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According to a recent report from Iowa Workforce Development (IWD), Iowa’s largest one-month jobs gain in more than a decade was fueled by the health care sector. The report showed Iowa added 8,100 jobs in October—over 2,200 of which came from health care alone. These numbers are promising and speak to what I hope is a bright future for UI Health Care. As Iowa’s only academic medical center, we remain dedicated to preserving and creating jobs, ensuring the financial stability of our enterprise, and continuing excellence in our clinical and academic missions.

Although the growth in jobs is a positive sign, the impact of the slow economy on hospitals in the past year has been significant. In 2009, uncompensated care in Iowa jumped up $200 million from 2007 to nearly $800 million, which is still a concern. Preliminary data from IWD for the first eight months of 2010, however, indicates uncompensated care will be slightly lower than last year.

Clearly, the health care sector is playing an important role in strengthening Iowa’s employment and economy. Nonetheless, all of us at UI Health Care need to remain focused on sustaining our growth and reinvesting in our future. Our success will rely upon everyone’s vigilance in continuing to monitor costs, advance operational efficiencies, and reaffirm our commitment to fulfilling our mission of changing medicine and changing lives.

Signed, Jean Robillard

Employee appreciation meal at UI Health Care

All UI Health Care employees and volunteers are invited to enjoy a complimentary meal as a gesture of appreciation to all who have worked selflessly and diligently throughout this year to serve patients and families and to advance our missions of education, research, and patient care. To receive the complimentary meal, employees and volunteers will need to show their ID badge and provide a ticket—which will be distributed prior to the event—to the cashier. The meal will also be available to visitors and guests for a nominal charge.

Meals will be served at the following times and locations: Dec. 15 from
7 p.m. to Dec. 16 at 7 a.m. in The Marketplace; Dec. 16 from 10:45 a.m. to
2 p.m. in the Fountain Dining Room, Melrose Dining Room, and Compass Café; 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Operating Room (OR) Dining Room; and
4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Fountain Dining Room.

UI Hospitals and Clinics receives the ACRIN Awards

The American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN) has honored two members of a UI Hospitals and Clinics clinical research team for their work with the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), which is a large-scale, multi-center test of screening methods to reduce deaths from lung cancer by detecting cancers at relatively early stages. Kim Sprenger, Research Assistant III/Clinical Research Coordinator, and Kaylene Crawford, Research Assistant II, received the ACRIN NLST Triathlon Champion Award for consistently meeting the goals set by the NLST protocol team. Crawford also received the ACRIN Certificate of Outstanding Contribution in recognition of her work recruiting and following NLST study participants enrolled through the UI site. Over the eight-year study period, the UI enrolled 1,155 participants and maintained an almost 100 percent participant retention rate—higher than any other site in the nation. For more information about NLST, visit http://www.cancer.gov/nlst.

Distinguished Mentor Award and Distinguished Mentor Lecture

On Dec. 14, the Carver College of Medicine will honor the 2010 recipient of the UI Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Mentor Award, Dr. Bruce Gantz, the Brian F. McCabe Distinguished Chair in Otolaryngology and professor and head of the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery. The celebration begins at 3:00 p.m. in the Medical Education Research Facility’s (MERF) Dr. Prem Sahai Auditorium and includes a talk by this year’s Distinguished Mentor Lecturer, Dr. David Julius, Department of Physiology Professor and Chair at the University of California, San Francisco.

Free influenza vaccinations

Free flu vaccinations are still available for all UI Health Care faculty, staff, and hospital volunteers on a walk-in basis during business hours now through Dec. 31 at the University Employee Health Clinic (UEHC) near Elevator A, Level 1. Student employees should go to Student Health to receive flu vaccinations. As of last week, 25 departments were 100 percent compliant, with UI Health Care’s overall compliance rate at 95 percent—terrific progress but still short of our goal of 100 percent compliance.

Thank you to all who have received a vaccination for embracing this chance to help protect and optimize your own health and the health of others. The vaccine covers all three strains of influenza presently found in Iowa.

Access to UI Health Care medical records anytime, anywhere with MyChart®

UI Hospitals and Clinics is now proudly promoting MyChart®, an online service that allows patients instant, secure access to their personal health records. Once signed up for the service, patients can review test results, request prescription renewals, and even request or change an appointment. MyChart® is being implemented on a clinic-by-clinic basis, so staff should be mindful that questions regarding this new service may be forthcoming from patients whose clinics may or may not yet offer MyChart®. All UI Health Care clinics are scheduled to be up and running in the new year.

“I Bleed Black & Gold” blood drive

The UI DeGowin Blood Center will be hosting a blood drive in the Pappajohn Pavilion Lobby (Elevator I, Level 1) on Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to
3 p.m. They will be kicking off their holiday giveaway with an “I Bleed Black & Gold” drawstring bag going to all successful donors. Sign up online at www.uihealthcare.com/bloodcenter or call the UI DeGowin Blood Center at 356-2058.

 

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