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Release: Dec. 4, 2000

UI telemedicine service to be showcased at NLM conference

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University Hospital School's (UHS) pioneering telemedicine service for Iowa children with disabilities will be showcased at the National Library of Medicine's 2000 Conference, held Dec. 4 in Bethesda, Md.

University of Iowa Health Care representatives at the conference will include: Michael Kienzle, M.D., professor of internal medicine, associate dean for clinical affairs and medical communications in the UI College of Medicine, and project investigator for telehealth initiatives at the UI; Dennis Harper, Ph.D., UI professor of pediatrics and project director for the telemedicine project at UHS; David Wacker, Ph.D., team leader for the UHS biobehavioral service; and Debora Downey, speech pathologist and team leader for the UHS augmentative communication service. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin also will attend the presentation.

The UHS telemedicine service delivers care to rural Iowa children with disabilities by partnering with community service providers. Using the technology of the Iowa Communications Network (ICN), community health care practitioners, education staff, patients and their families, and UHS staff are linked together, minimizing the need for patients to leave their community to receive specialized health care consultations. The ICN technology allows the professionals involved with a patient to develop an optimal plan of care with the patient and their family using live video, high quality pictures and sound.

The Bethesda presentation will focus on the specific collaboration with Ottumwa physician Jay Heitsman, Cheryl Jones, a pediatric nurse practitioner with the UI Child Health Specialty Clinics in the Ottumwa area, and Mary Ellen Becker, special education director from Southern Prairie Area Education Agency. The presentation will highlight the results of UHS research funded by the National Library of Medicine regarding the effectiveness and acceptability of health care services delivered through this new technology.

University Hospital School, Iowa’s University Affiliated Program, is a component of University of Iowa Health Care, providing a broad range of health, training, research and related services to infants, children and adults with disabilities throughout Iowa.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.