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Release: Feb. 8, 2000 forms online partnership with UI Health Care

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- -- the nation's only Internet-based, 24-hour/seven-day-a-week, real-time, free-to-consumer physician chat, health information, and resource system -- announced an agreement to make University of Iowa Health Care its new online partner. UI Health Care will be the exclusive sponsor of for an area that covers almost all of Iowa and parts of western Illinois.

UI Health Care joins a growing list of prestigious medical centers and health care systems throughout North America such as Duke University Health System, Henry Ford Health System, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Yale-New Haven Hospital, University of Chicago Hospitals, Mount Sinai Hospital and Ohio State University Medical Center.

Benefits of the new partnership include access for consumers to UI Health Care through national and international online lectures and live events with UI faculty physicians on the Web site, as well as other programs, services and events. A dedicated hospital information page on offers users the opportunity to move back and forth via reciprocal links.

Visitors to the UI Health Care Web site ( also will be able to link directly into the site, where they will have access to an extensive medical library, health-specific resources and information, a medical news service that offers current research and developments on health topics, and the opportunity to register for clinical trials. Consumers can also access's one-of-a-kind "Ask-the-Doc" feature, which allows free, 24-hour/7-day-a-week real-time dialog with board-certified or board-eligible physicians.

To access UI Health Care's dedicated page on the site, go to, and click "Hospital Connection" on their main navigation bar. Or, visit the UI Health Care Web site at

"The partnership established with is part of University of Iowa Health Care's overall initiative to increase access to vital services and resources, and to offer the latest in

health care technology," said Michael Kienzle, M.D., professor of internal medicine and associate dean for clinical affairs and biomedical communications. "We hope that this valuable resource offers not only up-to-date health care information, but also peace of mind to all those we serve."

UI Health Care's partnership with is part of an increasing trend in health care toward enhancing consumer services through the Internet. According to recent statistics compiled by Cyber Dialogue, a New York firm that tracks Internet commerce, there are approximately 22 million World Wide Web users seeking health information over the Internet. Cyber Dialogue projects that number to increase to 33 million over the next year.

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.