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VPMA Voice

Since announcing the opportunity for employees to participate in two voluntary budget reduction programs, we have received many comments and questions. I am delighted to see such a high level of engagement among all those who work at UI Health Care, and I encourage you to continue to share your views and ideas.

In response to feedback we received, we have made some changes to the voluntary programs that I want to make sure you know about. For example, many people told us they would be more inclined to participate in the voluntary vacation give backs if those contributions would be “credited” in the event of a mandatory reduction program—and we have since committed to enabling that. (See more information below).

We also heard from a lot of people wanting to know whether their voluntary contribution will be “counted” at the institutional level or the department/unit level. The answer is that it will be at the department/unit level.

Also because you asked, later this week we will share a preliminary count of the dollars contributed through the voluntary programs. Remember, these programs are voluntary. We are continuing to communicate information about these programs due to the large number of questions people are asking.

We are hosting two forums this week for staff and faculty to ask questions and share ideas.

And, as always, if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions, you can contact me at vpma@uiowa.edu.


Signed, Jean Robillard

Preparing for May 2 Big Bang

The weekend of May 2 is the scheduled Big Bang “Go Live” of EpicCare, our full electronic medical record and order entry system. In preparation, staff and physicians throughout all patient care areas and clinics will be completing their training and making final preparations for a smooth transition to the new clinical information system. New patients admitted after May 2 will no longer have paper medical records.

Staff and physicians can find useful information to help prepare for the implementation on The Point, including a schedule of noontime brown bag seminars on various aspects of the new system; Tips, Tricks, and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions; Epic e-learning modules; and ‘Your Epic Readiness Check List’ found in Epic Production.

Important updates on voluntary programs

UI Health Care leaders have announced some important updates regarding the voluntary expense reduction programs being offered to eligible faculty and staff of UI Health Care.

  • If a mandatory reduction in pay becomes necessary, staff WILL be allowed to use vacation give back to “cover” the mandated reduction. It is estimated that a 1 percent reduction in pay translates to 32 hours of vacation give back. Vacation give back is available only to non-organized Professional and Scientific, Merit-Exempt, and SEIU employees at UI Hospitals and Clinics.
  • Eligible staff can sign up for vacation give back online at the UI Employee Self Service site, at the Personal tab, under the Time Reporting section. A “calculator” has been added to The Point’s budget information page, so staff and faculty can test the impact of making a temporary reduction in pay.
  • The calculator is currently available only for staff participating in the TIAA-CREF retirement plan. A second calculator, for those with IPERS as a retirement plan, is being developed and will be available shortly.
  • The eligible participants remain as non-organized Professional and Scientific staff; Merit-Exempt staff; and SEIU members. Voluntary Temporary Reduction in Pay is available for both Hospital and College faculty and eligible staff, while Voluntary Vacation Give Back is available only for Hospital eligible staff.

Faculty and staff interested in participating in one or both programs must submit their application forms to Carver College of Medicine Human Resources (268 CMAB) or Hospital Human Resources (C110 GH) or online through UI Employee Self Service by Thursday, April 30.

Get your questions answered at forums

Hear more about the voluntary programs and get your questions answered at two forums this week:

  • 12 noon, today, East Room (Elevator F, Level 8, Roy J. Carver Pavilion)
  • 12 noon, Wednesday, April 22, East Room (Elevator F, Level 8, Roy J. Carver Pavilion)

Today’s forum will also be webcast live at noon. The webcast is only available to healthcare domain users and will not start until noon. If you are asked to log on, enter healthcare\yourHawkID as your username and you will also need to enter your password.

Answers to some frequently asked questions

(A more comprehensive Q and A is available on The Point.)

Q. What is the status with AFSCME? Will they allow their members to participate?
A. We are still talking with them–in a very positive way, but there isn’t a definite answer yet.

Q. Is it true that the benefit of the voluntary vacation give back or temporary reduction in pay stays in the staff members’ departments as opposed to going into a central fund?
A. Yes, staff and faculty benefit their department directly if they make a contribution. If every department does well, it will greatly assist the overall financial situation.

Q. What about people whose positions are funded partly by the College and partly by the Hospital or by grants? How do they determine what they are eligible to do?
A. Staff and/or faculty in these positions should contact their Human Resources
representative or Hospital or College HR specialists to determine their ability to participate and how it would benefit the organization.

Looking ahead

UI Health Care will host ice cream socials for all secretarial and clerical support staff in honor of Administrative Professionals Day, Wednesday, April 22. The events will be held simultaneously on Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Atrium Conference Center (Elevator D, Level 7, UI Hospitals and Clinics) and the Medical Education and Research Facility (MERF) Atrium.


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