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When I was a young physician-in-training the science of organ transplantation was in its infancy. It was an exciting time of firsts: the first U.S. heart transplant, first simultaneous kidney/ pancreas transplant, the first successful liver transplant, and the first successful pancreas transplant, just to name a few.
Success rates with organ, tissue, and eye donation have gone up tremendously since those early days. In fact, our own UI Organ Transplant Center continually receives outstanding honors for surpassing national goals for organ donation and transplantation. Two things haven’t changed, however: the need for more donors and the miraculous new lease on life given to people who often have no other options.
In 2003, to raise awareness and encourage more Americans to become donors, April was designated National Donate Life Month. Today, more than 110,000 people still need organ transplants in the United States, including more than 600 people here in Iowa. To promote organ donation and recognize the tremendous gift of life, an informational display will be set up in the Fountain Lobby throughout the week and over the noon hour organ transplant recipients will be on hand to meet with people who visit the display. Additionally, Donor Memorial Quilts are on display in the Colloton Pavilion Atrium (Elevator F, Level 1) and the donor flag flying in the Donor Memorial and Healing Garden is lit up in green.
It is my hope this month’s activities will inspire more people to sign up with the Iowa Donor Registry. I have—have you? If not, I encourage you to join by going to www.iowadonorregistry.com or calling 877-366-6742.
Blood and bone marrow drive to support National Donate Life Month
The DeGowin Blood Center and the Iowa Marrow Donor Program will host a blood and bone marrow drive on Thursday, April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pappajohn Pavilion Lobby (Elevator I, Level 1). Faculty, staff, students, and volunteers are encouraged to donate to support these life saving efforts.
American College of Physicians awards
Two faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine were recently recognized for their excellence in medicine by the American College of Physicians. Dr. Peter Densen, professor, Division of Infectious Disease, was awarded the 2011 Excellence Award, and Dr. Joseph Szot, associate professor, Division of General Internal Medicine and Associate Director of the Residency Training Program, was recipient of the 2011 Laureate Award. Congratulations to both on these outstanding honors.
UI faculty win 2011 national orthopaedics clinical research award
Dr. Don Anderson, Dr. Thomas Brown, and Dr. Lawrence Marsh, Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, recently received the 2011 Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation (OREF) Clinical Research Award at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. They were honored for their pioneering research clarifying the mechanical link between joint fractures and osteoarthritis.
Sigmund honored by American Physiological Society
Dr. Curt Sigmund, professor and head of pharmacology at the UI Carver College of Medicine, was recently selected as the 2011 Ernest H. Starling Distinguished Lecturer by the American Physiological Society. Dr. Sigmund was honored by the society’s Water and Electrolyte Homeostasis section for his many scientific and leadership contributions to the field.
UI Health Care student employees recognized
Each year, The National Student Employment Association sponsors the National Student Employee of the Year Award. Congratulations to UI Health Care student employees Katherine Jones for receiving the 2011 Student Employee of the Year and Elizabeth Baird, Joshua Viggers, Samantha Terrill, Meredith Parsons, and Xue Xiao, for receiving a Certificate of Appreciation.
UI Children’s Hospital named to Neonatal Research Network for second time
UI Children’s Hospital has again been selected to be a part of the Neonatal Research Network of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The network was developed to conduct research studies to investigate the safety and effectiveness of treatment strategies to care for premature and critically ill newborn infants.
Joint Commission Stroke Certification
UI Hospitals and Clinics recently completed another successful Joint Commission recertification survey for Primary Stroke. The surveyor was very complimentary to staff for the outstanding care that is provided to patients. Please congratulate the Code Stroke Team for all of their hard work in achieving this certification.
Institute featured in national e-newsletter
The University of Iowa Institute for Clinical and Translational Science was recently featured in the Clinical & Translational Science Awards® national e-newsletter. The article details how UI investigators from basic science departments are partnering with their clinically active colleagues across campus to introduce new research ideas. To read the article in its entirety, click here.
Final approval for UI Children’s Hospital
Last week, UI Hospitals and Clinics received approval by the state for its Certificate of Need application to build the new UI Children’s Hospital. This is the final approval needed to move forward with the building process.
Distinguished Biomedical Scholar Lecture
This month’s Carver College of Medicine Distinguished Biomedical Scholar Lecture will feature Dr. Fred H. Gage, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, presenting, “Neuroplasticity and Neurodiversity.” The lecture will be on Thursday, April 21, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium (1110 MERF).
Free cancer screening
The Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is offering free oral cancer screenings in the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery to observe the 14th annual Oral, Head, and Neck Cancer Awareness Week from 8 a.m. to noon April 22.
Did you know?
April is Autism Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that the prevalence of autism has risen to one in every 110 births in the United States. The UI Center for Disabilities and Development offers early diagnosis and services for autism including developmental and neuropsychological evaluations, recommendations, treatment options, referrals to the biobehavioral service, and board certified doctors in developmental and behavioral medicine.