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CONTACT: MICHAEL SONDERGARD
8798 John Pappajohn Pavilion
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 356-7123
e-mail: michael-sondergard@uiowa.edu

Release: Feb. 21, 2000

Feb. 28 is opening of new UI department of otolaryngology

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Patients visiting the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for specialized care related to problems of the head and neck will be served by a new otolaryngology institute starting Monday, Feb. 28.

The UI Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery Institute will occupy new accommodations in the second level of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion, located at the UI Hospitals and Clinics immediately off Hawkins Drive.

The move comes 75 years after the UI department of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery first began serving patients in the General Hospital. Since then, UI Health Care's otolaryngology services have developed an international reputation for excellence. US News & World Report magazine has consistently ranked the UI's otolaryngology program among the top three nationwide over the past decade, including a number two ranking in 1999.

Bruce Gantz, M.D., professor and head of the UI department of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery, said the institute's three-fold mission encompasses high-quality patient care, sophisticated medical research leading to advancements in patient care, and educational programs to train future specialists and share new knowledge related to the head and neck.

"This is truly a premier, world-class facility," he said, noting that the 40,000 square-foot institute is among the largest of its kind. Among its special features are separate reception areas and examination rooms for different groups of patients, including a location for pediatric patients. Specialists will use advanced technology in the state-of-the-art examination rooms to capture medical images of the ear, nose, and throat, show those images to patients, and archive the images for use during return visits.

"These features are highly innovative," Gantz said. "This institute makes it possible to care for patients in a whole different way. There isn't anything like it anywhere else."

Other patient-oriented features include:

-- Free parking in adjacent parking ramps for outpatient visitors;

-- An Assistive Listening Device and Hearing Aid Center with hearing aid fitting offices, display room for assisted listening devices, and sound booth, laboratory and testing room;

-- A dietary kiosk with coffee and sandwiches.

In addition, a convenient pharmacy and an optical shop are located on the second level of the Pomerantz Family Pavilion and will open in conjunction with the otolaryngology institute.

Patient care will be provided in centers providing expert therapy for the full range of problems of the head and neck.

"Our high-quality centers offer patients the opportunity to participate in research trials involving the most advanced care possible," Gantz said.

These clinical research centers include:

-- A Balance Disorders Center, staffed by specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with vertigo and balance problems. The center offers a wide array of treatment options and features customized physical therapy programs to meet the unique needs of each patient;

-- A Cochlear Implant Center, featuring the most advanced technology for profoundly deaf patients, both adult and pediatric. UI Health Care's otolaryngology team has been an international leader in the development of new cochlear implant technologies;

-- A Voice and Swallowing Center, featuring two highly-specialized evaluation rooms, three speech-language-swallowing therapy rooms, and laryngeal image processing;

-- Specialized centers for craniofacial reconstruction, counseling of patients regarding hereditary hearing loss, and an outcomes center for patients with head and neck cancer.

Educational components include high-technology systems for teleconferences with physicians in Iowa and elsewhere around the world, comprehensive library facilities, a conference room seating 100, and a computer room library and resources center.

Design work on the new facilities began in August 1997, with construction beginning in November 1998.

The UI department of otolaryngology—head and neck surgery began in 1922 and has since developed and pioneered specialized care in aspects of otology/neurotology/skull base surgery, rhinology, head and neck cancer, laryngology, and plastic and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck. During the 1998-99 fiscal year, the department recorded 37,694 patient visits.

In addition to the otolaryngology institute, other services located within the Pomerantz Family Pavilion include the UI Family Care Center and the Eye Institute for ophthalmology patients. The pavilion is named after Dorothy, Harry, Marvin and Rose Lee Pomerantz of Des Moines, whose financial support helped complete the final phase of the UI Hospitals and Clinics capital replacement program.

Patient inquiries about otolaryngology services at the UI Hospitals and Clinics may be addressed by calling (319) 384-8442 or the toll-free UI Health Access number, (800) 777-8442, and asking for the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Institute. Information is also available through the UI Health Care web site at www.uihealthcare.com.

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.