Having trouble seeing this email?
VPMA Voice

UI Health Care’s success depends on our talented and creative faculty and staff who earn regional, national, and international recognition for their contributions to teaching, research, and clinical care. Engagement in professional activities with commercial entities, professional and scientific organizations, and journals, as well as other universities and governmental agencies is an important part of life at an academic medicine center. Such activities improve patient care; strengthen knowledge and skills; and contribute to the growth and development of expertise.

Yet to ensure the integrity of our core missions, it is critical that our interactions with industry avoid any conflicts of interest—real or perceived. That’s why UI Health Care released last week a new policy designed to foster greater transparency and reinforce our commitment to upholding the highest possible ethical standards.

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to take time to thoroughly review the policy.

In the coming months, you’ll be hearing more about how we plan to implement and monitor the policy, as well as what you can do to support our continued efforts to instill greater confidence in all those whom we serve.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and for all you do for UI Health Care.

Signed, Jean Robillard

More on Conflict of Interest/Conflict of Commitment Policy

Many who work or volunteer at UI Health Care have wondered about the genesis of the new conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policy introduced this week. Several factors influenced the decision to move forward with shaping a new policy.

First, the issue has received increased scrutiny at the federal level, prompting many academic medical centers to revise and strengthen their policies. UI Health Care established a more than 40-member task force charged with developing recommendations for a new policy. That task force was instrumental in helping craft initial drafts of the policy.

In addition, in May 2008, the auditor for the Board of Regents released a report recommending UI Health Care strengthen its conflict of interest/conflict of commitment policy. Later in the year, the draft policy was distributed broadly throughout UI Health Care for review and comment. Through routine meetings, e-mail correspondence, open forums, and other venues, input from dozens of faculty and staff was solicited and received. Many of the suggestions and changes were incorporated into the final policy. The hard work of everyone who contributed to the effort to foster an environment of transparency and to ensure that interactions with industry neither create conflicts of interest nor compromise the integrity of the institution’s mission is greatly appreciated.

The policy, while final, is anticipated to be reviewed and, where necessary, amended on an annual basis.

Work has already begun on a plan to implement and monitor this policy. This includes development of a disclosure process as well as the design and establishment of a database. It is anticipated this plan will be in place and ready to launch on July 1, 2009.

Development of a Web site is also under way. The site will include background information on the policy, answers to frequently asked questions, references, links to other academic medical centers’ COI policies, information on implementation, and much more. More information about this site will be coming soon.

Looking ahead

UI Department of Internal Medicine Chair candidate Mark E. Anderson, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine and Physiology, UI Carver College of Medicine, will present “A Vision for Academic Medicine at Iowa” at 5 p.m. today, Jan. 26, in 2117 Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF).

Kevin Larsen, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Informatics Officer for Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, will present “Implementation of Epic in an Academic Healthcare Setting,” at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 27, in the Medical Alumni Auditorium (E331 General Hospital).

When the Board of Regents meets in Ankeny on February 3, UI Health Care leaders
will report on:

  • Carver College of Medicine
  • UI Hospitals and Clinics volume and financial performance
  • Expense moderation
  • The Iowa Medical Mutual Insurance Company
  • Reducing health care-acquired infections

UI Health Care leaders will present these agenda items at the next Regents Meeting Preview Forum on Thursday, January 29, from noon to 1 p.m. in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8, UI Hospitals and Clinics. Everyone working, volunteering, or learning with UI Health Care is invited to attend the forum.

UI Health Care Update Forums, Wednesday, February 11, at noon and 5:30 p.m. in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8, UI Hospitals and Clinics. Vice President Jean Robillard and other UI Health Care leaders will introduce the integrated strategic plan for UI Health Care, and provide updates on other pressing matters. A question and answer session will follow. Refreshments will be served at both sessions.

The noon forum will be Web cast live for UI Health Care domain users. Use "healthcare\your Hawk ID" and password to log in.

A welcome reception for Associate Vice President for Human Resources Chad Simmons will be Friday, February 13, at 3:30 p.m. (remarks at 4 p.m.), in the East Room, Elevator F, Level 8, UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Stay in touch

Remember to continue sending your suggestions for ways to reduce expenses and improve performance.

logo: University of Iowa Health Care
This is a publication of UI Health Care