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University of Iowa News Release


May 26, 2009

At A Glance

Obermann Center brings in experts to discuss medical debt June 9

A public presentation on medical debt and how it affects families will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 9, in the Bean Room, SE301 General Hospital.

The speakers are Steffie Woolhandler, co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of "Bleeding the Patient: The Consequences of Corporate Health Care," and sociologist Deborah Thorne of Ohio University.

Woolhandler and Thorne surveyed 1,771 Americans who filed for bankruptcy and found that half of the financial catastrophes were related to medical expenses.

They are participating in a research seminar at the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies. "Borrowing to the Brink: Consumer Debt in America," brings together a think tank of nationally known experts who research households in financial distress. For details, visit

UI Ventricular Assist Device Program wins award

The Ventricular Assist Device Program at the UI Heart and Vascular Center has received recognition from the national registry that tracks information on patients who receive a mechanical blood pump to treat advanced heart failure.

The program has received a Vanguard Center Award for 100 percent regulatory compliance, with minimum enrollment of 10 patients and data compliance of 95 percent or higher. The awarding organization is the Interagency Registry of Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support.

The UI Ventricular Assist Device Program is the only one in Iowa that offers this therapy. The team is led by Frances Johnson, M.D., professor of internal medicine, and includes experts in cardiovascular medicine and cardiothoracic surgery.

Learn more about the UI Ventricular Assist Device Program at


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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to participate in a program, please contact the sponsoring department in advance.