Endocrinology celebrates division achievements

In what is now officially an annual tradition, members of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism gathered on a recent Saturday evening to celebrate a number of achievements, anniversaries, promotions, and to say farewell to one valued but departing member.

About two dozen faculty, staff, and their loved ones met in the Courtyard by Marriott, a relatively recent addition to the local event-space options, but the only one with a full view of the setting sun lighting up Kinnick Stadium, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, and the UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Guests mingled, took in the view, and even scoped out the dessert options that would be available after the dinner. Because a couple of the evening’s honorees were unable to attend, some last-minute adjustments were made by Danielle Allen, MBA, division administrator, and Laura Deines, division and fellowship coordinator, to the evening’s program.

After a delicious and filling meal, Division Director Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD, FACE, welcomed attendees. Dokun spoke about the year’s achievements as a division, clinical growth, research publications, and its strong and stable endocrinology fellowship. He thanked them all for their dedication and made clear how much of a difference that has made for the division, for patients, and for students and trainees. He pointed out that Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD, MS, MME, who recently stepped down as endocrinology fellowship director after seven years, has been responsible for much of that program’s success. He expressed his regret that she was unable to attend because he wanted to publicly acknowledge and thank her for her years of hard work before passing the baton to Brian O’Neill, MD, PhD.

Dokun announced that three advanced practice providers had recently received UI Service Awards: Bianca Carlson, PA-C; Melissa Collier, MSN, ARNP, BC-ADM; and Brianne Foulker, MSN, ARNP. He also recognized employment anniversaries: Sue Bodine, PhD, and Carlson (5 years); Shibli-Rahhal (15 years); and Devona Chun-Furlong (30 years). He also recognized the recent promotion of Yumi Imai, MD, to professor, and the arrival of five new faculty and staff members to have joined in the last year: Helen Gnanapragasam, MBBS; Kathleen Robinson, MD, PhD; Guiling Tong, ARNP; Erin Cline, ARNP; and Logan Shaw.

The announcement of Shaw as a new administrative services coordinator also gave Dokun the opportunity to segue into the final recognition in his brief presentation. After only a few brief years with the division, Deines was leaving UI Health Care to pursue a new opportunity. Dokun thanked her for her professionalism, her creativity, and her commitment to keeping so many important aspects of the division’s operations running smoothly. He and Allen presented her with a gift basket filled with tokens of the division’s appreciation.

The formal presentation concluded, but guests continued to chat, enjoying each other’s company and the brief pause to celebrate everything they had achieved together.

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