Changing Medicine. Changing Lives. ®

September 18, 2017

Being part of the solution: Suggestions and student summit

If you attended last week’s open forum or watched it online, you heard that we are seeking your ideas to reduce expenses, improve quality and enhance revenue throughout UI Health Care. So far, the call has been answered by 77 people who sent in more than 100 ideas covering inpatient and clinic operations, staffing, energy efficiency, and many other areas.

Next week I will share some of the ideas we’ve received and review answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about our financial challenges. Please continue to submit suggestions online, on paper in the suggestion box stationed across from the Fountain Dining Room, or share them with your supervisor or department head. Together, we can develop the right solutions.

Another group stepping up to be part of the solution on an important issue is our medical students, who have taken the lead in organizing the second annual University of Iowa Harm Reduction Summit. Set for Sept. 25 to 29, the summit addresses the opioid, methamphetamine, and hepatitis C crises in Iowa. Because UI Health Care emphasizes interprofessional education and training, I am especially proud that they approached the summit planning with participants from the colleges of Public Health, Pharmacy, Social Work, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Public Policy. For it is only by working together in teams that we can effectively address these important health issues.

The summit features workshops and lectures throughout the week and is free and open to all members of the UI community and the public. Experts from the UI community and across the nation will lead the sessions with an emphasis on solutions to the current crises, including overdose prevention programs and counseling and therapeutic approaches to chronic pain and addiction treatment.

The week will culminate in a special day-long session on Friday, Sept. 29, which will focus on potential legislative and public health strategies to address Iowa’s opioid, meth, and hepatitis C crises. Featured speakers will include members of the Iowa Legislature, officials from the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Corrections, and others.

These are tremendously important issues for Iowa and the nation and I could not be more grateful to our students for putting together such a fine program. For more information, visit the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition site.

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