(May 2016) My first year as Dean of the University of Colorado School of Medicine has been a fulfilling and rewarding experience.
January, we announced five projects that were awarded Transformational
Research Funding grants, totaling $80 million over five years, to
bolster initiatives that show great promise for our School, for the
health of our patients and community and for medical science in general.
Office of Medical Education has been immersed in preparation for the
March 2017 site visit by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education,
which accredits medical schools. The dedication of our staff, led by
Senior Associate Dean Robert Anderson, MD, and working with dozens of
faculty, are ensuring that we have focused attention on the myriad
details necessary for this important event.
The School of Medicine
branch in Colorado Springs became home to the first group of students
who will conduct their third-year clinical rotations there. Associate
Dean Erik Wallace, MD, has spent two years building relationships with
providers in the community and overseeing the implementation of the
The clinicians on our faculty continue to provide the
best care in our community and offer the solid foundation on which our
School depends. Our faculty and our practice plan, University
Physicians, Inc., offer considerable funding to support the School’s
operations, create endowed chairs and provide student scholarships.
are implementing a plan that will ensure that we are using research
space on campus to its best potential. While that process can be
difficult for some, it is essential to our future. We cannot recruit and
retain the best faculty with a scattershot plan for using our space.
The sensible principles we are putting in place will ensure we have
productive laboratories and that we are locating investigators with
common interests near one another.
The School received one of the
largest programmatic gifts in its history in April 2015, when the Helen
K. and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation gave a $10 million grant to support
the Depression Center. In honor of the donors, the CU Board of Regents
voted to rename the center the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression
And in March 2016, the University announced a $10 million
pledge from The Anschutz Foundation to support establishing the National
Behavioral Health Innovation Center, which will bring innovative
approaches for preventing, identifying and treating behavioral health
and substance abuse.
The Transformational Research Funding grants,
which I previously mentioned, are a significant investment in our
future. We are funding areas of research that will have high impact,
nurture cross-disciplinary collaboration, and involve partners from
other institutions. Those projects are described in this issue, page 26,
and on the School of Medicine’s website.
We are able to make
these investments with funding provided by the clinical earnings of the
faculty, from annual financial support from the University of Colorado
Health and from philanthropy, including a commitment of $15 million by
The Anschutz Foundation. No state-appropriated dollars or student
tuition or fees are being used for the Transformational Research Funding
What we discovered in the process of selecting the award
recipients was not a surprise: This campus is home to an abundance of
immensely talented people. In fact, we received so many excellent
proposals that it was a reminder that my work as Dean is never done.
Just as our clinicians always strive to improve care, our teachers work
constantly to provide the best education and our researchers remain
committed to advancing the frontiers of knowledge, it is my job to
provide the best conditions possible for them to excel.
With warm regards,
John J. Reilly, Jr., MDRichard D. Krugman Endowed Chair
Dean, School of Medicine Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs University of Colorado