CONTACT: BECKY SOGLIN
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-6660; fax (319) 384-4638
Release: May 9, 2001
Edward Bell receives UI Faculty Humanism in Medicine Award
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Edward Bell, M.D., University of Iowa professor of pediatrics
and director of neonatology at Children's Hospital of Iowa, will receive the
UI College of Medicine's 2001 Faculty Humanism in Medicine Award.
Each year, one UI medical faculty member receives the award for demonstrating
the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in interacting with patients.
Nearly three-quarters of all medical schools in the United States participate
in the award program, which is funded by the Healthcare Foundation of New
Jersey and carries a $2,000 stipend for the recipient selected at each school.
Bell will receive the faculty award at the college's commencement ceremonies
May 11. Kentrell Liddell, a graduating UI medical student, will receive the
Student Humanism in Medicine Award the same day.
Bell's clinical work focuses on newborn intensive care and the post-discharge
care of medically fragile babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
He was nominated for the award by his colleague, John Widness, M.D., UI professor
Widness said that Bell helps facilitate the honest and compassionate exchange
of information that allows parents expecting a high-risk baby to be better
prepared for the arrival of their child. More than 10 years ago, Bell helped
establish the NICU prenatal consultation service for pregnant women and their
"From the onset, Dr. Bell recognized the importance of the prenatal
counseling program for families, led the effort to make it happen and continues
to oversee its steady improvement," Widness said. "He has dedicated
himself so consistently and skillfully to preparing families for what lies
ahead at delivery."
Widness said that establishing a link with families expecting high-risk
babies helps them in many ways: by introducing them to someone who will be
a familiar face after the birth of their child; by helping them imagine how
their child will be cared for in the nursery; and by assuring them there is
a person to call if questions arise.
He added that Bell makes every effort to understand the particular circumstances
of each infant patient and the parents so he can best help the family.
"Dr. Bell is an excellent listener and always gives families the opportunity
to let him know what is on their minds before offering his thoughts,"
Karen and Dan Bernick of Walcott received care from Bell when their daughter,
Hope, now 8, was born 15 weeks prematurely at the UI Hospitals and Clinics.
After her birth, Hope was an inpatient for nearly one year.
Karen Bernick said Bell not only provided excellent care for Hope but he
also provided much needed support to Bernick and her husband.
"Dr. Bell gave us information and answered our many questions, put
us in touch with other parents, comforted us during Hope's worst times and
shared our joy when progress was made," said Bernick, who was instrumental
in creating "The Parent Connection," a parental support group Bell
co-founded in the early 1990s.
Bernick added that Bell also was known to bring leftovers from a staff luncheon,
help transport their belongings through the hospital and politely answer a
"We know that this attention from Dr. Bell was not necessarily 'special'
treatment," Bernick said. "It is what Dr. Bell does, day in and
Widness said that Bell's concern for his patients and their families does
not end with their discharge from the hospital. Under Bell's leadership, "The
Parent Connection" support group and the NICU nursing staff organize
NICU graduate reunions and annual memorial services.
In addition to providing extensive support to families, Bell also helps
train UI medical students, pediatrics residents and neonatology fellows through
one-on-one student-teacher relationships.
A UI faculty member since 1979, Bell earned his medical degree from the
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed a residency
in pediatrics and a fellowship in neonatology. His research interests include
thermal physiology, fluid and electrolyte balance, energy metabolism, and
anemia and transfusion practices in preterm infants.
Bell also has worked on humanitarian efforts in a number of countries, including
Romania, Portugal and Russia, to help local medical teams learn improved methods
and approaches to newborn care.
"Dr. Bell has consistently demonstrated high standards of compassion
and sensitivity in his interactions with patients, families, staff and colleagues,"
Widness said. "He is very deserving of the college's Faculty Humanism
in Medicine Award."
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.