July Newsletter

Here is a summary of what has occupied the DEO office in July:

Invited Speakers

  • Dr. Julie Spicer, PhD, Assistant Profession, Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychology, Columbia University Medical Center
    • “Health Neuroscience of Stress:  A Lifespan Approach from the Prenatal Period through Adulthood”

Update from Dr. Ed Bell, Vice Chair of Faculty Development

The following promotions have been awarded:

  • Dr. Alex Bassuk to Professor
  • Dr.  Polly Ferguson to Professor
  • Dr. Nancy Bonthius to Clinical Associate Professor
  • Dr. Jennifer Jetton to Clinical Associate Professor
  • Dr. Marguerite Oetting to Clinical Associate Professor
  • Dr. Kelly Wood to Clinical Associate Professor
    • Congratulations to these faculty members.


  • I met with Dr. Rahhal and Dr. Stier to discuss our Resident Recruitment process.
  • I met with Dr. Bassuk, Dr. Vyas, Dr. Rahhal and Dr. Ferguson to discuss ways to enhance fellow research.
  • Cat Pinnaro and Lindsay Blick, our new Chief Residents have taken over their duties.  We have held our first meetings and I have had the pleasure of rounding with Dr. BlickDr. Pinnaro will be off for a period of time as she welcomed a new baby girl last week.  Congratulations, Cat!!
  • I am enthusiastic regarding the new academic year.  Each year we continue to improve our program and this year we have added two additional Intern slots for a total of 15.
  • The Education  leadership and Chief Residents were provided a tour of the Children’s Hospital this month.  They are beginning to formalize their plans for our learners once the new hospital is in use.  They were quite impressed with what they saw on the tour.  Here is a photo of us up on the 12th floor roof garden.CH Ed Team


  • Faculty recruitment continues. I met with the candidates for positions in the following divisions in July:
    • One candidate for the  Director of Pediatric Anesthesia
    • One candidate for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
    • Recruitment for Director of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases continues.


  • Annual meetings with the Chair were held with the following faculty members in July:  Dr. Jason Misurac, Dr. Erin Howe, Dr. Katie Larson-Ode, Dr. Eyad Hanna, Dr. Erica LeClair, and Dr. Arunkumar Modi.
  • All of the routine one on one meetings with Division Directors and Vice Chairs continue to take place.
    • New Faculty in July:

E. PetersonEmily Peterson, MD- Division of General Pediatrics

Dr. Peterson joins the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics after receiving her MD and completing her Pediatric Residency at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

K PatrickKatherine Patrick, MD – Division of General Pediatrics

Dr. Patrick completed a Pediatric Hospital Medicine Fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital/Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio

TewarShruti Tewar, MD – Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

Dr. Tewar comes to us after completing a fellowship in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

BadhekaAditya Badheka, MD – Division of Critical Care

Dr. Badheka has returned to the University of Iowa after completing Cardiac Critical Care Training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

CaryAna Cary, MD – Division of General Pediatrics

Dr. Cary also returns to the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics after receiving her MD at Iowa and completing her residency here.  She has most recently been in private practice in Valencia, California.


  • I look forward to announcing our improved NIH grant funding rank at the State of the Department address in September.  I am proud of the increase in grant funding we have experienced this past year.  Thank you to everyone involved in bringing increased research dollars to the Department.

Clinical Programs

  • Renovation of the PSC continues as does work regarding scheduling and optimization of services.  The short term inconveniences will be far outweighed by the future improvements to the PSC.
  • Monthly meetings to discuss our satellites in Bettendorf and Waterloo continue.
  • Development of our Adolescent and Young Adult program is moving forward. Expansion of our expertise in this area will be very positive for our institution and our patient population.

Meetings with Chairs of other Departments

  • Dr. Weigel and I held our routine monthly meeting.
  • A multi-disciplinary group which includes Critical Care, Surgery, Quality, Nursing, and Burn Treatment staff, has met a number of times to improve processes and care for pediatric burn patients.  As a result we will be rolling out new policies and procedures to ensure that children in the burn unit receive the highest standard of safety.
  • The Department of Anesthesia continues to work closely with the Department of Pediatrics to develop best practices and structure as we look toward moving to the new space.  Additionally, Dr. Wong has met with me as well as Dr. Law, Dr. Turek, and Dr. Weigel to continue improvements in the area of anesthesia as it pertains to our cardiology patients.
  • Taryn Kuntz, UIHC Foundation, Executive Director of Development for the Children’s Hospital meets with me on a monthly basis.  Taryn’s office represents the Pediatric programs within the Foundation.  The efforts of the Foundation staff on behalf of the Children’s Hospital are important to our success and are greatly appreciated.

Administrative Meetings

  • In addition to my routine meetings with Dr. Robillard, Ken Kates, Scott Turner, Dr. Brennan, and Jody Kurtt, I attended the following meetings:
  • UIP
    • Practice Management
    • Executive Committee
    • Board Meeting
  • Marketing Meetings regarding the following topics:
    • Introduction of new faculty to the community
    • Adolescent and Young Adult Program
    • CH Marketing and Communication
  • HAC/DEO Meeting
  • Budget and Schedule UICH Executive Oversight Committee
  • CH Steering Committee
  • Meeting with Dean Winokur
  • Scenario Planning – I participated in a group of DEOs, Hospital Administration and others which met with an outside consulting firm who facilitated four days of scenario building and strategic planning for the future of UIHC.

Children’s Hospital
My role as Physician-in-Chief of the Children’s Hospital is expanding to help us achieve our goal of being a best-in-class Children’s Hospital as we prepare for the opening in December.  To achieve this goal we need to better integrate Department activities with those of the Children’s Hospital and identifying areas of opportunity to elevate our services. I will be working closely on this goal with other hospital leaders, including Scott Turner (Executive Director and co-COO), Teri Brennan (CMO) and the new CNO to, among other things, jointly:

  • Develop an annual operating plan for the children’s hospital
  • Optimize clinical quality, patient safety, and service excellence in the children’s enterprise
  • Oversee the provision of and coordination of services within the children’s enterprise, including pain, palliative care, sedation, child protection, anesthesia, surgery, radiology, pathology, emergency medicine, outreach services, and nursing
  • Appoint UI Children’s Hospital Medical Directors, Quality and Safety Officers, Infection Control Officer, and Antimicrobial Stewardship Officer
  • UIHC is also updating the Children’s Hospital administrative structure to ensure that we are able to consistently deliver the highest levels of family-centered patient care, clinical quality, patient safety, and service excellence—all of which contribute to our recognition as Iowa’s only nationally-ranked children’s hospital. We are creating a Children’s Hospital Executive Committee and a number of Children’s Hospital subcommittees made up of pediatric providers and administrators who live and breathe every day in the pursuit of the care of children and who are dedicated to creating a patient and family centric experience. We will be engaging with many of you in this effort as the committee structure develops. Please let me know if you have an interest in participating in a specific subcommittee.
  • The new Organizational Chart can be viewed at:   https://medcom.uiowa.edu/theloop/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/CH-Admin-Structure-07.14.16-1.pdf

Final thoughts:

  • Service Excellence – We are the patient experience:
    • Moments of Truth – A moment of truth is defined as any time an interaction occurs between a patient or family member and anyone they identify as staff, which can leave a lasting, positive or negative impression on a patient.  Patients often experience their first moment of truth well before they come to our campus when they make a phone call to schedule an appointment, the ease or frustration they experience with that first point of contact can set the tone of their entire experience and the moments of truth just roll on from there – ease of finding parking, ease of finding the appropriate point of care, friendliness of the person who checks them in, whether the people they meet in the corridors are smiling and friendly.  By using our senses to hear, see, smell, feel what our patients experience, we will be assured we are providing an excellent patient experience to every patient, every time.


Raphael Hirsch, M.D.
Joel and Jay Stead Chair for Leadership in Children’s Medicine Professor and Chair, Stead Family
Department of Pediatrics University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine
Physician-in-Chief, University of Iowa Children’s Hospital