By Troy Aldrich
While filling the position may feel like putting on an old shoe, Doug Vance has officially been appointed head of Safety and Security at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. He served as co-interim director for the past year with Chris James, the UIHC safety manager.
Vance has been at UIHC for 11 years and comes from a background in law enforcement. He was a member of the Coralville police for nearly 10 years, and he graduated from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
He said his new job will involve “a lot more safety. I’ve spent my whole career in security, and during the last year I worked with Chris James, who specializes in safety.”
James has been at UIHC for more than 20 years.
“Doug is very committed to the overall success of Safety and Security and has worked hard to optimize how the program interacts with the rest of the hospital,” James said.
Vance wears many hats, because he’s a part of many local organizations. These include the chair of Civil Service Commission for the Johnson County Sherriff’s Office, a member of the International Association of Hospital Safety and Security, and a member of the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals.
The importance of these roles with the new position is something Vance noted many times.
“We run into all sorts of cases here, and having people to contact about unique situations is really handy,” he said.
“Bureaucracies don’t always work out, but Doug could always cut through that,” former Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargedine said.
Vance and Hargedine worked together on different cases during 11 years at the Iowa City police.
Hargedine emphasized the cooperation between UIHC and local law enforcement.
“It’s a two-way street. Sometimes, it was us contacting them, and sometimes it was them contacting us,” he said. “He was sort of a liaison when it came to communication between the two.”
James also stressed the importance of the relationship.
“It is important to have a director of Safety and Security who is well-respected with a good working history with our local law-enforcement agencies,” he said.
Vance said there are many ongoing projects in his department, including training for the security officers. Vance said this includes evaluating patients before they see their doctors. Psychologists at the hospital have evaluated the progress in allowing officers to handle patients when they come in, and Vance said the acceptance by care providers has been positive.
Vance has adopted UIHC’s technology-forward thinking in his former and current job titles.
“Doug has shown that he can work with multiple committees and is consistently successful at moving agendas forward that positively affect patient and staff safety,” James said.
Vance has recently installed C-Cure 9000 technology. With it, in restricted areas care providers must use their access card, a PIN, and a finger scan to gain access. Vance plans to continue to add this security to the West Lawn Daycare. He hopes to have the security in place within the next few months and stressed its importance to the safety of the daycare.