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Release: Oct. 19, 2000

EDITORS: University of Iowa Health Care faculty and staff are invited to attend an open house in the new MICU on Monday, Oct. 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. Media are invited to tour the new MICU at
1 p.m. on Oct. 23. Staff members will be available for interviews.

New Medical Intensive Care Unit to Open

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Staff members in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics will begin caring for patients in the new MICU on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Patients in the MICU are critically ill and usually have three to five body systems that are not functioning well. The new unit on the fifth floor of the Roy Carver Pavilion replaces a 16-year-old facility on the fourth floor of the General Hospital. The new MICU was specially designed with input from patients, family members, nurses and physicians.

"Our challenge was to create an environment that is both state-of-the-art from a medical standpoint and, at the same time, as comfortable as possible from a personal standpoint to meet the needs of the patients and families we are caring for here," said Lynn Comried, nurse manager of the MICU and the Intermediate Pulmonary Care Unit.

The new MICU facility features a comprehensive music and humor library, artwork on the ceiling for patients who must remain in bed, and mobiles. Pagers are provided to family members, and each of the 12 private rooms contains two comfortable chairs, including a sleep chair for family members who wish to stay in the room overnight.

In addition, MICU staff members will wear special locator badges that will allow the staff to be located or contacted without using an overhead paging system that disturbs patients.

"The MICU team demonstrated tremendous leadership by involving the patients and families in the planning process for the new unit," said Ellen Cram, associate director of nursing. "The staff invested a lot of time and energy in creating a healing environment, where our patients can have adequate rest, some ability to control their own lives and a sense of sanctuary for themselves and their loved ones."

"The strength of the MICU is the staff," added Comried. "We care for the sickest patients, treat the most unusual illnesses. Our nurses are excellent, as are our physicians and residents. Now, we have this beautiful facility that matches the high quality of care we've always provided."

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.