You Make a Difference in Internal Medicine

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 four months, five members of our department were nominated by colleagues and patients for a variety of actions that have had a major impact. Recognizing others is fast and easy with the Making a Difference Nomination form.

Shelly McGurk, ARNP
Dinesh Voruganti, MBBS, Associate
Nominated by: The family of Bob J., Patient’s Family (September 2017)

Tyler, Cathryn, Dr. V. and Shelly “made a difference” in the last four days of our father’s life at the UIHC. Tyler cared for Dad like she would have her own family member. Her gentle manner and fun spirit were a Godsend. She took the time to pull up a chair and truly listened to his final wishes to stop all treatment for his heart failure and systemic infection. She then went above and beyond and visited him in his last hours on Palliative care; writing a greeting and a smiley face on his bedside board. Cathryn showed compassion for Dad during the long nights and made the most amazing chocolate chip cookies and delivered them to him on the Palliative area as well. Dr. V provided an honest, clear picture of what Dad could expect in his last few days and spoke to him directly and humbly. He also visited Dad on the Palliative floor and provided us all a sense of peace at a most difficult time. Shelly McGurk had been Dad’s advocate during two previous admissions to the cardiac area in 2017, and although was working on a separate project this admission, still took the time to see him and visit with him about his prognosis. And so, it is with the deepest appreciation and respect, we nominate these amazing Cardiac Care employees as a group who went above and beyond to make the difference in the life of our father. The University of Iowa is a huge hospital and most people would never anticipate the intimate level of personal care and culture of excellence that is commonplace. Thank you for considering this nomination but mostly thanks for hiring such amazing individuals!

M. Nedim Ince, MD, Assistant Professor
Nominated by: Christine L., Patient (October 2017)

During my previous appointment with Dr. Ince, we were trying to work through some symptoms that we were having trouble getting under control. I think he could tell I was getting nervous and frustrated, and he made sure that all of my questions were answered. He took extra time in my appointment to sit with me, and reassure me that everything would work out OK. He never tried to rush me through the appointment, but  was very patient with me. Not every doctor would do that, but he went above and beyond to make sure I knew he would take care of me and that I shouldn’t worry. I can tell he is a genuine person who truly cares about his patients, and I’m so pleased to be in his care.

Wendy Fiordellisi, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Nominated by: Robin W., Patient

Robin said that Dr. Wendy Fiordellisi, Dr. Jason Cascio, and 3 nurses who work in the clinic have been able to help her with headaches that she has had for 25 years. Robin said that they are compassionate, thorough, follow medical protocol and do an outstanding job. She is very grateful to them.

Melinda Johnson, MD, Clinical Professor
Nominated by: Asad Ali, Staff Member

I would like to recognize Melinda for her exceptional compassion and willingness to go above and beyond in caring for patients regardless of whether they are on her service or not. There are many instances when she has exceeded expectations during her clinical and non‐clinical services that she provides. One specific instance highlights her clinical role. Her team was on call in the afterhours when her intern got cross coverage calls for a critically ill patient admitted to another service. Melinda went above and beyond in taking on the responsibility and evaluated the patient alongside her team. She thoroughly evaluated the patient and made adjustments to her plan to ensure she was more comfortable. She communicated promptly with family members who were able to be present at bedside. She communicated with the primary team staff to have them on board.

This is the kind of colleague Melinda is for us and I am sure she does these acts on a daily basis actively looking for ways to improve others’ lives. I can confidently speak for all as well on how she has been one of the most valuable members of our group and the constructive role she plays for our program. She is very active in ensuring the well-being of every member of our program. It’s a pleasure to work with her and know her as a person.

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