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University of Iowa News Release


March 19, 2008

UI nursing professionals added to 'Great Iowa Nurses' list

Seven nurses who serve at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City will be recognized during the 2008 "100 Great Iowa Nurses" event at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4, at the Hy-Vee Conference Center in West Des Moines.

The nurses are:

--Linda Crowley, nurse manager for Children and Women's Services/ Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
--Ami Gaarde, assistant nurse manager, Chemotherapy Infusion Suite.
--Carolyn Laxson, cardiac transplant nurse coordinator.
--Penny Smith, neonatal nurse consultant for the Statewide Perinatal Care Program and a NICU staff nurse.
--Patricia Pezzella, Surgical Nursing Unit.
--Sara Vance, nurse clinician specialist and heart transplant coordinator, Cardiomyopathy Treatment Program.
--Beverly Vermace, coordinator for the Alaris pump implementation process.

"These nurses are among the finest representatives of our profession that you could find anywhere in the world," said Ann Williamson, associate vice president for nursing and chief nursing officer at UI Hospitals and Clinics. "We are proud that they have received this recognition for their skill, compassion and devotion to their patients."

Approximately 1,850 nursing professionals work at UI Hospitals and Clinics, the state's only comprehensive academic health center. The hospital received the prestigious Magnet Hospital designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2004, becoming the first hospital in Iowa to earn the international award.

The Iowa Nurses Association, Iowa Nurses Foundation and the UI College of Nursing have partnered to create this event that celebrates nursing by honoring 100 nurses from around the state each year. Colleagues, patients, doctors, friends and family members submit nominations.

A panel of past recipients reviewed nominees, and a committee of nursing professionals selected the final group of 100. Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and school and office nurses.

To see the list of this year's and previous honorees, and for more information about the event, go to

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,