Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellows Graduation, 17 June 2023

Members of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine returned to a location that has served them well many times in the past. The Terry Trueblood Recreation Area offers a comfortable lodge with a view of the water. As with previous years, members were invited to bring drinks to share while the program provides appetizers, entrees, and dessert.

This year, a local wood-fired pizzeria set up a mobile oven outside and kept guests supplied with a variety of choices. Before those pies began to arrive, though, the graduates, their guests and colleagues mingled, took in the view, and chatted about their summer plans.

After the social hour Fellowship Program Director Alicia Gerke, MD, kicked off the formal presentations. First Gerke highlighted two teaching awards, first, the Outstanding Fellow of the Year award to Justin Holmes, MD, which a number of pulmonary fellows were also nominated for the award by Internal Medicine residents. The fellows themselves also select a teacher of the year to recognize and this year’s faculty member chosen was Tom Gross, MD. The traditional Sleep Medicine Award this year–represented by Pokémon character Snorlax–was presented by Herb Berger, MD, to graduate Kimberly Helmkamp, MD.

Gerke also called out called out some division highlights from the previous academic year including a VA Merit Grant won by Julia Klesney-Tait, MD, PhD, an R01 by Mahmoud Abou Alaiwa, MD, the expansion of the ultrasound curriculum in the residency program, and the ECMO Center of Excellence designation achieved by our Medical Intensive Care Unit staff.

Then it was time to present the graduates themselves. The first graduate of the new, year-long Advanced Lung Disease and Transplantation fellowship, Kaleb Veit, DO, was introduced by Tahuanty Peña, MD, the program director. Each of the other fellows were introduced by Gerke and, in a couple instances, research faculty who also mentored them during their time at Iowa were also invited to say a few words.

A few more group photos and a lot more socializing among colleagues and loved ones whose care for each other as people is evident.

Congratulations to these well-deserving graduates!

Miles Hagner, MD
Kimberly Helmkamp, MD
Zack Rich, MD
Luis Vargas Buonfiglio, MD
Kaleb Veit, DO (Advanced Lung Disease / Transplantation fellow)

Leave a Reply