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TERRY PROTEXTOR (319) 356-4777
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-9569; fax (319) 335-8034

Release: Immediate

Ottumwa cancer specialist affiliates with UI Community Medical Services

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- An Ottumwa physician practice that specializes in treating cancer patients has affiliated with University of Iowa Community Medical Services, Inc. (UICMS), effective Sept. 1, 1997. Medical Oncology and Hematology of Ottumwa decided to affiliate with UICMS because it will enhance patient access to state-of-the-art cancer care and promote a teaching and research partnership with the University of Iowa, said Dr. Maleka Z. Ahmed, who directs the clinic.

"We're very excited by this opportunity," she said, noting the affiliation will advance her relationship with cancer specialists at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) and provide patients with the opportunity to participate in University of Iowa clinical research trials in addition to research trials already ongoing through the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Ahmed, who is board certified specialist in hematology-oncology and internal medicine, will receive an appointment to the clinical faculty at the UI, according to Dr. Robert Dreicer, who coordinates adult hematology-oncology clinical services at University Hospitals.

"Dr. Ahmed is an outstanding physician who is highly regarded by her colleagues," he said. "We're very pleased that she decided to seek a formal partnership with UICMS."

Clarence Cory, president of Ottumwa Regional Health Center, welcomed the relationship between the University of Iowa and Ahmed. "It assures that quality oncology services in our region will continue into the future."

Dr. Pete Reiter, Ottumwa medical director for Integra Health Internal Medicine, said the UI association will benefit the entire Ottumwa community. "This relationship will assure that Ottumwa has oncology services 52 weeks a year, even when Dr. Ahmed is away," he said. "It will also benefit Dr. Ahmed by providing additional support and interaction with the University of Iowa."

Dr. John Fieselmann, medical director for UICMS, added that the affiliation will enable Ahmed to participate in the teaching programs of the UI, using her clinic as a teaching site for oncology fellows and resident physicians.

"Patients will be able to choose whether to allow a trainee to participate with Dr. Ahmed when receiving their care," he said. "Dr. Ahmed's participation in our teaching activities creates valuable new educational opportunities for all concerned."

In addition to Ahmed, Medical Oncology and Hematology of Ottumwa includes two nurses and a receptionist. Under the affiliation agreement, the practice retains its name, and Ahmed and her staff continue to operate out of the clinical building adjacent to Ottumwa Regional Health Care Center on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Ahmed is currently Ottumwa's only cancer specialist.

Terry Protextor, executive director of UI Community Medical Services, Inc., said the organization's acquisition reinforces a long-standing relationship. "This affiliation very much supports the strong bonds of mutual trust and service to community that have existed between the University of Iowa and Ottumwa's physicians for many years," he said.

Protextor noted that since its inception, UICMS has been interested in affiliating with physicians who desire an educational relationship with the UI College of Medicine. "The fact that Dr. Ahmed came to us with a sincere interest in teaching suggests her practice is a perfect fit for our expanding network," he said.

UI Community Medical Services, Inc. is a wholly-owned, for-profit subsidiary of the University of Iowa Health System, a non-profit entity formed by the UI College of Medicine and the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Protextor said UI Community Medical Services, Inc. has been developed to provide a full spectrum of relationships with community-based physicians, ranging from practice acquisitions to management services.

"Our strong physician governance structure ensures that physicians have a voice in managing their medical practices, while operating a quality-driven, patient-oriented practice," he said.

In addition to the Ottumwa affiliation, UICMS has a similar affiliation with a primary care practice in Perry. UICMS also developed a new family care center in North Liberty and plans to open similar ventures in Belle Plaine and Tipton. Protextor said UICMS continues to evaluate other affiliations and clinic sites throughout Iowa.