Changing Medicine. Changing Lives. ®

April 17, 2017

Honoring science

The ability to innovate, to discover, and to create new knowledge is at the core of who we are. UI Health Care has some of the most talented researchers in all of medicine and a research environment conducive to cross-specialty collaboration. While we so readily accept science as an important part of our daily lives, it may be hard for us to understand the need to defend research funding and science education.

However, on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, people who value science are being encouraged to participate in the National March for Science, described as the first step in a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in the world’s health, safety, economies, and governments. The national march will be in Washington, D.C., but there will be hundreds of other marches the same day, including in Des Moines and Iowa City. You can find out more at

At two events on our campus this week, we honor science as faculty, staff, fellows, and students share some of their most recent research and discoveries. I know these activities take extra time and effort for all involved, and I appreciate your commitment to making science more inclusive and accessible.

Health Sciences Research Week kicks off on Tuesday, April 18, and runs through Thursday, April 20. This year’s focus is on research and discovery in pediatrics and features keynote lectures by world renowned scientists, including former UI Carver College of Medicine Dean Paul Rothman from Johns Hopkins University. In addition, on Wednesday, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Med Alumni Auditorium, three faculty TED Talks will have a genetic focus. As always, poster sessions will be held in the MERF Atrium. The activities are sponsored by the Carver College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science, and VA Health System.

On Tuesday we also begin the three-week Mini Medical School—The Science of Sports Medicine. Offered throughout the year in many locations, Mini Medical Schools provide a unique opportunity for lay audiences to learn about medical education, biomedical discoveries, and cutting-edge research in an understandable and engaging way.

In next week’s column I will return to our series discussing the 2017–2020 Strategic Plan, with a closer look at Goal 1—The Best People.

Our staff is making a difference

University of Iowa Health Care is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment where staff can use their skills, talents, and abilities to deliver high-quality health care and service to patients, staff, and visitors. The Making a Difference program is designed to recognize individuals who have performed in an exemplary manner, consistent with the goals of service excellence, and with a commitment to quality care. See the March Making a Difference Award recipients on The Loop.

Culturally responsive care conference is June 2

The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives and the Office of Continuing Medical Education will host “Culturally Responsive Health Care in Iowa 2017” on Friday, June 2, at the UI College of Public Health Building. The conference is open to all personnel who have an interest in and/or provide health care services to diverse populations as well as health science students. Presentation topics will include mental health care, disparities in pain treatment, health care reform, addressing and reducing disrespectful behavior, and the role of communication in reducing discrimination in health care. “Every patient, regardless of who they are, brings various cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and practices that may influence their approach to health care,” says Sherree Wilson, PhD, conference chair and associate dean, Office of Cultural Affairs and Diversity Initiatives in the UI Carver College of Medicine. “The conference helps educate health care professionals about providing culturally responsive care to improve access to high-quality care and reduce health disparities.” For details or to register, visit or call 319-335-8599. Continuing education credits are available.

It’s National Health Care Decisions Week

Sunday, April 16, to Saturday, April 22, is National Health Care Decisions Week. Do you have an advance care plan? Do our patients have an advance directive or an IPOST? Visit the table in the Fountain Lobby (Elevator C, Level 1) this week for more information. To learn more about advance care planning, visit Staff will be there from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, April 17, and Tuesday, April 18, to answer your questions.

Fundraiser for the Iowa City Free Clinic is April 21

“Friday After Clinic,” a fundraiser for the Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic, will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, in the Atrium of the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa. Community members will have the opportunity to learn about and support the work of the clinic at the free-will donation event. Sponsored by many area businesses, “Friday After Clinic” will feature appetizers from Greyhound Deli, drinks, jazz with the Dick Watson Trio, and a live auction. Last year’s event raised more than $20,000, which helped provide comprehensive services for almost 2,000 people. The clinic, which is mostly staffed by volunteer medical professionals, is supported by gifts from individuals and grants from community organizations and government agencies. More information is available at or by calling 337-4459.

‘Wizard Mode’ film screening to benefit Autism Center

The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Autism Center, with Iowa City’s FilmScene, are bringing the documentary film “Wizard Mode” for one showing only at noon on Saturday, April 22, to FilmScene, 118 E. College Street, Iowa City. The film offers a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of Robert Gagno, one of the world’s greatest pinball players. Tickets are $8 and can be ordered at Proceeds from the event will benefit the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Autism Center. Questions? Contact Kelly Pelzel at

April is Donate Life Month

As part of Donate Life Month, everyone is invited to attend the Gift of Life Ceremony at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 21, in the Clasen Board Room. Theresa Hafner, who received a heart transplant at UI Hospitals and Clinics in August 2015, and Gigi Robertson, mother of Tabatha Smith, who donated Theresa’s heart, will share their stories. Special original music will be performed by Carissa Wemmie and Amy Locke. In 2016, 28 organ donors at UI Hospitals and Clinics donated 73 organs, and 94 patients donated tissue to patients in need. Friday, April 21, is also National Blue and Green Day. Please show your support of organ, eye, and tissue donation by wearing some blue and/or green on Friday. Because of the urgent need for donors, University of Iowa Health Care faculty and staff are encouraged to join the Iowa Donor Registry by visiting or calling 1-800-831-4131.

Executive Leadership Academy taking applications

The University of Iowa Health Care Executive Leadership Academy is now accepting applications for the 2017–2018 academy year. Applications are due Friday, April 28. The academy is targeted at current and high-potential leaders such as medical directors, nurse managers, research leaders, and administrators early in their career to gain skills to lead in an academic health care environment. Learn more at or email Holly Kolfenbach at

DEA National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Dispose of unneeded, unwanted, or expired medications (including painkillers and other controlled substance medications) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at the Coralville Police Department or North Liberty Police Department. This service is free and anonymous. The UI Health Care Department of Pharmaceutical Care cannot currently receive back controlled substances, but plans are in the works to make this possible later this summer. More information is available on The Loop and from the DEA Diversion Control Division.

AYA cancer seminar set for April 29

Join the University of Iowa Health Care Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program team, cancer survivors, and their families for this free seminar from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, in the Medical Education Research Facility (MERF). The program combines the expertise of specialists at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center to focus on the unique needs of those individuals, ages 13 to 31, who have been diagnosed with sarcoma, leukemia, lymphoma, thyroid cancer, and neuroendocrine and neurological cancers. It will focus on the issues unique to AYA cancer patients, and UI Health Care’s solutions to those problems, including advancements in cancer treatment, maintaining healthy relationships, psychological and social needs while undergoing treatment and survivorship transition and planning. The event is free, but registration is requested.

Parking Ramp 3 maintenance starts this week

Maintenance will be performed in Hospital Parking Ramp 3 beginning Monday, April 17. Maintenance will require a temporary closure of 120 parking spaces, beginning with the top floor and working down toward first level. Patients and visitors are encouraged to use Hospital Parking Ramps 1, 2, or 4. Please contact University of Iowa Parking and Transportation if you have any questions or concerns via email at or call 319-335-1475.

No Catholic Mass in April

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Department of Spiritual Services will not offer a Catholic Mass for the month of April. They will resume Catholic Mass at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7, in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8). Questions? Contact Noelle Andrew at 356-0470.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in any program, please contact the individual listed in the event announcement in advance at their provided contact information.

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