Dean's Weekly Message

September 14, 2015


Dear colleague: 

The first Faculty Senate meeting of this academic year was Tuesday, Sept. 8, with a report from Robert Anderson, MD, senior associate dean for education, on the graduation questionnaire survey of 2015 graduates and how it will inform our efforts to prepare for the 2017 site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). While there have been improvements in key areas such as increasing the diversity of our medical classes and in establishing a professional learning and working environment, there are areas where focus is needed. We are gratified that so many graduates – 93 percent – agreed or strongly agreed that they received a quality medical education. Some answers indicated a need to improve the awareness, accessibility and responsivity of the Dean’s office regarding student life and educational and curriculum issues. Those answers will help guide our work in the next months as we prepare for the LCME’s accreditation review.

The effort to prepare for the LCME accreditation visit in 2017 formally launched on Wednesday, Sept. 2, with the first meeting of the 12 committees that will oversee our self-study for the next 18 months. I joined Senior Associate Dean for Education Robert Anderson, MD, in welcoming the 120 faculty, staff and students who attended the meeting and gave them their charge to conduct a thorough and thoughtful review of the School. Their energy and enthusiasm are essential to this process and I appreciate their willingness to serve in this important effort.

Nichole Zehnder, MD, assistant dean for admissions, reported to the Faculty Senate on changes to the interviewing process for prospective medical students. Adding structure to the process provides consistency and yields a thorough review of applicants. First interviews for the Class of 2020 are scheduled on Friday, Sept. 18, and the School of Medicine has already received 5,774 applicants in the first month and a half of the application period.

The School’s leadership celebrated 33 new recipients of the UPI Scholarships at a luncheon on Tuesday, Sept. 1. These students are enrolled in the School’s MD, Physical Therapy and Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant programs and have shown a commitment to community health. University Physicians, Inc., (UPI) our faculty practice plan, has been a strong supporter of scholarships, providing more than $1 million for more than 100 scholarships since 2009, creating a virtuous cycle where our successful faculty physicians support the education of the next generation of medical professionals. We thank UPI for its leadership in supporting these scholarships and we offer our best wishes for continued success to the students who receive them.

CU President Bruce Benson last week sent a message to supporters of the University about the launch of a marketing campaign highlighting the great work and scholarship contributed by all members of the University of Colorado community. The marketing campaign, called “All Four: Colorado,” highlights all four campuses in the CU system. Benson said a 30-second television commercial with that theme has already aired and that there will be an effort to increase awareness of the University’s valuable contributions in communities throughout the state.

Congratulations for Paige Bennett, a fourth-year medical student, on receiving a 2015 Pisacano Leadership Award from the American Board of Family Medicine. Paige is one of five recipients from a field of thousands of U.S. medical students. Pisacano Scholars must show demonstrable leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, identifiable character and integrity, and a noteworthy level of community service. Paige has been involved in a teen obesity community-based research project since beginning medical school. She is interested in rural family health care and is a military scholar through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program, committing to at least four years of active duty and four years in the reserves following the completion of her medical training. This is the second consecutive year that a student of the School of Medicine has received a Pisacano Leadership Award. Stephanie Sandhu, MD, was named a scholar last year.

Condolences to the family and friends of Michael Muftic, MD, former assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology, who died Aug. 14. He was 82. A memorial service was held Saturday, Sept. 12, at the Church of Eternal Hills in Tabernash. A separate service is planned in Denver at the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 15.

All Anschutz students, residents, graduate students, post-docs and faculty are invited to submit an abstract for the fourth annual Education Scholarship & Innovation Symposium, hosted by the Academy of Medical Educators. Abstract submission opens Tuesday, Sept. 15, and all new and previously presented educational research and/or innovations in health sciences education are welcome for this peer-reviewed conference. Abstracts are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday, Dec. 1. For further details about the abstract submission process and the symposium, please visit the Academy’s website. The fourth annual Education Scholarship & Innovation Symposium is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The CU Faculty Council Women’s Committee has issued a call for proposals from the CU community addressing the theme “Stages of a Career.” The committee is seeking proposals to be featured at the 14th Annual CU Women Succeeding Professional Development symposium to be held on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25-26, 2016, on the campus of University of Colorado Colorado Springs. In addition the committee has requested nominations for the 2015 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award to recognize a CU faculty member for efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching. Deadline for submissions for both the proposals and nominations is Friday, Nov. 13.

Denver Health has commenced searches for service chiefs of medicine and surgery. These leadership positions are key faculty liaisons with the School and important partners in educating medical students, residents and fellows. I recently attended a town hall session on the Denver Health campus where I met some of the dedicated professionals who provide care there and who are valuable members of our faculty. Denver Health, which annually provides care to one-third of Denver’s population and 37 percent of the city’s children, offers many opportunities to fulfill our School’s essential missions to educate medical professionals and ensure our community’s health.

Organizers of the CU Anschutz 9 Health Fair are seeking medical and non-medical volunteers to assist with the Family 9HealthFair on Saturday, Oct. 10, on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Medical volunteer positions will help with blood draws, hearing and oral health screenings, blood pressure readings and other support. Non-medical volunteers will serve as interpreters, cashiers, greeters and way-finders, among other duties. Please consider serving as a resource for our community at this special event.

The Anschutz Medical Campus block party is Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All members of our campus are invited to enjoy the festivities. More than 80 booths will be set up on the grounds south of Building 500. Food trucks will be on site for lunch and there will be live entertainment. This is the third year the campus has hosted a block party and the event is getting bigger and better. I encourage you to take a break and come celebrate our campus.


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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