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. (One member, as you will see below, has been nominated twice since our last post.) Recognizing others is fast and easy with the Making a Difference nomination form.

Brianne Foulker, MSN, ARNP
Nominated by: M.W., Patient

Brianne is the most caring, patient, down to earth, helpful provider I have worked with in years. I was recently diagnosed with a complex form of Diabetes ‐ people with this diagnosis typically have a long journey to diagnosis and then often have to go through a variety of management plans until they get things under control.

After my diagnosis I was referred to Brianne. I’ve been scared, confused, worried, not sure about my treatment options, and just generally confused for several months. At our first visit, her wonderful down to earth attitude had me feeling so much better. Then I had a few unrelated random “bumps in the road” in my care that made me feel like this was never going to work. I sent her a MyChart message asking for help (this was two days after we met).

She called back almost immediately and spent 50 minutes working through all my concerns and worries and making sure that I knew that she and the whole team are there for me. I do a lot of “coping through humor” and she picked up on that immediately and joined me in that. She believes in me, so now I believe in me. I can’t thank her enough.


Aliza Barkdoll, ARNP
Nominated by: Lisa Vargas, Staff Member

I want to thank Aliza for going above and beyond to help me. I was in a patient room and they were a tough person to draw labs on. I had tried once and just lost all confidence and was not going to try again. I was going to have to ask someone else to try. I think she knew I was feeling a little defeated because Aliza stepped up and offered to help me. Not only did she draw the lab and help me out but also made it so I did not have to get anyone else to make their way over. She took her time and even showed me where she was getting the lab from and talked with me through it. While she did not have to take the time and draw that lab, she did and also did a little teaching at the same time. I appreciated this more than she knows and just wanted Aliza to know she is awesome. Not everyone would have taken the time to help and teach at the same time. Thanks for the support.


Taraz Imani Ramos, MD
Nominated by: J.A., Patient’s Family

Dr. Imani provided exceptional, and compassionate care to my sister during her recent hospitalization at UIHC. She was admitted from the ED, and had several medical problems going on. Dr. Imani was very nice, and kept me updated about my sister’s progress and changes throughout her stay under his care. He provided great education to us as well. He has great bedside manners, and his calm approach to explaining complex medical processes made us feel comfortable, and safe. He is a great patient advocate as well. He contacted various teams that were involved in my sister’s case several times to ask for updates, and to let them know what the pt. wanted. I am very thankful for Dr. Imani. He definitely made a big difference for the better during a very difficult time for my family. We really appreciate all he did. Thanks.


Justin Buzick, MD
Nominated by: Ashleigh Bull, Staff Member

Dr. Buzick helped me quite a bit on an interesting case with a difficult problem. Not only was he prompt in his reply, he was thorough. He even communicated multiple times later that night to further clarify that he was available for questions. Throughout the evening he made it clear that he was willing to answer questions and wanted to support the care of the patient in any way possible. It was by far one of the most positive and educational consult experiences I’ve had at UIHC. I appreciate his willingness to answer my several questions and his clear dedication to participating in teamwork that leads to strong patient care. Thanks, Dr. Buzick!


Poorani Sekar, MD
Nominated by: D.S., Patient

Dr. Sekar was great. She explained everything and took time to answer all of my questions. I felt that she really cared for me as a person, not just a patient or a number. She also involved me in my treatment plan. It was obvious that her staff thought highly of her also.

I left knowing what my treatment plan would be and why I am doing what I am doing.

Thank you, Dr. Sekar!!


Tristan Bakerink, MD
Nominated by: A.M., Patient

From the moment I walked in the ER, he gave me hope. So patient and understanding, very thorough in explaining everything. His smile literally shined bright through his mask!! Thanks for everything. I’ll never forget how kind you were.


Poorani Sekar, MD
Nominated by: W.R., Patient

Dr. Sekar is one of the most delightful physicians we have ever met. (“We”, being both the patient W. and his wife/support person, B.) When we were at our lowest point of confusion, afraid of what was going to happen next in fighting the infection in his artificial knee, she was always available to explain the various treatments and facts and data to help guide us through the decisions and planning for recovery. She is truly TOP‐NOTCH. She lights up the room with her care and kindness and was inclusive in guiding both patient and spouse through the maze of the health care setting. We are truly grateful to have her on our team! Thank you and bless you, Dr. Sekar!

1 Response

  1. Joan Hoffmann

    I have worked with Dr Sekar in infectious disease at GRMG. There are no words to speak of her knowledge in infectious disease, patient care and how she she treats staff. She is the best and so proud to have served with her!

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