mark Couch also will be available by email or cell phone, 303-596-1242. Signs will be posted to help guide business colleagues and visitors to where they can get assistance.

Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, director of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, and two colleagues wrote aletter published in this month’s Academic Medicine, the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. Matt and William Silvers, MD, clinical professor of medicine, and Jeremy Lazarus, MD, clinical professor of psychiatry, take note of survey results showing that only 22 of 140 medical schools in the United States and Canada have any required curricular elements on the roles of physicians in the Holocaust. The letter’s authors note that “Almost every aspect of contemporary medical ethics is influenced by the history of physician involvement in the Holocaust” and, as a result, a better understanding of this history and its continuing relevance should be considered among specific training requirements.


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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