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VPMA Voice

Tomorrow through Thursday, the University of Iowa celebrates its annual Health Science Research Week, with a focus this year on genetics. An exciting line-up of events is planned, and I hope you have the opportunity to visit a poster session or hear one of the many outstanding invited speakers.

As one of UI Health Care’s core missions, research is an inextricable part of who we are and what we do. The breakthroughs and hard work of our talented scientists not only lead to new discoveries and advance our understanding of the human body and its functions but also translate into cutting-edge therapies and treatment options for patients.

This unwavering commitment to discovery is apparent in the remarkable success of our researchers who, despite the current economic challenges, brought in more than $212 million in external funding in 2009, an increase of $12.2 million over 2008. And we continue to watch with anticipation construction on the new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, which will be the centerpiece of Iowa’s innovative discoveries in life sciences.

Growing our research enterprise is an important key to extending our national reputation to the highest level and to bolstering economic development for the region. Together we will change medicine through discovery and innovation. And in doing so, we will change the lives of those in Iowa—and millions of people throughout the world.

Signed, Jean Robillard

George Richerson named head of Neurology

George Richerson, MD, PhD, has been appointed Professor and Head of the UI Department of Neurology, pending approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Dr. Richerson will begin his new duties on July 1, 2010. He will succeed Robert Rodnitzky, MD, who is stepping down as department head but will continue his clinical, research, and education activities in the department.

Dr. Richerson currently serves as Professor and Residency Program Director of the Department of Neurology at the Yale University School of Medicine, where he was previously the Acting Chairman of Neurology. He also previously served as Acting Chief of Neurology at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in West Haven, Conn.

More information about Dr. Richerson is available on the Carver College of Medicine Web site.

Research Week features speakers, poster

Health Science Research Week begins Tuesday, April 13, and runs through Thursday, April 15. Genetics is the focus of the week, which features presentations by six nationally and internationally known researchers. In addition, there will be two poster sessions in the MERF Atrium:

• Graduate, Medical, PharmD Students: 1 to 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 13

• Postdoctoral fellows, Faculty and Staff: 1 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, April 14

More information is available on the Research Week website.

Mystery Diagnosis contest

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to participate in the final week of the Mystery Diagnosis contest, which has been running since April 5 with the goal of increasing knowledge of the highlighted diagnoses and the understanding of the science behind the diagnoses.

More details about the contest are available on the Research Week website.

Dr. Segal honored

Neil Segal, MD, MS, Assistant Professor and Staff Physiatrist, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, last week received the Association of Academic Physiatrists Young Academician Award. The award is given to one academic physiatrist who has demonstrated outstanding performance in teaching, research, and/or administration; ranks no higher than an association professor; and is no more than five years past residency/fellowship training.

Dr. Segal has been a physiatrist with UI Health Care since 2004. He received his medical degree at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn. and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

Hospital recognized for donation and transplant success

Faculty and staff members involved in organ donation and transplantation activities with UI Health Care were honored at a reception last Friday for their part in increasing the number of organs available for transplant.

UI Hospitals and Clinics is one of only 213 hospitals nationwide to have received the 2009 Silver Medal of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The medal recognizes UI Hospitals and Clinics for achieving a donation rate of 75 percent or more of eligible donors and for 10 percent of the donors being cardiac death donors. UI Hospitals and Clinics has been recognized by HRSA every year since 2003.

Neurosurgery, Neurology honored by brain injury group

The Departments of Neurosurgery and Neurology were recently honored by the Brain Injury Association of Iowa for their longstanding commitment to clinical care and research on behalf of patients with brain injury and their families.

The departments were each named “Corporation or Organization of the Year” by the Brain Injury Association of Iowa. This award is one of several presented annually by the association to individuals and organizations who demonstrate exceptional service or support to Iowans with brain injury and their families.

Call on your colleagues

The addition of new faculty to the UI Clifton Center for Digestive Diseases means that screening and diagnostic colonoscopy procedures are available within two days.

Clifton Digestive Diseases Center specialists offer the region’s broadest range of GI specialty services in the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, and defecation disorders. The Center is located on the fourth floor of John Colloton Pavilion. For appointments, call Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at 356-4060.

Community benefit reporting

Each year, the staff of UI Health Care do amazing things to reach out to the community, which we report to The Iowa Hospital Association. This year, Friday April 16, is the deadline for reporting the “community benefit” UI Health Care brings to Iowans.

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

• Research costs not covered by grants/contracts

Many areas have identified Community Benefit Reporters (staff who are on the “front line” of community benefit activities), and some have already filed their report for FY 2009 activities.

Areas that have not yet reported their activities should contact Tom Walljasper, Community Benefit Coordinator, at 384-1745 or mail to tom-walljasper@uiowa.edu for access to CBISA Online, our Web-based reporting tool, and for further instructions.



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