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Release: May 17, 2002

Hein honored by Iowa Medical Society

The Iowa Medical Society (IMS) recently named Herman A. Hein, M.D., as the winner of the 2002 Merit Award, its highest award given to Iowa physicians.

Hein received the award in acknowledgement of his outstanding contributions to the IMS and the profession of medicine. Hein is most recognized for his work in the area of perinatal care. Because of his efforts, Iowa physicians and hospitals created a regionalized "perinatal health system" that helps practitioners in rural Iowa rapidly access specialty services for patients even though such services may not exist in their local communities.

By personally visiting every Iowa hospital with an obstetrical service in the early 1970s, Hein and his perinatal team identified the level of care each hospital could provide in what is basically a voluntary system. Throughout the years, this statewide program has continued to evolve through joint efforts of the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa.

Hein is a professor of pediatrics in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. After receiving his medical degree from the UI, he served a residency in pediatrics at the Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. He then completed a fellowship in pediatric neurology in the Children's Hospital of Iowa at UI Hospitals and Clinics. Hein is certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine, with expertise in clinical neonatology.

Outgoing IMS President Hunter Fuerste, M.D., presented the award to Hein at the IMS annual meeting. Fuerste said he hoped the Merit Award was truly special for Hein because it comes from his Iowa colleagues and it comes from the heart.

"There is no doubt that Dr. Hein's efforts saved and improved the lives of many, many children. It must be extremely rewarding to look back at your career and know that you played a key role in making this happen," Fuerste said.

Since 1973, Hein has served as director of the Iowa Statewide Perinatal Care Program. He also is a maternal and child health consultant with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and co-director of Barriers to Prenatal Care in Iowa for the IDPH.

The IMS is the professional association representing Iowa physicians and doctors of osteopathy.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at