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Release: Sept. 20, 2000

University of Iowa College of Medicine's Virtual Naval Hospital Wins Award

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The U.S. Department of the Navy presented the University of Iowa's Virtual Naval Hospital (VNH) the Knowledge Sharing Award for "Outstanding Knowledge Expert System" at the Navy's Knowledge Fair 2000 in August. Michael D'Alessandro, M.D., UI associate professor of radiology and clinical co-director, architect and digital-librarian-in-chief of the VNH, was among those present to accept the award.

"I think the reason for our success has been our relentless focus on the users," said D'Alessandro. "The users are the center of everything we do and we rely on their feedback."

Commissioned in 1997, the VNH currently is managed by the Naval Medical Information Management Center (NMIMC). VNH is a digital health sciences library that delivers expert medical information to naval medical personnel on land and at sea. Its mission is to help naval care providers take better care of patients, and to help naval personnel live healthier lives. The VNH also serves as a health promotion tool for personnel in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Other users include naval medical staff, U.S. Navy beneficiaries, retirees, and their families.

"The Navy has a very hard job," D'Alessandro said. "To be able to build something that helps them do it better gives us a sense of personal and professional satisfaction."

The VNH can be found on the World Wide Web at

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.