It is a busy time for us all as we close the books on one academic and fiscal year and ready ourselves to write new chapters in the next. As good as it can feel to wipe slates and start fresh, we are saying good-bye to more than just sets of numbers. Residents, fellows, and even some faculty are being pulled away to new training opportunities, new career paths, new institutions. We are of course excited to watch what you do next and sorry to see you go. The one thing we always make clear is that whether you are a graduate of a training program or departing faculty member, a part of Iowa stays with you. You have put in hard work here, built strong relationships, and contributed to what makes this such a special place. We are ready to cheer on your successes no matter where they occur and we hope that you will let us know about them.

The typical June good-byes are definitely in full swing again. One of the unexpected pleasures of my role as Interim Chair has been to work more closely with our residents and Dr. Manish Suneja, their Program Director. I have also enjoyed rounding and working with the Chief Residents and look forward to getting to know next year’s Chiefs. Last week’s Residency Graduation event was a wonderful capstone for a class of physicians that are remarkably prepared for any challenge ahead. The evening was a fitting tribute to their (and their families’) years of sacrifice and hard work. I was honored to congratulate each of them individually and had fun participating in some of the impressive video work that was prepared ahead of time. Dr. Suneja surprised us with his acting skills and we once again confirmed Cory Sheets, our creative media specialist, as a cinematographer par excellence. All in all, it was a moving evening with awards and plenty of reminders that the relationships formed here will run as deep and long-lasting as the lessons in academic medicine. As we celebrate the graduates of our all training programs more recaps and photos of all the month’s events will collect under that “Graduation 2022” tag. We are fortunate and grateful to see so many of our graduating fellows accepting positions as faculty or staying on for more training with us.

Earlier this week, the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine made it clear just how much four of their departing faculty have meant to their colleagues by holding a small farewell event in their honor. Colleagues got the chance to tell them directly what they have appreciated and what they will miss. Each of these four have contributed to different aspects of what makes their division and this department so strong: innovative research in a variety of areas, both at the bench and the bedside, coupled with a commitment to cutting-edge care. This was a fine idea from Division Director Dr. David Stoltz, who I hope made it very clear that each of these four are always welcome back at Iowa, even if for a Grand Rounds, but ideally more permanently.

Finally, June is also a time for a reflection on our values. Tomorrow, here in Iowa City, we will celebrate Pride Month with our 51st annual parade. If you wish to join those walking with the UI Health Care-sponsored float tomorrow, you can sign up here for one of the dwindling few remaining slots. But whether you are in the parade, cheering from the sidewalks, or back on this side of the river at work, we know that the day and this month remind us to reaffirm our commitment to providing inclusive, compassionate, and affirming care to everyone. We will meet you where you are, no matter who you are. This year Juneteenth, recently enshrined as a federal holiday, falls on the same weekend as the Pride celebration. As Dr. Dale Abel wrote so eloquently in 2020, let us use this holiday as well to reflect on what freedom means and how fully extending its reach is essential to equality and equity.

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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