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VPMA Voice

I was saddened to learn of the death on Sunday of Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, whose pioneering work in the treatment of clubfoot earned him international recognition and changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children worldwide. He had a long and distinguished career at Iowa, joining the faculty in 1944 after completing his residency at UI Hospitals and Clinics and spending the next six decades here treating patients, teaching, and conducting research. (See story below.)

Dr. Ponseti’s death comes just a week after the passing of another colleague, Dr. Richard Lynch, who was a professor and head of the Department of Pathology here from 1981–1999. An outstanding leader, mentor, and researcher, Dr. Lynch also devoted 25 years as a National Institutes of Health peer reviewer.

My thoughts and condolences go out to the family members, friends, and many colleagues of these dedicated physicians.

They were both tireless leaders with great passion for their fields and their commitment to excellence contributed greatly to the University and beyond. They truly personified our vision of world class people and world class medicine for Iowa and the world.

Let us follow their example and honor them by continuing to do excellent work every day caring for patients, pursuing discoveries, and teaching tomorrow’s medical professionals. In this, we will not only honor their distinguished legacies but also advance our important missions.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Beloved orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Ponseti, dies

Ignacio Ponseti, MD, whose pioneering, non-surgical treatment for clubfoot benefited hundreds of thousands of children worldwide, died Sunday at age 95 following a sudden illness. Arrangements for a celebration of life are being made.

Dr. Ponseti joined the orthopaedics faculty at The University of Iowa in 1944 following his residency—remaining here the next six decades treating patients, teaching, and conducting research. He retired as professor emeritus in 1984 but returned in 1986 to a consultative practice in orthopaedics.

In the course of his career, he developed the Ponseti method for treating clubfoot, involving the careful manipulation of muscles, joints, and ligaments held in a series of casts and braces to reposition the foot back to normal. It became the “gold standard” for clubfoot treatment after decades of positive follow-up results and numerous international, peer-reviewed studies showing success rates as high as 98 percent.

Over the past decade, through educational and advocacy efforts, the Ponseti method has become the mainstream treatment for clubfoot in North America and is increasingly used to help children with clubfoot from underdeveloped regions of the world. In August 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed the Ponseti method.

More information about Dr. Ponseti’s life and work is available here.

Forum on Thursday

Thursday, October 22, from noon to 1 p.m. in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8), UI Health Care leaders will review information that will be presented at the October 29 Board of Regents meeting in Cedar Falls, including:

• Enhancing Geriatric Care Across Iowa

• Operating and Financial Performance

• Expense Moderation Update

• Compliance Overview

They will also provide preliminary information about the potential impact of recently announced budget reductions for state agencies.

A live Web cast of the forum will also be available the day of the forum.

Dr. Van Daele named Chief Medical Information Officer

Douglas Van Daele, MD, FACS, Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, has accepted the position of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for UI Health Care. Dr. Van Daele has been with UI Health Care since July 2003.

UI Health Care leaders had delayed filling the position of CMIO due to budget concerns but recently determined that the position was critical for supporting the investment in the Epic patient information technology and enhancing the quality and safety of patient care services.

An internal search was initiated three months ago and Dr. Van Daele emerged as the successful candidate. His appointment assures that a knowledgeable clinical faculty member is significantly involved throughout the continued design and deployment of a clinical information system.

Dr. Van Daele will dedicate 50 percent of his time to the role of CMIO and the remainder of his time to maintaining an active medical practice, providing patient care, and conducting research.

Call for nominations

Alumni, faculty, staff, and colleagues are invited to nominate graduates of the UI Carver College of Medicine for a Distinguished Alumni Award—the highest accolade given to medicine alumni.

All graduates of the College’s medical education, residency and fellowship training, associated medical sciences, and basic science programs are eligible. Awards are given in the categories of Achievement, Service, Friendship, and Early Distinguished Career Achievement.

For more information on the awards and instructions for submitting nominations, please visit www.medicine.uiowa.edu/alumni. Nominations for the 2010 awards must be e-mailed or postmarked by October 30, 2009.

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