Internal Medicine Makes a Difference

The University of Iowa Health Care 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.

In the last couple months, these members of our department listed below have been nominated by colleagues, patients, and their family members for a variety of actions that have had a major impact. Recognizing others is fast and easy with the Making a Difference Nomination form.

Aimee Foster, ARNP, Hematology-Oncology Hospitalist
Nominated by: Eric Linson, on behalf of the Hospitalist Program

Thanks for allowing me to bring to attention the extraordinary service Aimee Foster, ARNP Hospitalist, that many in our program has observed since she joined UI Health Care in August. Simply put, Aimee epitomizes what we desire in a program routinely seeking out opportunity putting the needs of others first.

In January, Aimee began her 3-month rotation as the hospitalist advanced practice provider emergency department embed after her initial rotation with our hem onc hospitalist service. Her main responsibilities are to support hospitalist patients boarded in the ED facilitating releasing orders, getting consults, etc… and collaborating with hospitalist physicians and advanced practice providers ensuring a smooth transition to the floor.

In doing this, she routinely seeks out opportunity. This is particularly the case on a recent high census day where she traveled to 6RC rounding with the hospitalist teams and proactively scanning/probing team members in how she can assist‐-boosting the moral of all those she came in contact with over the course of the day.

Not only has Aimee “hit the ground running” learning a new practice environment but she exemplifies the service standard we all aspire to deliver. Aimee is quickly ‘making a difference’ and become a highly valued team member of our Hospitalist Program.

Carolyn Hilliard, MD, second-year resident
Nominated by: Wendy Fiordellisi, MD

When the power went out at IRL, we didn’t think we would be able to get clinic back up and running. Many of the staff went home. Dr. Hilliard stayed and helped see extra patients late on a Friday afternoon. And best of all, she did it with a smile on her face! We are lucky to have such dedicated resident doctors at this institution!

Justin Chau, MD, second-year resident
Nominated by: Eric Linson, on behalf of Jeydith Gutierrez, MD, and Kevin Glenn, MD

Justin is a second year internal medicine resident who has been the 6RC night float for the past couple of weeks (April 2‐16). During this time, he has been a consummate dedicated professional. He has been over the top in how he has conducted himself while being an advocate for his co‐residents and his patients. The observation is that Justin practices with ease and competence situational leadership, situation monitoring, mutual support and communication.

One such example came after 7pm one evening where he offered to take over a bedside procedure to allow the staff attending to go home. Wow! However, this was not a ‘one off’ as recognized by many.

In short, medicine and care delivery excellence is in great hands with Justin around. Thanks so much for inspiring us with your over the top teamwork.

Alan Gunderson, MD, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Nominated by: E.L., a patient

I would like to compliment the entire healthcare staff and Dr. Gunderson for making my experience undergoing the dreaded procedure as pleasant as possible. With attentiveness kindness and humor, everyone demonstrated that they had care of the patient in mind.

Timothy Thomsen, MD, Hospice and Palliative Medicine
Nominated by: Family of R.B., patient

Dr. Thomsen is THE most compassionate, caring person I have ever met. He carried a stool into our room so that he could take whatever time he needed to help assure, explain, offer suggestions/options, listen, re‐listen and reassure our family. We had his cell number ‐ his private cell number ‐ and he encouraged us to call with any questions we might have at any time of the day or night ‐ and he meant it. He was not only compassionate to our mother ‐ but he offered strength and words of encouragement to the entire family ‐ something we desperately needed at the time. What a huge asset he is to the Hospital. God truly has angels on Earth.

Ramzi El Accaoui, MD, Cardiovascular Medicine, and Team
Nominated by: Family of H.B., patient

We had a great experience with the care teams while in the CVICU and palliative care unit with my father in law this last weekend. While everyone did a great job, I thought that our CVICU nurse, Cassie Doolady and Dr. El Accaoui (and his group) took extra steps to make a difficult situation easier on all of us. I just wanted to take a minute to recognize that they do not have an easy job, but they do it with grace and kindness.

Muhammad Furqan, MD, Division of Hematology, Oncology, and Blood & Marrow Transplantation, and Team
Nominated by: G.C., patient

I would like to relate to you a tale of love and compassion that I have experienced since I was admitted into the ER via transfer ambulance from St. Margaret’s Hospital in Spring Valley, my home hospital, Saturday morning, Feb. 17, 2017. I was ordered here by my oncologist, Dr. Muhammad Furqan, because of pneumonitis symptoms caused by the Opdivo immunotherapy I had been taking for adenocarcinoma. I had a rapid evaluation in the ER and within 3 hours was admitted into MICU. I was placed on hi‐flow oxygen mask since I was basically being suffocated from my illness. I had been told that I might not have survived two more days with my low perfusion and shortness of breath. Here I am today, fighting and working my butt off to beat, not only the pneumonitis in my lungs, but to return to a cancer treatment experimental drug called capmatinib that, after only 11 days of the trial, was already shrinking my tumors and cancerous lymph nodes. I hope that when I win THIS battle, Dr. Furqan will be able to get me into that trial from Novartis and start tackling the lung cancer I am fighting as well.

The purpose of this letter is to say thank you to all the staff I have encountered in the past 12 days. I have not had one bad nurse, CNA, student, aide anywhere along the line. Somehow, just telling you that they are all great doesn’t seem enough to me. I think Mr. Kates should be aware of the great staff you have here at University of Iowa Hospitals. So, here we go.

In MICU, great nurses include Melissa Gartman, Kendle Demery, Katie Brinton, Brandon Janass, Ann Brantley, Elizabeth Ann Byrne, Jessica Kratofil, Sheldon Buss, Kristina Devore, Sandra Anfinson, and Rachel Rohachwas a great Respiratory Therapist.

In 7JCE, I was cared for by Margaret Schmalle, Adrianne Behning, Erin Kurt, Loreen Curley, and Emily Adams and Emily Schoen were truly awesome. Jessica Butierrez washed my hair and made me feel great. Kelly Gehringer and Mike Minchk from Respiratory Care were very good. Morgan Kennedy and Cara Core were very good nursing assistants.

Abbie Maxfield with Physical Therapy worked me hard which I needed in order to recover. Rachel Parker pushed me to get well too, and I enjoyed her gentle company and manner. Summer McMurrin did a good job as NA. Student Marcia worked with Emily and was a great student. Ben Balik was a great listener, and talked me through some very tough times emotionally.

All told, your staff is fabulous and each of these should be commended for their excellent care and representation of UI Health Care. My thanks to all, and my recovery is more possible because of people like this. Thanks for listening and being there for me.

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