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VPMA Voice

A passion for innovation and discovery is one of the characteristics that defines UI Health Care—it’s an inextricable part of who we are and what we do. Whether through the relentless pursuit of our research mission, or pioneering new ways to deliver care, our commitment to lead and excel in the world of academic medicine is second to none.

What sets us apart is the caliber of the people who work here and who are redefining the landscape of academic medicine.

As a measure of the stellar talent here at UI Health Care, I am pleased to share that two of our talented faculty members, Kevin Campbell and Francois Abboud, recently received national recognition for their outstanding contributions to medicine.
(Stories below.)

These are just two examples of the world-class people that have made their academic homes with UI Health Care. Through the advancement of our clinical, educational, and research missions, we save lives and improve the quality of life for Iowans—and others across the nation and around the world. Patients have new therapies and treatment options as a result of our continued dedication to discovery and innovation, and all of us who work, learn, or volunteer with UI Health Care can be proud of our individual and collective contributions toward that end.

I wish everyone well this week as we tackle our challenges and opportunities, and especially want to thank all those involved in the successful implementation of Epic for your cooperation and perseverance.


Signed, Jean Robillard

Epic weekend … continues this week

It truly was an Epic weekend—historic, even—as UI Hospitals and Clinics left behind its old paper medical record system and made the complete transition to an electronic medical record and order-entry system for all patient care and ancillary services. The process began in the Emergency Treatment Center early Saturday morning, progressed through the weekend, and continues today as staff and faculty begin using Epic in the ambulatory clinics.

Clinical staff members have done an outstanding job of managing new documentation and ordering tools, as well as new clinical workflows. Project staffs from UI Hospitals and Clinics and Epic are literally working around the clock to address problems with the system and improve patient management tools. Support staff will continue to be deployed throughout the institution this week to provide assistance when needed and additional training and troubleshooting sessions are being scheduled. Please review the Frequently Asked Questions in your Outlook inbox, which address common problems experienced by staff.

March of Dimes honors Campbell

Kevin Campbell, PhD, Chair of the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Professor of Medicine, was honored this past weekend as a co-recipient of the 2009 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. This prestigious award is given to those who have profoundly advanced the science that underlies our understanding of birth defects. Dr. Campbell’s pioneering research provides the foundation for the development of diagnostic tests and new strategies for treating congenital muscular dystrophies. The March of Dimes is honoring Campbell with a display ad in the New York Times. Look for more information on our Web site and The Point.

Abboud receives Kober Medal

On April 26, Francois Abboud, MD, Professor of Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, received the highest award in academic internal medicine—the 2009 George M. Kober Medal from the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Abboud’s work has contributed to the understanding and management of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Michael Welsh, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, provided the keynote address for the presentation of the medal. Earlier in April, Dr. Abboud received the 2009 Walter B. Cannon Memorial Award from the American Physiological Society for his outstanding contributions to physiological science.

Flu update

UI Health Care staff and faculty continue to respond to the Influenza A (H1N1), also known as swine flu. On Saturday, May 2, Governor Chet Culver declared a public health emergency in Iowa after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of H1N1 influenza in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Public Health reports that a total of seven additional probable cases in the state are undergoing testing.

Last week UI Health Care’s Bio-response Team led preparations to ensure that we are ready to detect and treat cases of this new flu, and to decrease the risk of infection in our community. On Friday, May 1, a Level II Hospital Incident Command System was initiated to expand the staff and faculty involved in the response.

The Point is the source for the latest hospital-specific information for staff and faculty, including infection control procedures; specimen collection instructions; and updates from our epidemiologists. We are working closely with the University’s Critical Incident Management Team to assure timely distribution of information across the campus.

Voluntary programs extended

The deadline for staff and faculty to sign up for the Voluntary Temporary Reduction in Pay or Voluntary Vacation Give Back programs has been extended until 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 6. As of today, Monday, May 4, 618 staff and faculty have signed up for the programs, for a total contribution of $1.3 million.

Staff and faculty who are eligible and interested in participating in the programs must submit their application forms to UI Health Care Human Resources at 268 CMAB or C110 GH, or online through UI Employee Self Service. Application forms and more information about the programs are available on The Point, or from human resources representatives.

At the open forum at noon on Friday, May 1, Associate VP for Human Resources Chad Simmons provided some preliminary information about the UI early retirement program, and noted that he will host information sessions on that program when more information is available. Until that time, staff and faculty can learn more on the UI Budget Web site.


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