Jalal, Smock in VA leadership changes

The following announcement comes from Bradley Dixon, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of Medicine, Iowa City VA Health Care System (ICVA).

It is with some sadness, but also great pride that we announce that Dr. Diana Jalal has stepped down as Deputy Chief of Medicine to take a position as Associate Director of CADRE. During her more than five-year tenure in this position, Dr. Jalal has brought extraordinary energy and enthusiasm to this role. Under her guidance many new clinical and quality improvement initiatives have been developed and brought to fruition. She has mentored many younger faculty and helped to advance clinical research at the Iowa City VA. She has helped us improve our provider productivity and established quarterly productivity and access meetings to work to improve our clinical operations. One of the most extraordinary efforts was her work with Dr. Agarwal, Dr. Hagiwara, Dr. Gutierrez, Paula Streeper and many others to develop the Transitions of Care (TOC) Clinic, which follows up on patients recently discharged from the hospital to help them get stabilized again at home. The introduction of this TOC clinic has reduced our 30-day readmission rates from one of the worst in the VA (nearly 15%) to one of the best (8-10%). Dr. Jalal has been incredibly productive in competing for research grants and now has decided to transition over to CADRE to focus more on research. We wish her all the success and are confident she will be a tremendous leader for CADRE.

We are also delighted to announce that Dr. Justin Smock has accepted the position of Deputy Chief of Medicine, taking over from Dr. Jalal, effective January 15, 2023. Dr. Smock received his MD from the University of Iowa where he also went on to do his Residency in Internal Medicine and was a Chief Medical Resident. After finishing his residency in 2011 he was recruited to the faculty of the University of Iowa and has moved up the academic ladder to his current position of Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Smock has a passion for education and has served in many leadership roles. He has been Director of the Medical Procedure Service and Medical Director of 6 Roy Carver Pavilion at UIHC. In 2014 he was appointed the Associate Program Director for the Internal Medicine Program at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and the VA Site Director for the Internal Medicine Program. He has won numerous teaching awards and in 2019 was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award from the Iowa Chapter of the American College of Physicians. He has an extensive portfolio of teaching and mentoring of trainees and faculty alike and has served on the inpatient and outpatient clinical teaching services at the VA and UIHC. Given his many years of service to the training program at the Iowa City VA he is well positioned to take on the challenges and opportunities of being Deputy Chief of Medicine. Please join me in welcoming Dr. Smock to the role of Deputy Chief of Medicine at the Iowa City VA.

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