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Release: March 15, 2001

(EDITORS: Reporters interested in attending this conference should call the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes at (319) 335-4141 or (800) 551-9029.

UI to host patient safety and health conference April 11

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa will host the conference, "Enhancing Patient Safety and Health in Iowa" on Wednesday, April 11 in the Iowa Memorial Union to examine issues, opportunities and initiatives for improving patient safety and health at the state and national levels.

Leaders from Iowa's hospitals, government, health care, business, labor and insurance organizations, and other professionals in the health field are invited to attend. Advanced registration is requested by March 28.

The event is part of a project initiated by the UI College of Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health in response to the 1999 Institute of Medicine report, "To Err is Human: Building a Safer System." The joint project will examine patient safety and health in Iowa, with the goal of making the state a national leader in improving patient care.

At the conference, UI researchers and state and national experts will provide an overview of lessons learned in health care and in other fields, and address how statewide efforts to make Iowa a national model can benefit from those lessons.

"The conference will look at current efforts to enhance patient safety at both a national and state level," said Douglas Wakefield, Ph.D., professor and head of health management and policy in the UI College of Public Health. "While patients in Iowa currently receive high-quality health care, health care providers throughout the state are dedicated to providing the highest quality and safest care possible. Through the rapidly emerging collaborative efforts such as this conference, Iowa can become a national leader in quality and patient safety."

Scheduled speakers include Donald M. Berwick, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; Phillip R. Lee, M.D., senior scholar at the Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco; and Gordon Sprenger, president and chief executive officer, Allina Health System.

The conference is jointly sponsored by the UI College of Public Health's Center for Health Policy and Research; the Iowa Department of Public Health; the UI Colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Dentistry; and the UI Hospitals and Clinics, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The conference fee is $50 for registrations received by March 28; the cost after March 28 is $75. The fee includes continuing education credit, program materials and lunch.

For registration information, contact the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes at (800) 551-9029 or (319) 335-4141. A web site with conference information and registration forms is available at: