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.

Tyler Rasmussen, MD, PhD
Nominated by: Dr. Thor Bjarnason, Staff Member

Dr. Rasmussen was on call in the CVICU managing a large panel of sick patients. One of the patients was unfortunately deteriorating and family decided to transition to comfort cares. Patient did not have any immediate family members, only distant family members out of state that were not able to come to the hospital. Dr. Rasmussen decided to go into the patient’s room, put on French music (patient lived for a period in France when he was younger) and stayed with him during the final moments of the patient’s life. Dr. Rasmussen has already demonstrated that he is an outstanding physician but this act of kindness underscores his humanitarianism and profound care for patient welfare and dignity.

Sumathi Vijaya Rangan, MBBS
Nominated by: Patty Koelker, Staff Member

Dr. Vijaya Rangan went above and beyond to advocate for a patient whose hospital stay was being denied by their insurance company. She completed a peer-to-peer phone call with an insurance company. This was done on their time line, which happened to be the first day of her vacation. She was able to get the denial for care overturned. Thank you so much.

Julie Torres, PA-C
Nominated by: Yousef Zakharia MD, Staff Member

Patient care and great service. Julie was on vacation (real vacation not only long Labor Day Weekend), when she was paged by radiology to report MRI results that she ordered the week before. We were waiting on the MRI results to decide on a treatment plan for the following week. Julie answered the page on her vacation on Saturday, early 7 AM, and conveyed the message to the rest of the rest of the team by email on that same morning. Instead of delaying things until after the holiday. She could have simply (and unmistakably) ignored that call being on vacation and that call would have been sent to the on‐call fellow to handle it. I highly appreciated Julie’s action, which was not a surprise for me as she does superb work.

Poorani Sekar, MD; Erin Meyers, MD; Mark Edward, Nicolas Noiseux and Michelle Wright
Nominated by: C. & D. K., Patient

We nominate Dr. Sekar, Infectious Diseases; Dr. Erin Meyers, R2, Internal Medicine; Mark Edward, ARNP, Orthopaedic Surgery,  Dr. Nicolas Noiseux, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Michelle Wright, RN. C. has never had a team of doctors, nurses, and ARNPs who have been more caring, informative, and willing to answer all questions than this group of compassionate people. C’s ongoing problems of bleeding and infections after his knee‐revision surgery 3 weeks ago has been difficult and frightening. This nurse has been so helpful in explaining all what is happening and it has eased our fears and gave us hope for a good, even great outcome. Thanking them all is too small a reward for our peace of mind.

April Haven, ARNP
Nominated by: O.E., Patient

She is phenomenal from beginning to end. She is caring and passionate. Funny and bedside manners amazing very attentive and remembers details. Thank you so much!

Shannon Kussatz, ARNP; Emily Struble, ARNP; Lauren Ringe; ARNP
Nominated by: Karen Parrott, Staff Member

Shannon, Emily, and Lauren went above and beyond to be sure research study patients received care according to complex protocols, in a safe manner, and carefully documented their assessments. All three are instrumental in helping the hospital meet the goal of providing clinical trial care to our patients. Keep up the great work!


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