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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 13, 2007

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Earns Center of Excellence Status

Leaders with Children's Hospital of Iowa within University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City announced today that Iowa's only comprehensive academic health center has received designation as a member of the United Resource Networks Neonatal Centers of Excellence network, reflecting national recognition of the neonatology care it provides.

"We are honored to receive this designation, which offers further evidence of the high standard of care we deliver every day," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, director and CEO of UI Hospitals and Clinics. "We are very pleased to have met the exacting standards required for inclusion in the nation's leading neonatal network."

United Resource Networks' Neonatal Centers of Excellence networks were developed to support safe, successful and cost-effective care and treatment of patients in need of neonatal care. United Resource Networks (URN) is a business of UnitedHealth Group.

"This is yet another confirmation for the families of patients who require neonatal care that they are being treated by the nation's experts," said Michael Artman, M.D., UI professor and head of pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Iowa. "Our faculty and staff provide unsurpassed care for these tiny patients and their families, and all Iowans can be proud of their skill, dedication and compassion."

Criteria for selecting Centers of Excellence network programs were developed in conjunction with the URN Clinical Sciences Institute. The Clinical Sciences Institute is comprised of more than 170 practicing clinicians who assist URN in a variety of capacities, including the development of criteria to quantify excellence and stratify providers of complex medical care.

"The Centers of Excellence network program evaluates and recognizes specific hospital, program and surgeon capabilities," Artman said. "These capabilities include quality processes, adherence to evidence-based approaches, compliance with nationally recognized guidelines published by clinical societies and their broad capabilities in the continually evolving field of organ and tissue transplantation."

Among the Centers of Excellence network criteria:

-- Procedural volume and associated outcomes.

-- Stability of the team and the ability of the back-up team to manage the program.

-- Projected trends and technological advances in the specific field of medical science.

-- Overall commitment to its field through the synergy of related programs within the medical center.

"Consistently measuring up to each of these standards requires a fundamental commitment to excellence in neonatology as well as to outstanding delivery of service to patients," Artman said.

Each year, Children's Hospital of Iowa records more than 100,000 clinic visits and some 7,000 inpatient admissions. In addition, numerous pediatric outreach and satellite clinics provide primary and specialty care for children in communities throughout Iowa. A 175-bed "hospital within a hospital," Children's Hospital of Iowa benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics.

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 CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,