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VPMA Voice

One of my chief responsibilities as vice president for medical affairs is to ensure that UI Health Care remains on a solid financial footing, enabling our mission of excellence in clinical care, research, and education. Philanthropy accounts for a significant portion of our funding for these mission purposes.

As such, I set aside time each month to meet with current and potential donors and update them on the news and activities of our academic medical center. I am pleased to report that, even in the current economic climate, people still feel good about our enterprise, and their commitment to helping us achieve our goals is unwavering.

Philanthropy sustains UI Health Care and is a vital pillar in our ability to grow and develop. People connect emotionally to the amazing things we do here, and I believe their passion to support us will not falter.

You, too, can play a significant role in fostering the culture of health care philanthropy in support of UI Health Care. Each and every person you come into contact with could be a future donor. A positive experience for our patients and students, their friends, and families—even a co-worker sitting next to you—may one day translate into a generous gift of support. And all gifts—no matter what size—truly make a difference.

Again, I extend my thanks to each of you for all that you do for UI Health Care. Keep up the great work! And, as always, please e-mail me at vpma@uiowa.edu with your comments and questions.


Signed, Jean Robillard

Epic week

We are one week into our Epic go-live and are hearing from staff that each day they are becoming more proficient in the system. Late last week the clinics were reporting improved operations, and physicians and nurses are becoming more comfortable with online order entry. While we are now successfully using the Epic system, we still have problems to address, content to enhance, reports to develop, additional training to deliver, and workflow to refine.

We still have much work to do, but we could not have gotten this far without the hard work and dedication of the Epic project teams and the patience and support of the UI Health Care staff. We can look forward to building upon our Epic system as a foundation to improve operations and deliver better, safer patient care in the future.

Voluntary program results

At the close of the Voluntary Expense Reduction programs on Wednesday, May 6, a total of 871 persons had signed up for one or both programs, creating a budget savings of $1,760,291. Of that total, nearly 57 percent ($991,252) was accrued through give back of 26,388 hours of vacation. The remaining $769,040 will be achieved through temporary reduction in pay.

These contributions, combined with $2.6 million in salary reductions and forfeited incentive pay for more than 40 senior leaders announced in March, bring the total budget savings to $4.3 million.

Budget update

UI Health Care senior leaders will provide an update on the fiscal year 2010 budgets for UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Carver College of Medicine at an open forum Wednesday, May 20, at noon in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8). The forum will also be webcast live at noon.

18 UI nurses among 100 Great Iowa Nurses

Eighteen UI Hospitals and Clinics and UI Children’s Hospital nurses were among “100 Great Iowa Nurses” honored recently.

The 100 honorees represented 39 Iowa counties and were selected from a pool of nearly 400 individuals. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of reviewers, including nursing professionals and previous award winners. Visit the website for more information, including a list of the 18 UI nurses honored.

Brenner named head of biochemistry

Charles Brenner, PhD, will be the new head of the Department of Biochemistry effective July 1, 2009. Dr. Brenner currently is professor of genetics and of biochemistry at Dartmouth Medical School, scientific director of the Comprehensive Thoracic Oncology Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and associate director for basic sciences at Norris Cotton Cancer Center in Lebanon, NH.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Wesleyan University and a doctorate in cancer biology in the biochemistry department of Stanford University School of Medicine. Following his doctoral work, he was a fellow of the Leukemia Society of America at Brandeis University.

Eva Tsalikian re-elected Chief of Staff

Congratulations to Eva Tsalikian, MD, professor and vice chair for clinical affairs, Department of Pediatrics, and director, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes, who this month was elected to another three-year term as chief of staff for the hospital. This will be her second three-year term.

Looking ahead

Celebrate National Hospital Week!

Everyone associated with UI Health Care is invited to celebrate National Hospital Week, May 11–15. This year’s theme is “A Healthy Commitment in Changing Times,” which recognizes that, even in times of economic uncertainty and technological change, health care providers and support staff continue to put patients first. For a complete list of the events during the week, visit The Point.

UI Carver College of Medicine graduation

Neurology Professor Harold Adams will be the speaker at UI Carver College of Medicine’s graduation ceremonies this Friday, May 15. Graduates include: 143 physicians, 12 clinical laboratory scientists, 24 radiologic technologists, two nuclear medicine technologists, and one master’s in medical education degree.


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