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University of Iowa Health Care is undergoing several major construction and planning projects that will expand and modernize the UI medical campus and address Iowa’s growing needs for highly specialized care.
- A new health care facility under construction in North Liberty, Iowa, will accommodate up to 48 beds, 21 emergency care rooms, 16 operating rooms and two procedure rooms, laboratories, a pharmacy, advanced diagnostic imaging, outpatient clinics, as well as teaching and research space.
- In January 2022, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, approved planning for a 10-year facilities master plan that will modernize and expand the UI campus, including the health care campus. The plan includes construction of a new, 200-bed inpatient tower for UI Hospitals & Clinics, an academic and research building, and an ambulatory care center.
The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation has committed a transformational $70 million gift to the University of Iowa to support a new patient care building for UI Hospitals & Clinics on its main campus in Iowa City.
The gift, the largest in the 175-year history of the UI, will help UI Health Care expand service to Iowans with a new patient care tower featuring single inpatient rooms, state-of-the-art operating rooms, and intensive care unit beds.
The building is part of the university's 10-year facilities master plan that encompasses academic, health care, and research buildings on its central campus.
The Richard O. Jacobson Foundation was created in 1976 by Jacobson, a distinguished businessman and philanthropist, who attended the University of Iowa as a member of the class of 1958. For more than 45 years, the foundation has focused its grant activities in the following areas: education, including primary, secondary, and higher education; youth development; and medical research.
What started as a student-run effort to increase addiction medicine training is now part of the curriculum for all medical and physician assistant students in the Carver College of Medicine.
Andrea Weber (12MD,15MME,18R), clinical assistant professor of psychiatry and assistant director of the University of Iowa Addiction and Recovery Collaborative, says the new curriculum will emphasize addiction-related topics such as prescribing buprenorphine—a first-line treatment for opioid use disorders—or taking an effective substance use history without judgment or stigma.
The curriculum changes are supported by a three-year, nearly $450,000 grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Carver College of Medicine students spearheaded the effort to add addiction medicine to the curriculum by circulating a petition in November 2020. The hope is that soon after graduation, upon meeting Drug Enforcement Administration requirements, Carver College of Medicine students will be able to qualify for a buprenorphine waiver, which is required for prescribing the drug without additional training.
A new University of Iowa Health Care research pilot program will fund projects addressing health disparities within the local community and among patients at UI Hospitals & Clinics.
Investigators for the selected yearlong projects will each receive $100,000 in funding from the Office of Health Parity and the Office of the Vice President for Medical Affairs.
The projects include:
Understanding and effectively addressing upstream food insecurity for the UI obstetrical population
The research team, led by Michael Haugsdal (13MD, 17R), clinical assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, aims to identify the greatest barriers to accessing food resources and improve patients’ access to these resources.
Improving rural cancer care through collaborative patient navigation
This research group, led by Ingrid Lizarraga, MBBS (07R, 13F), UI breast surgical oncologist, will create a rural navigation package to improve access to cancer care at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center. The group will identify navigation contacts at hospitals throughout the state.
Identifying and treating preventable blindness in a largely uninsured population through a community-based, free clinic
This project, proposed by Sean Rodriguez, MD, and co-led with Zachary Mortensen, MD, MBA, resident physicians in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, will identify patients who receive care in the Iowa City Free Medical and Dental Clinic with treatable causes of vision loss or preventable blindness (primarily cataract and diabetic retinopathy).
Investigators plan to organize free panretinal photocoagulation sessions for diabetic patients and a free cataract surgery day at the UI Ambulatory Surgery Center.
UI Health Care is establishing the new Iowa Center for Neurodegeneration to improve treatment of neurodegenerative diseases for underserved rural populations in Iowa and beyond.
Housed within the Iowa Neuroscience Institute at the Carver College of Medicine, the new center will be the first of its kind in the state and will integrate basic science and clinical research into a single, collaborative center focused specifically on neurodegenerative diseases.
Neurodegenerative diseases—such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia with Lewy Bodies—will affect millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iowans in the coming years. These diseases have no cures or disease-modifying therapies because the mechanisms of neurodegeneration remain unclear. As the population in Iowa skews older, these diseases will likely be a challenge for the state in the coming decades.
The center was funded by National Institutes of Health grants, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and additional philanthropic support.
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