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VPMA Voice

Iowa is at the forefront of the nation’s aging population boom. How UI Health Care chooses to address the challenges presented by the increasing number of older adults represents a critical undertaking. With this growing demographic in mind, UI Health Care and the UI Health Sciences Policy Council is pleased to host the fourth-annual “Rebalancing Health Care in the Heartland” conference this Thursday, which will focus on the important issue of enhancing the provision of geriatric care across our state.

The goal of this conference is to identify clear directions for where we should go in the next decade as the baby boomers reach and surpass their 65th birthdays. Other topics include timely discussions about clinical care, service reimbursement and financing, workforce development, medication use, and the expectations baby boomers will bring as they become Medicare beneficiaries. The conference features a stellar lineup of national experts on aging, and if you’re in the Des Moines area, I encourage you to attend. For more information, please see the link to the conference website below.

UI Health Care is committed to assisting older Iowans in the maintenance of their physical and mental health for years to come. We are excited to facilitate this week’s dialogue about forward-thinking efforts in geriatric medicine that will address the wellbeing of older Iowans and help them age healthily, attractively, and actively. http://www.centeronaging.uiowa.edu/ RebalanceConference/rebalancing_webpage.html Please share your comments and suggestions via e-mail at vpma@iowa.edu.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Service initiative launch set for November

Improving the patient experience and delivering our best service to patients every time will be the focus of a new service initiative being launched on November 2 and 3.

Members of the Service and Operational Excellence Council are finalizing plans for the launch of “The Iowa Experience: Excellence Every Time,” which will include educational sessions for 1,200 staff and faculty members at the Iowa Memorial Union. Attendees will participate in one of four, half-day sessions and are being determined through a system of invitation and self-nomination. Following the sessions, attendees will be ambassadors for change—helping to identify and implement service and operational improvements and engaging fellow staff and faculty members in doing so as well.

Prior to November 2 and 3, many staff and faculty members will have the opportunity to see a presentation titled, “The Iowa Experience,” which highlights the need for change and how we will achieve a renewed focus on service excellence. Presentations have already been scheduled for more than 40 departments.

More information is available on The Point.

Staff and faculty receive Regents, UI awards

Three staff members within UI Health Care recently received awards
recognizing them for contributions that significantly benefited or brought
honor or recognition to the University and the state of Iowa. They are:

  • Jeanette Daly, Associate Research Scientist, Family Medicine
    Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award
  • Jim Henderson, Assistant Dean, Administration
    2010 UI Outstanding Staff Award
  • Lori Short, Program Associate I, Ophthalmology
    Board of Regents Staff Excellence Award

Two UI Health Care faculty members were also honored for their
significant contribution to excellence in public education. They are:

  • Sarah England, PhD, Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
    2010 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence
  • Satish Rao, MD, PhD, Internal Medicine
    2010 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

Flu vaccination program to begin in October

UI Health Care’s 2010 UI Health Care Staff Influenza Vaccination Program will begin in early October. This year’s program will require a mandatory response; details on faculty and staff members who will be required to provide a mandatory response will be announced prior to the start of the program.

As health care workers and members of the UI Health Care community we have a special responsibility to stop the spread of influenza and should be committed to doing everything possible to protect our patients, their families, and ourselves from becoming ill with influenza— a process that begins with a yearly vaccination.

More information and the schedule of vaccination sites and times will be available soon through e-mail and on The Point.

Patient Safety Alerts initiated

This month, Chief Quality Officer Richard LeBlond and Chief Nursing Officer Ann Williamson issued the first in what will be ongoing messages titled Patient Safety Alert.

The alerts will be based on actual adverse events experienced by patients under our care and reported through the Patient Safety Net (PSN). The goal of the alerts is to encourage open and frank discussions within each care team and build a safety culture that:

  • recognizes risks
  • welcomes adverse-event reporting
  • openly discusses each event and the challenges to safe practice
  • draws on interdisciplinary teamwork to develop safer and more effective systems of care

Patient Safety Alerts will be archived on the CQSPI website on The Point as constant reminders of the importance of safe care for every patient every day.


Poster fair features pain awareness

September is Pain Awareness Month—a time when health care workers across the country dedicate themselves to learning more about pain management. This week, UI Health Care is hosting a Pain Awareness Poster Fair, “Conquering Pain Together,” today through Friday in the Pappajohn Lobby (Elevator I, Level 1).

Please take time to come to the fair to see many educational posters and learn more about the latest pain management strategies. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to visit the comprehensive Pain Management Resource site on The Point, which features internal and external pain management resources, educational materials, and support for clinicians and patients.


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