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Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. As we approach the birthday of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., I am reminded of his extraordinary capacity to embody the spirit of collaboration, inclusion, and hope. His timeless messages constitute a remarkable legacy that continues to inspire generation after generation.

One of the ways The University of Iowa celebrates Dr. King’s legacy and our commitment to diversity is through the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration of Human Rights, from January 15–29. I encourage you to attend the various events surrounding the celebration (see details below), as we aim to foster diversity on campus and throughout the community.

I especially encourage you to participate in this Friday’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Blood Drive at UI Hospitals and Clinics, and join me and President Sally Mason next Tuesday, January 19, for the UI Health Care Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture given by Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski III, President of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Diversity is one of UI Health Care’s six strategic priorities. As we move forward into this New Year, we remain committed to Dr. King’s vision by creating an environment where individual differences are respected and all feel welcome.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Lecture next Tuesday

Everyone is invited to hear Dr. Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, present the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture on Tuesday, January 19.

The lecture, titled “Educating Leaders in Health Care for the 21st Century” will be from noon to 1 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium, 1110A Medical Education and Research Facility, at the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

From a child leader in the Civil Rights Movement to recognition as one of the “10 Best College Presidents” by Time magazine, Dr. Hrabowski is widely acclaimed for his efforts to recruit and guide under-represented minority students to careers in science, math, and engineering.

Dr. Hrabowski’s books are available at a 20 percent discount at Wild Rose Books.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Lecture is sponsored as part of UI Health Care’s Celebration of Human Rights 2010. Additional events are:

• DeGowin Blood Drive on Friday, January 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pappajohn Pavilion Lobby (Elevator I, Level 1)

• PBS documentary series, “Unnatural Causes, in Sickness and in Wealth,” examining the roots of socioeconomic and racial inequities in health, Wednesday, January 20, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hardin Library

• UI PanAmerican Steel Band performance Friday, January 22, noon to 1 p.m., Colloton Pavilion Atrium (Elevator F, Level 1)

For a complete listing of all Human Rights Week events on the UI Campus, visit http://www.uiowa.edu/~mlk/.

Dr. Donelson honored

John E. Donelson, PhD, professor of Biochemistry, has been named a 2009 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Dr. Donelson, who also was head of the department of biochemistry from 1998 to 2008, was recognized by the AAAS section on biological sciences for distinguished contributions to understanding how parasitic protozoa that cause major tropical diseases evade the human immune system. He will be honored with other fellows in February at the 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

B.J. Hannon recognized

Barbara, “B.J.”, Hannon, Nursing Services and Patient Care, was featured in a recent issue of Health Leaders magazine in an article titled “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better.”

She was nominated and interviewed by Rebecca Hendren, one of the editors, who heard B.J. speak at several conferences and was impressed by B.J.’s tremendous passion for nursing and for the Magnet Recognition Program. Specifically, she recognized B.J.’s more than 60 presentations on nursing or Magnet subjects over the last five years, including speaking twice at the National Magnet conference.

Hospital administration appointments

On Thursday, January 7, UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO Ken Kates announced the appointments of:

• Paul Abramowitz, PharmD, as Associate Director for Professional Services at UI Hospitals and Clinics to provide senior administrative leadership to Pharmaceutical Care, Radiology, Laboratory Services, Respiratory Therapy, Behavioral Health, and Rehabilitation Therapies. In addition to the new role, he will continue his responsibility as chief pharmacy officer at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.

• Sabi Singh, MS, MA, as Associate Director for Clinical Services at the UI Hospitals and Clinics to provide senior administrative leadership to the Organ Transplant Center, UI Neurosciences, Emergency Medical Services, UI Heart and Vascular Center, and UI Women’s Health. He will continue to serve as assistant vice president for Operational Excellence for UI Health Care and as a co-director for international programs.

Abramowitz and Singh undertake these new duties for no additional compensation.

Poison Control Center accredited

The American Association of Poison Control Centers has designated the Iowa Statewide Poison Control Center (ISPCC) as an accredited poison control center. The designation places the ISPCC among 58 accredited poison centers in the United States.

Last year the ISPCC managed more than 58,000 calls from concerned Iowans. The ISPCC is a partnership between Iowa Health System and UI Hospitals and Clinics and is located in Sioux City, Iowa. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-1222.

Influenza Vaccination Week

During this National Influenza Vaccination Week (January 10-16) the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is reminding all Americans of the importance of continuing influenza and H1N1 vaccinations. A top priority for the week is to engage at-risk persons who are not yet vaccinated, hesitant about vaccination, or unsure about where to get vaccinated. Everyone can learn more about influenza vaccinations at www.flu.gov.

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