By Jordan Prochnow
A major goal of the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics is to focus on patient comfort and care while providing both timely and thorough treatment. In order to increase patient accessibility, the hospital has opened a new pulmonary clinic.
On Monday, UIHC moved its pulmonary clinic and specialists to a new location at UI Health Care — Iowa River Landing. Obstructive pulmonary disease specialists, interstitial lung-disease specialists, and general pulmonary-disease specialists will staff the new clinic in order to give a wide array of care to patients.
“The new Iowa River Landing facility allows us to organize our clinics and see more patients with easier access to our growing program,” pulmonary Assistant Professor Alicia Gerke said. “Our goal is to provide world-class, state-of-the-art health care to patients with all types of lung disease, including rare lung diseases.”
The new clinic is centered on being more accessible for patients and decreasing time spent at the UIHC to focus more on treatment and patient care. After speaking to patients and discussing shortcomings from the current pulmonology center, specialists focused on addressing concerns in order to improve the practice and location.
“We are giving our patients better access to care because many of our patients have let us know that they find parking and getting around difficult at UIHC,” Professor Joel Kline said. “At Iowa River Landing, we intend to expand services to give greater access to [treat] these important diseases.”
Goals for the clinic include providing state-of-the-art care to patient populations that might not have access otherwise, providing patients with medication in clinical trials, and providing rapid health care, he said.
“We are trying to improve the footprint of pulmonary care in our patient population from central Iowa and surrounding states,” Kline said.
Pulmonary research is very important to UIHC, he said, which has made important strides in the field. In 1956, UI physicians helped create the heart-lung machine, and 50 years later, they performed the first magnetically guided lung procedure using a technique they invented. UIHC’s adult pulmonology program was ranked as a High Performing Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2014, and the Stead Family Children’s Hospital’s pediatric pulmonary program was ranked 46th in the nation by U.S. News.
Renae Juska, the pulmonary administrative services coordinator, said pulmonology is vastly important to UIHC’s wide array of patient services.
“Pulmonologists see a variety of conditions that affect the respiratory system,” Juska said. “This can be anything from asthma and pneumonia to ventilation and life support. They play a critical role in the long-term care of patients with complex conditions such as cystic fibrosis or neuromuscular disorders.”