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.

Over the last few months, members of our department were nominated by colleagues, patients, and patient 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.

Rachel Genova, MD, and Gwen Beck, MD
Nominated by R.R., Patient

I saw Dr. Rachel Genova with her staff doctor, Dr. Beck, at IRL Internal Medicine last week. I thought both were fantastic doctors. They listened and came up with a plan, which they explained very well. With 3 kids I don’t usually have time for the surveys, but I did want to send a positive note about them. Thank you!!

Alicia Gerke, MD, MBA
Nominated by M.M., Patient

I have been under the care of Dr. Alicia Gerke for over a decade and there aren’t enough positive adjectives to describe Dr. Gerke. She listens to me and explains the medical rationale for my treatment. She also communicates to my rheumatologist in [my home town]. When I have surgery [there], she corresponds with the anesthesiologist for her recommendations for my pulmonary care. Thank you UIHC for the wonderful care, and in particular Dr. Gerke.

April Haven, ARNP
Nominated by Kim Engler, Staff Member

A patient’s declining condition required me to call for help. April rushed to the bedside, assessed the situation, gave directions to other staff and administered CPR while waiting for the code team to arrive. April is always willing to help her coworkers and has the patient’s best interests at heart. Thank you for helping me and saving a life!

Poorani Sekar, MD
Nominated by D.D., Patient

Dr. Sekar completed her yearly check on my infected artificial knee & as she did so, the conversation became more of a personal nature which I do not remember how it started. Because she does not come across as an aloof doctor, it is easy to engage in a more personal conversation w/ her. And as she shares information, it is easy to want to jump in w/ similar experiences. Moreover, Dr. Sekar has a way of turning the conversations into teachable moments that cannot only help but ultimately leave you w/ such a positive, can‐do feeling that one can return home w/ that “high,” ready to not solely endure more of life, but rather to care for one’s self in a positive manner that assists the individual, myself, In knowing that that individual is doing what she can to live this life rather than merely survive it. And, as she spoke & listened, she did not repeatedly look at her watch, reminding us both that only 15, 20, maybe 30 minutes at most is allotted each patient. The attention to one’s watch can easily become the central focus for both the doctor, & more importantly the patient, who is forgetting the important last minute questions & who perhaps needs further clarification. Thank you!

Poorani Sekar, MD
Nominated by D.S., Patient

I have been seen by Dr Sekar several times over the last 5 years. Each and every time she has shown politeness and caring. She does not hurry through her oral examinations and she is thorough in physical examinations as needed. Her personal nature is very reassuring to me in that she is genuinely seeing me as an individual in need not just another patient to be processed and moved on. Of all the things a patient needs to feel, I believe it is that a patient is cared for personally and not as a case to be tackled or a problem to be solved. And, of course her advice and direction proved to be absolutely effective. All institutions need more physicians with the character of Dr. Sekar. I wholeheartedly endorse her for any good recognition that she may receive.

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