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Dean's Weekly Message

June 19, 2017


 Dear colleague: 

The Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program last Tuesday, June 13, announced nine researchers who have been selected to receive funding. Among those researchers are five faculty members of the School of Medicine: Joshua Black, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology, Angelo D'Alessandro, PhD, assistant professor of biology and molecular genetics, Kristine A. Kuhn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, Eric Pietras, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, and John Thompson, PhD, assistant professor of neurosurgery. The Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards support promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to advance independent research and compete for major federal and private awards. Recipients are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain three years of biomedical research. They also receive the title of Boettcher Investigator. Congratulations to all. 

On Friday, June 16, we welcomed the School of Medicine’s new residents and interns to campus. This is an impressive, talented group and we look forward to their contributions. 

Earlier this month, the CU Cancer Center celebrated the establishment of the Paul R. O’Hara II Endowed Chair in Esophageal Cancer, made possible with a gift of $3.15 million from Katy and Paul Rady. They established the chair in gratitude for the high-quality, personalized care that Katy’s brother, Paul R. O’Hara II, received here from Madeleine Kane, MD, PhD, professor of medicine. With this generous gift, Katy and Paul Rady are ensuring that future patients will also receive excellent care on our campus and that our research efforts here will contribute to a cure. We are grateful for their support. 

The Building Better Babies Symposium on May 31 was a showcase of the impressive research on the Anschutz Medical Campus related to the developmental origins of health and disease, a concept that builds on the strong epidemiological evidence and animal-study models indicating that major chronic diseases have origins in utero and during early childhood. The goal of the symposium, one of the first events organized by the recently formed Building Better Babies Program on our campus, is to promote understanding of the links between an adverse early life environment and later disease and to explore new approaches for intervention. No less authority than our own Richard Johnston, Jr., MD, emeritus professor of pediatrics, former medical director of the March of Dimes, and a world leader in immunology and inflammation research, noted that the symposium was a major event, telling the organizers: “I do not recall as successful an effort like this in the 17 years that I’ve been part of the med school. You did a great thing for this campus and, potentially, for perinatal health.” If you were unable to attend, I urge you to look at the event program, contact the organizers and participants, and encourage you to continue to pursue this kind of valuable, collaborative science. 

The School of Medicine’s Rural Track conducted an interdisciplinary rural immersion week beginning June 5, with visits to Monte Vista and Del Norte. The purpose of the week is give students the opportunity to explore rural community life and work. Mark Deutchman, MD, professor of family medicine and associate dean for rural health, and Melanie DeHerrera, rural track program coordinator, led the group of 22 health professions students that included MD, physician assistant, nursing, pharmacy and veterinary medicine students. The students met community leaders with business, law enforcement, public services, education, recreation, healthcare and economic development backgrounds. The program is conducted in a different rural community each June and has previously been conducted in Sterling, Alamosa, Lamar, Cortez, Delta and Craig. The School of Medicine is consistently recognized as having one of the best rural medicine programs in the country and was ranked sixth earlier this year by U.S. News and World Report. 

The School of Medicine’s Academy of Medical Educators is accepting applications for its skills-based Teaching Certificate Program. The yearlong self-directed program is designed for basic science and clinical teachers and fellows and senior residents who wish to improve their direct teaching skills in the setting where they work, whether that is at the bedside, in a lecture or in a procedure-based setting. Participants can tailor the content of the program to their learning needs. The online application is available on the Academy’s website and is due Friday, June 30. 

The Academy of Medical Educators has been awarded the Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) ASPIRE award for excellence in faculty development. This is an international award that recognizes excellence through criteria-based peer assessment and it is a wonderful honor for our program. The award will be presented at the AMEE 2017 conference in Helsinki on Monday, Aug. 28.  

The CU Center for Bioethics and Humanities and its fellow sponsors are presenting the second annual Aspen Ethical Leadership Program, to be held September 11-13. The program, an executive retreat for leaders in healthcare to share and explore the most difficult ethical challenges they face, has selective admission, attendance is limited to 100 people, and applications are currently being accepted. Themes include the Ethics of Measuring and Improving Healthcare Quality, Public and Private Values in Population Health, and Moving from Regulatory Compliance to Ethics and Integrity.  As with last fall’s inaugural program, the 2017 program will include lectures and panel discussions with nationally prominent leaders as well as numerous interactive case-based sessions. Accepted applicants are generally senior or rising leaders of health care organizations locally and nationally.  For questions email meleah.himber@ucdenver.edu. 

Bike to Work Day will be Wednesday, June 28, for those working on the Anschutz Medical Campus. As part of Bike to Work Day, the Way to Go program of the Denver Regional Council of Governments is operating a referral campaign with prizes, including a cycling trip for two in Croatia. To be eligible, you must register for 2017 Bike to Work Day at BiketoWorkDay.us and refer at least one other registrant. 

Condolences to the friends and family of Margaret Ladwig “Margot” Lane, a Colorado Springs philanthropist who was a generous donor to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. Margot died Monday, June 12. She was 78. The John E. and Margaret L. Lane Foundation donated $4 million in 2011 to launch the UCCS Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences. The CU School of Medicine branch in Colorado Springs is housed in the Lane Center, which was dedicated in 2014 in a celebration that included leaders from our School and the University. 

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 previous weekly messages from the Dean →

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