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VPMA Voice

Fifteen years ago, the UI Carver College of Medicine implemented an innovative new curriculum that catapulted it to the leading edge of medical education. By all objective measures that new curriculum was and remains excellent. However, since that time medical knowledge has doubled every three years and, by one estimate, the whole of medical knowledge is expected to double every 73 days by the year 2020. Although it presents daunting challenges, this stunning reality provides us a great opportunity to dramatically alter the fabric of medical education at Iowa.

Embracing these exciting changes, we began a comprehensive curriculum review last November. This resulted in a curriculum renewal project that is on track to provide final recommendations for a new curriculum late this year, with implementation expected to begin in July 2011. As part of this process, the College will be hosting forums to allow faculty, staff, and students a chance to comment and provide suggestions on the proposed new curriculum models. I encourage you to consider attending one of these sessions and to learn more about the curriculum renewal process by visiting www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/2020/index.html.

I am confident that this undertaking will reinforce Iowa’s reputation as a national leader and innovator in medical education. And, I wish to thank all those who have contributed their time and talent to improving our programs to ensure our students are supremely well-prepared for their future life’s work.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Staff and faculty will help determine
“The Iowa Experience”

What does it take to deliver our best service to patients? Hundreds of faculty and staff members will help answer that question when they discuss “The Iowa Experience: Excellence Every Time” November 2 and 3 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Members of the Service and Operational Excellence Council are finalizing plans for the special event, which will include half-day educational sessions for 1,200 staff and faculty members. 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, council members are presenting an introduction to service excellence “The Iowa Experience” at more than 50 department or division staff meetings–highlighting the need for change and a renewed focus on service excellence.

More information will be available soon via e-mail and on The Point.

UI vision researcher receives award

Budd Tucker, PhD, assistant professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, has received a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the use of stem cells to treat blinding eye diseases.

He was one of 52 early-career scientists across the country to receive a 2010 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award for his research, which combines state-of-the-art patient-specific stem cells and biodegradable tissue engineering technologies to treat blinding, retinal degenerative diseases.

Tucker, who joined the UI this year, is the first UI faculty member to receive the New Innovator Award, which was established in 2007 to support creative new investigators who propose innovative projects with the potential for unusually high impact.

Flu program under way

The 2010 UI Health Care Staff Influenza Vaccine Program is now under way. Employees are encouraged to go to a vaccination site to either receive a vaccination, indicate receiving a vaccination elsewhere, or decline vaccination. The Pappajohn Lobby (Elevator I, Level 1) and UI Employee Health Clinic (Elevator A, Level 1) sites will be open all week. A vaccine clinic will be held in Room 2123 Clinic Suite, MERF, from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Flu shots are available at all these sites; FluMist is available only in the UI Employee Health Clinic. More information is available on The Point.

Lectures highlight ‘Bench to Bedside’ research

The Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) is hosting a lecture series titled “Bench to Bedside.” The lectures, which are free and open to public, will demonstrate how translational research combines contributions from both basic and clinical scientists. The lectures will be held noon to 1 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month in room C44-A GH at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

  • Oct. 21, “Understanding How Actin Mutations Contribute to Aneurysms of the Aorta,” Peter Rubenstein, PhD, and Heather Bartlett, MD, explore actin mutations in vascular disease.
  • Nov. 18, “The Ferret Model and Lung Transplantation,” John Engelhardt, PhD, and Kalpaj Parekh, MD, tackle complications affecting lung transplant recipients.
  • Dec. 16, “Exploring a Newly Identified Gene’s Relationship with Cancer,” Marc Wold, PhD, and Dan Berg, MD, examine expression of a human-specific gene that may help regulate cell growth and cancer progression.

To learn more about the ICTS and to view presentations via video feed, visit www.icts.uiowa.edu.

Community seminar on wellness and breast health

Carol Scott-Conner, MD, PhD, professor of surgery, and Nicole Nisly, MD, professor of internal medicine, will present “Taking the Confusion Out of Breast Health” at a Health For Your Lifetime program from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the 7th Floor Atrium Conference Center (Elevator F, Level 7). The event is free and open to the public; pre-registration is encouraged.

To register for the program, call 335-8886 or register online at www.uihealthcare.com/register.


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