Changing Medicine. Changing Lives. ®

Feb. 20, 2017

Children’s hospital move

I know many of you have been eager to hear more about the plans for move-in and opening day for the new University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

As we were preparing an update, a weekend news media report indicated that the move would be later this spring—that is not the case. On Friday, Feb. 17, we learned that the State Fire Marshall has granted permission for us to begin occupying the building. That was great news, and we are consulting with our construction management and implementation teams to set a firm date for the move, which we expect to be able to announce yet this week.

This has been a huge, complicated project years in the making, and in these last few months, progress has continued at a steady pace, including construction, installation of equipment, mechanical system testing, and staff training. We have also held three mock move activities to prepare for the actual transition of patient beds, nursing units, and diagnostic and procedure areas to the new hospital. In addition, this past weekend nurses and other staff members were making final preparations for the move.

Make no mistake; this is a historic event. The University of Iowa has not opened a “new hospital” since the main General Hospital in 1928. Everyone who has played a part in creating this new hospital has had an extraordinary privilege that few of us ever get—the opportunity to design and build a building specifically for the people who will use it—our pediatric patients, their families, and their caregivers (our faculty and staff members).

My thanks and gratitude goes out to everyone who has worked so diligently to create a beautiful, state-of-the-art environment where we can deliver the exceptional, compassionate care all of our patients and families deserve and expect. The wait has been long, but the reward will be worth it.

Milhem appointed to deputy director role

Mohammed Milhem, MBBS, clinical professor in the University of Iowa Department of Internal Medicine, has been named deputy director for clinical research and clinical services at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI. This new position was established to enhance the synergy between the clinical cancer care and clinical cancer research missions of Holden by placing them under Milhem’s leadership. In this role, Milhem—who holds the endowed Holden Chair of Experimental Therapeutics—will leverage his success at building clinical research programs in sarcoma and melanoma to other cancer types. He will initially focus on mentoring clinical oncologists and clinical research faculty and strengthening the early-phase clinical cancer research trial portfolio at Holden.

Huang named new division director of nephrology

Chou-Long Huang, MD, PhD, will become director of the Division of Nephrology, effective April 24. Huang is a returning Hawkeye, completing his residency here in internal medicine after he received his medical degree from the Taipei Medical University in Taiwan and his PhD from the department of physiology from the University of California, San Francisco. He has been a tenured professor in the department of medicine and the Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center since 2006.

Jeni Beckman wins Helping Hands award

“I am blown away by Jeni and her extraordinary work with patients and with the 4JPW team. This is just one of many exemplary encounters Jeni has had with her patients. She truly takes pride in her work and caring for patients to make sure their needs are not only being met, but also establishes a more personal connection to make them feel at ease while in the hospital. She not only completes her tasks expected of her, but she does them with eagerness, compassion, and respect to ensure patients maintain their dignity.”

Congratulations to Jeni Beckman, a nursing assistant on 4JPW, who received the Helping Hands award. Read the full nomination letter on The Loop.

UI study compares football injuries

University of Iowa Health Care researchers report that the results of a study of injury rates in youth football leagues did not show that flag football is safer than tackle football. Concerns about the rate of concussions among athletes and the long term effects of repeated head injuries lead to discussion that children under the age of 12 should not participate in contact sports such as tackle football. The UI researchers studied three large youth football leagues with almost 3,800 participants. The research team compared the number of injuries, severe injuries, and concussions in players competing on flag football teams and tackle football squads. The results of the study, published in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, showed that injuries were more likely to occur in youth flag football than in youth tackle football. There was no significant difference in the number of severe injuries and concussions between the leagues.

Helping kids see, one screening at a time

Young children often can’t tell you if they don’t see well. Or maybe they think that their poor vision is the norm. But permanent vision loss can occur if not caught within the first few years of life. That’s why screening young children is so important. Children 6 months old to those entering kindergarten are screened by Iowa KidSight, a partnership between University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and Lions Club volunteers across the state. The screening device captures images of the child’s eyes to see how light refracts through the eyes. The images are then sent to KidSight for processing and analysis. Wanda Pfeifer in the UI Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences has analyzed every screen since the program’s inception in 2000. Visit The Loop to learn how this service benefits our communities.

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 January Making a Difference Award recipients on The Loop.

Spanish for Medical Personnel courses begin soon

Three sessions of Spanish for Medical Personnel are scheduled this spring. Beginning Spanish for Medical Personnel, noon to 12:50 p.m. Tuesdays from Feb. 28 to April 11; Beginning Spanish II for Medical Personnel, noon to 12:50 p.m. Thursdays from March 2 to April 13; and Advanced Spanish for Medical Personnel, 4 to 5 p.m. Thursdays from March 2 to April 13. All classes will be in room 2114 in the Medical Laboratories building. Register at Employee Self Service. Presented by Staff Language and Culture Services. Questions? Call 335-5822 or email Corinne Stanley at The Beginning Spanish II course is geared toward hospital social workers, but any staff may sign up.

Nursing Excellence in Clinical Education Award nominations open

Nominate a staff nurse (BSN or higher degree) for the 2017 Nursing Excellence in Clinical Education Award. The award represents excellence in learning and educational leadership and recognizes a UI Hospitals and Clinics staff nurse who has made exemplary contributions to the education of nursing students. The recipient will receive a monetary award and certificate. A reception will be held during 2017 Nurses Week to honor all nominees and the recipient. Submit a nomination at Deadline is 4 p.m. Monday, March 6. The award is co-sponsored by the UI Department of Nursing Services and Patient Care and the UI College of Nursing. Questions? Contact Lou Ann Montgomery at

UI dental students seeking board exam patients

If it’s been a while since you went to a dentist, you may qualify for free dental treatment at the UI College of Dentistry. The class of 2017 is seeking patients for the dental board exam on Thursday, March 16, and Friday, March 17. To qualify, patients must have small cavities or gum disease and be in need of small fillings or a deep cleaning. Screenings at no charge (limited exam and X-rays) will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, March, 1, and March 8. Call 712-212-5231 or email to schedule your screening appointment.

Blood Drive at UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing

Come donate blood from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21, in the Lower Level Conference Room, University of Iowa Health Care–Iowa River Landing. Sign up online: or or call 356-2058. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. With prior authorization from your supervisor, employees are allowed up to one hour for whole blood and two hours for platelet donations without reduction in pay or benefits. Please help support the transfusion needs of the patients at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

Finances of caregiving course starts March 22

UI Family Services, in partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach, is offering Finances of Caregiving, a five-week program to help UI faculty and staff who serve as caregivers to an elder. The course is free, and participants may bring a friend or relative. Two classes will meet on campus and three classes will be held online. Learn more about Finances of Caregiving at Register by emailing

Register for the pediatric critical care course

Health care professionals involved in pediatric critical care and emergency medicine can now register for the Pediatric Fundamental Critical Care Support Provider course, to be held on Friday and Saturday, April 21 and 22, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Learn more and register at

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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