Dean's Weekly Message

October 12, 2015


Dear colleague: 

The Dean’s Office received 64 Letters of Intent for the Transformational Research Funding initiative that was announced last month and we have posted those letters online. It is gratifying to see the vision and creativity offered by these letters and we look forward to receiving full applications on Monday, Dec. 7. It is our hope that those with common research interests will work together on a final application. Once the applications are received, reviewers will evaluate them to determine a manageable process that ensures a thorough review of properly submitted applications.

CU President Bruce Benson announced in late September that Dorothy Horrell, PhD, has been named chancellor of the University of Colorado Denver, effective Jan. 4. She replaces Chancellor Jerry Wartgow, PhD, who is retiring in January. Dorothy served from 2001 to 2013 as president and CEO of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.  She was appointed to the Colorado State University Board of Governors by Gov. John Hickenlooper in 2009 and served as board chair from 2013 to 2015. She was president of the Colorado Community Colleges System, the state’s largest higher education system, from 1998 to 2000 and was president of Red Rocks Community College from 1989 to 1998. 

Don Elliman, chancellor of the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Chad Rusthoven, MD, a 2015 graduated resident of the Department of Radiation Oncology, joined Gov. John Hickenlooper and a delegation from Colorado State University on a tour of the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Japan on Saturday, Oct. 10. The universities are working together to study whether a similar carbon-ion radiotherapy research and treatment in facility is feasible.

The School of Medicine’s Rural Track was featured in an article on the CU System’s webpage. Mark Deutchman, MD, director of the rural track, describes the summer preceptorship as a “formative and inspiring” part of the rural track. During the summer program, students work alongside a rural physician for four to eight weeks and they present their experiences on the Anschutz Medical Campus. While many of us are focused on the work in the laboratories, clinics and classrooms here in Aurora, the presentations are an excellent reminder of the broad and important reach our School has in this state.

This past Tuesday, Oct. 6, Senior Associate Dean for Education Robert Anderson, MD, and I had our first lunch of this academic year with a dozen first- and second-year medical students and heard from them their hopes and concerns about the School. For the most part, the students described having a positive experience so far this year. I’m looking forward to having such lunches with students on a regular, twice-a-month basis.

William Brandenburg, MS-IV, is one of two winners of the inaugural Injury and Violence Student Paper Prize. William’s paper, “Medical Knowledge and Preparedness of Climbers of Colorado’s Fourteen Thousand Foot Peaks,” used data collected in interviews with climbers. His work was done in collaboration with Christopher Davis, MD, assistant professor of emergency medicine. The other winner was Dustin Currie, MPH, a doctoral student in epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health (CSPH), for his paper, “Epidemiology of Cheerleading Injuries in United States High Schools from 2009/10 through 2013/14.” The awards are sponsored by the CSPH’s Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research.

Dennis Matthews, MD, and Venu Akuthota, MD, chair and vice chair respectively of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, each gave named lectureships at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s Annual Assembly in Boston. Dennis received the 2014 Gabriella E. Molnar, MD, Pediatric PM&R Lifetime Achievement Award and delivered the lecture at this year’s meeting. Venu gave the PASSOR Legacy Award and Lectureship, which recognizes a mid-career physician who has distinguished himself in the field of musculoskeletal physiatry and has attained excellence in at least three of the following areas: clinical care, national education, national service, or scholarship. Congratulations to both.

University Physicians, Inc., (UPI) announced last Friday that it had signed a letter of intent with Denver Internal Medicine Group to join the School of Medicine physician faculty practice. We welcome this well-regarded practice to UPI. Denver Internal Medicine Group has been a primary care practice in Denver for more than 70 years. Patients of that practice will continue to receive primary care services at its central Denver offices.

The Resilience Council for School of Medicine residents, fellows and faculty has established a website to offer support and resources for all of our providers. The council has also set up a calendar of events featuring multiple opportunities to update abilities to respond to stress in a healthy way.

The Center for Bioethics and Humanities will debut a new program, “Hard Call,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15. The live discussion, “The Electronic Heart,” will explore the ethical and medical questions raised by this technology, which is not a question as simple as life or death. Rather, it’s a choice between “life plugged-in” or death. The conversation, which will be held in the Fulginiti Pavilion, will be recorded and produced as a podcast and radio broadcast. Seating at the event is limited and a ticket is required. For more information, contact


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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