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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 26, 2006

Genesis, UI Announce NICU Patient Care Relationship

Parents of premature and sick babies born at Genesis Medical Center in Davenport will have the peace of mind that comes from knowing their babies will receive world-class care through a new partnership between Genesis and the University of Iowa.

Board-certified neonatologists, who are on the faculty of the Department of Pediatrics at the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the staff of Children's Hospital of Iowa, will be assigned to Genesis to provide care for babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Genesis Medical Center, located on East Rusholme St. in Davenport. The physicians will practice at Genesis on a full-time basis and will live in Davenport.

Joel Stenzel, M.D., will be the full-time medical director of the Genesis NICU beginning April 1. Stenzel also has accepted a position as clinical associate professor of pediatrics in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

In July, Zahi Zeiden, M.D., will join Stenzel in full-time practice at Genesis and on the faculty of the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Edward Bell, M.D., and Michael Acarregui, M.D., are serving as co-medical directors of the Genesis NICU and will continue in these roles until Stenzel's arrival on April 1. Bell is a professor of pediatrics, and Acarregui is an associate professor of pediatrics, both in the UI Carver College of Medicine.

Stenzel is currently medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. Stenzel is board-certified in pediatrics and neonatal-perinatal medicine. He is a 1986 graduate of the UI Carver College of Medicine. He completed his pediatrics residency at Blank Children's Hospital and his neonatology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

"This is a very exciting partnership and is great news for Genesis and for newborn and pediatrics patients in the Quad Cities," said Frank Claudy, M.D., vice president of medical affairs at Genesis Medical Center. "We will have academic-level care available every day to high-risk babies and their families.

"It is a wonderful opportunity for Genesis to partner with one of the nation's top children's hospitals and to partner with physicians, like Dr. Bell, who have helped the University of Iowa program attain that respect," Claudy said.

Leo Bressanelli, president and CEO of Genesis Health System, said the relationship between Genesis and the UI follows the principles of the Genesis mission to provide compassionate, quality health services for all those in need.

"This relationship means Genesis will be offering an even higher level of care for our youngest patients," Bressanelli said. "We are pleased to be in a partnership with such highly regarded physicians who are experts at caring for babies."

Bell said the relationship between Genesis and Children's Hospital of Iowa will enhance the existing reputation of the Genesis NICU as a regional leader for birth services.

"There will be no reason that anyone in the Quad Cities should want to have a baby anywhere other than at Genesis. Genesis is going to have available a quality of care that will extend beyond the neonatologists," Bell said. "The nursing staff at Genesis is energized and will be receiving additional training from the University of Iowa.

"This announcement is a way of strengthening a relationship that already is positive for Children's Hospital of Iowa and for Genesis. We see this relationship as part of our larger mission to assure good care for babies around the state wherever we have the opportunity," Bell said.

Stenzel said several factors were important in attracting him to Genesis.

"Obviously, my relationship with the neonatologists at Children's Hospital of Iowa was what originally drew my interest, but the opportunity to build something that is truly needed and wanted in the Quad Cities was also very appealing to me," Stenzel said. "The people at Genesis are offering me the unique opportunity to step in and build the nursery of the Quad Cities with the backup of the university being just a doorstep away."

In 2004, Stenzel oversaw a team of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who took care of the smallest baby to ever survive in Iowa. John Allen Shirley of Knoxville weighed 11.5 ounces when he was born on Oct. 16, 2004. John Allen Shirley is the third-smallest surviving baby boy in the world.

Bell said that over time, higher-risk babies will be born in the Quad Cities, but the highest-risk babies in the region will be delivered at UI Hospitals and Clinics whenever possible, as they are now.

"With the quality of care that will be available at Genesis, the highest-risk babies will be able to return to the Genesis NICU more quickly because a higher quality of care will be available there," Bell added. "We now will be able to provide the same unsurpassed quality of care and outcomes at Genesis that we have at Children's Hospital of Iowa."

The Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU has outcomes for premature babies that are consistently among the top 10 percent of hospitals in the country.


About the Genesis NICU:

Superior technology, experienced and highly skilled nurses, and an emphasis on family-centered care make the Genesis Medical Center campus NICU a regional leader in the care of critically ill newborns. The 13-bed unit is designated as a Level II Regional Center by the Iowa Department of Public Health. The NICU, which underwent a $1.4 million expansion in 2001, is designed specifically to be a developmentally friendly environment -- with subdued lighting and reduced sound -- for premature and acutely ill infants. The Genesis NICU provides care to approximately 250 infants each year.

About the Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU:

The state-of-the-art NICU at Children's Hospital of Iowa, which opened in 2004, houses up to 55 critically ill newborns, all in single rooms. The unit is equipped with the latest equipment and staffed by a large team of highly trained nurses and other staff. Stenzel and Zeidan will be members of the UI's Division of Neonatology, a group of 20 physicians who will staff the NICUs at both Children's Hospital of Iowa and Genesis. The Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU and its staff are prepared to care for any medical or surgical problem that may affect a newborn infant. The mortality and complication rates for premature infants cared for in the Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU are among the lowest in the world, year-in and year-out. Children's Hospital of Iowa and Genesis anticipate that these excellent outcomes will be possible for the babies cared for at Genesis, too. Many of the most critically ill patients from the Genesis NICU will be transferred to the Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU, and patients from the Children's Hospital of Iowa NICU whose families are from the Quad Cities area will be transferred to the Genesis NICU as soon as their condition permits. This partnership will enable each baby to receive the care it needs as close to home as possible.

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

STORY SOURCE: Joint Office for Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room E110 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009.

MEDIA CONTACTS: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,; GENESIS MEDICAL CENTER MEDIA CONTACT: Craig Cooper, 563-421-6263,