Just days before the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension gathered in a conference room to celebrate the graduation of five of its fellows, University of Iowa Health Care released updated guidelines for vaccinated employees. Though most of their event plans could not be revised quickly in response, organizers still could be assured that group photos at the event would again be possible. A real celebration of the end of a long year, documented with smiles.
Fellowship Director Lisa Antes, MD, welcomed division faculty, fellows, providers, and even a couple guests–further evidence that things had changed from last year. In her typical eloquence, Antes took stock of everything that the last year or so had brought, not only the pandemic but also national and international upheaval of a variety of stripes. But what she found unshakable against this backdrop was the grace, diligence, and leadership that each of the fellows has shown throughout it all. She thanked them for being as much of a support for her as she was honored to guide them through their final years of medical training.
Following those remarks, Division Director Chou-Long Huang, MD, PhD, delivered his own congratulations to the graduates and presented some division recognitions. First, the Teacher of the Year Award, as determined by the fellows themselves, went to Douglas Somers, MD. After thanking the fellows and echoing Antes in his appreciation for what the fellows continually provide him, Somers presented a bouquet of flowers to the retiring Mary Lee Neuberger, APN, who has been an educational backbone of the Dialysis Unit at UI Health Care for decades. Huang also presented the Exceptional Citizenship Award to Masaaki Yamada, MD.
Antes then presented certificates and a gift bag AND a box of chocolates in the shape of the state of Iowa to each of the graduates:
Sonali Gupta, MBBS
Sreedevi Koppisetti Jenigiri, MBBS
Lewis Mann, MD
Maria Story, MD
The fellow who completed the one-year transplant fellowship this year was Jayesh Patel, MBBS. His certificate was presented by Transplant Fellowship Director Sarat Kuppachi, MBBS.
Antes also recognized the administrative personnel who labor behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly, including that afternoon’s celebration. Special thanks to Lisa Novak, Morgan Ebel, and Shelly Martin, who were each presented with a floral bouquet.
After the formal presentation, including some personal words of appreciation from each of the fellows, guests were invited to take one of the individually prepared meals courtesy of Oasis, a local Mediterranean restaurant, and one of the festively decorated cupcakes. Guests signed cards for each of the graduates and chatted in one of the first large group gatherings for many of them in some time.
Here are some photos of the graduates from earlier in the week. Our thanks to UI Health Care Marketing for the professional-grade shots.
As a postscript, here are the slides shown during the event, each bearing a quote detailing the fellows’ best qualities from the point of view of their mentors.
Congratulations to this amazing class of graduates!