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It would be nice if recent events were not so eventful and that we could talk about other things, but you must play the cards in front of you. I am grateful for your attention to this forum to help respond to and hopefully allay concerns. So let’s address the biggest change in leadership since the last time I addressed the other biggest changes in leadership. The announcement last week that Dean Brooks Jackson would be stepping down from his role as Dean and Vice President for Medical Affairs was certainly surprising to all of us. The leadership of his team throughout the pandemic has helped preserve and transform the Carver College of Medicine, especially in the summer of 2020 when it came time to also address many of the elements of systemic racism at the heart of our own institution. His impact on the college and University of Iowa Health Care will be felt long past the end of his tenure. We are also fortunate that a pathologist and investigator of Dean Jackson’s acumen and achievements will remain on our faculty, conducting research and practicing transfusion medicine as an attending in the DeGowin Blood Center. But his announcement has raised some specific and important questions, a couple of which came through our Feedback Form. Thank you to those who are making use of the form; I hope today’s post shows that we are listening and ready to respond.

A couple of your questions have to do with ongoing searches to fill other roles. Dean Jackson has already said that our current Interim CEO Kimberly Hunter will remain in her position until his successor is named, at which time the search for a permanent CEO can resume. These impending changes will delay the search for the Chair of Internal Medicine. Please continue to pass names of candidates you believe would be interested and that the search committee should consider to Drs. Janet Fairley and Colin Derdeyn, the co-chairs of the search committee. I believe that although some changes remain only on the horizon for elements of our larger organization, our department’s fundamentals—its innovative education programs, its breakthrough research, its world-class clinical care, and most important, you, its members—will and should be enough to recommend us to a Chair’s candidate, regardless of any other extra-departmental factors.

Another set of questions has to do with the new compensation model, which I discussed in my most recent post. First, the question I have heard more than any other is how the compensation model will move ahead. We are still in the process of discussing some details and modeling some parts. Again, as I said two weeks ago, no one will experience any impact on their salary from the results of that modeling in FY23. As more information becomes clear, we will share with you as soon as we can. The other question we received was whether our advanced practice providers’ compensation is being factored into this new compensation model. I have two responses to this question, which touches at the heart of something we have been grappling with for a while in the department. First, in part because we do not have benchmarking data for APPs across different areas, the new compensation model will not include APP salaries. That said, we can and must do better when it comes to recognizing the critical efforts our APPs deliver to this department, in every division, and to UI Health Care. Some of you may already be aware that a new media series interviewing individual APPs is about to launch. Each week we will introduce you to one of the nearly 110 APPs who contribute so much day in and day out. We hope that by shining a spotlight on each of you, one by one, week after week, we can begin to make steps toward providing the recognition that APPs truly deserve. Their dedication to our shared goals is a source of inspiration and I look forward to celebrating their contribution in greater amounts in the coming months.

As always, please reach out to me, your division leaders, your medical directors, or use our Feedback Form, if you have any questions, concerns, or good news to share. Although this post did not have much room to highlight some of the other stories that our communications team have been developing, you can always read them on this very site before my next post.

About Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD

Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD; Interim Chair and DEO, Department of Internal Medicine; Kate Daum Endowed Professor; Professor of Medicine – Cardiovascular Medicine; Professor of Radiation Oncology

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