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VPMA Voice

While we frequently reference UI Health Care’s vision for advancing our vital research, education, and patient care missions, we can all too often forget that vision is also simply, healthy sight.

One of the most pervasive and life-changing ophthalmological diseases threatening unimpaired sight is age-related macular degeneration. It is a devastating disease of the retina that causes progressive loss of central vision, and is the leading cause of blindness in developed countries. With the baby boomer generation growing older, the need for research into the treatments and prevention of this disease becomes more urgent.

At the UI John and Marcia Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory, faculty members Drs. Val Sheffield and Ed Stone, both also Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators, are seeking ways to prevent the onset of the disease and find a cure.

These top researchers and their teams have located several genetic mutations that cause rare eye diseases and developed gene-directed therapy for these diseases, with hopes to translate their discoveries into more accurate diagnostic tests and better treatment for patients.

As our nation recognizes March as Age-related Macular Degeneration Month, UI Health Care continues to focus on the prevention of and eventual cure for this destructive disease. Working tirelessly to give others the ability to see is just one more way our visionary physicians and scientists are changing medicine and changing lives.

Signed, Jean Robillard

UI Health Care Update forum

Everyone working, learning, or volunteering with UI Health Care is invited to a forum beginning at noon on Tuesday, March 9, in the Atrium Conference Center (Elevators D/E, Level 7), UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Topics for the forum include:

• UI Hospitals and Clinics operational and financial report

• Update on quality and safety initiatives

• Service and Operational Excellence Committee

A live Web cast of the noon forum will be available to healthcare domain users from The Point or this link https://webapps1.healthcare.uiowa.edu/WebCast/. Your HawkID Login is required to sign in. To send questions during the Web cast, use the “Feedback” link on the Web cast site.

UI Hospitals and Clinics lab accredited

The Emory Warner Laboratories at UI Hospitals and Clinics recently earned accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP).

The CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program began in the 1960s and is recognized as being equal to or even more stringent than the federal government’s inspection program. The review process includes an examination of the labs’ records and quality control procedures for the preceding two years, the qualifications of the staff, the labs’ equipment, facilities, safety program and record, as well as the overall management of the laboratories. The inspection is designed to ensure that all patients served by the labs receive the highest standard of care.

Filtering will limit access to select Web sites

Beginning today UI Hospitals and Clinics will block access from all clinical workstations to Web sites that are inappropriate in the health care workplace. These include online social networking sites, gaming sites, and “malicious” sites that attempt to infect computer workstations.

While filtering currently applies only to clinical workstations (computers on nursing units, in outpatient clinics, and other clinical/procedural areas, etc.), evaluation is under way for application in other areas of UI Hospitals and Clinics.

UI Health Care continues to support an open work environment. However, viewing inappropriate Web sites for non-work-related purposes consumes employee time and organizational resources. Moreover, access to inappropriate sites creates the potential for a negative experience for patients, visitors, employees, and students.

More information is available on The Point.

Community benefit reporting

All departments across UI Health Care are reminded of training that will help staff and faculty learn how to more accurately report the community benefit they are delivering through programs and services for which they receive no compensation or are under-compensated. If your unit/department/program delivers community benefit, it’s important that it be reported.

Department heads and managers should identify appropriate staff members to attend the upcoming Webinar: Role of the Facility Reporter (one hour), Tuesday, March 30, 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., 2117 Medical Education and Research Facility.

To register for the Webinar contact Tom Walljasper at tom-walljasper@uiowa.edu or 384-1745. For more information about the Community Benefit Reporting initiative, visit The Point and click on the Community Benefits link under Everyday Tools & Resources.

Community benefit activities include, but are not limited to:

• Free care for uninsured (charity care)

• Community-based clinical services (health screenings, etc.)

• Health professions education

• Continuing medical education

• Financial and in-kind contributions

• Student fundraisers for charity, such as food drives

• Research costs not covered by grants/contracts

Reception for Dr. Williams

UI Health Care faculty, staff, and students are invited to a reception to honor Richard Williams, MD, from 3 to 4 p.m., Thursday, March 11, in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8), UI Hospitals and Clinics. (Remarks at 3:15 p.m.)

Dr. Williams served as the head of the Department of Urology for more than 25 years, and made many significant contributions to UI Health Care’s mission areas of patient care, research, and education. He stepped down as head of Urology on February 1.

ICTS providing weekly update

In February the Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) began providing weekly e-mail updates to UI Health Care faculty. The update highlights research under way, resources available, people, and upcoming events.

The ICTS is the academic home to the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award at UI. Visit http://icts.uiowa.edu/ to learn more about the ICTS.

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