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Iowa City Hospitals Care for the Community

Hospitals, clinics offer wide range of services

By Laura Hill on September 11, 2018

Iowa City, IA
Iowa City / Photo by Susan McClellen

From cancer screenings to mental health clinics to support for small rural hospitals via digital medicine, Iowa City’s three major hospitals are working to make sure their communities have access to first-rate care.

Patient Care, Research, Education

University of Iowa Health Care represents the integrated health care enterprise of the University of Iowa and includes UI Hospitals & Clinics, the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and UI Physicians, the state’s largest multispecialty group practice. 

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“We have a three-part mission: patient care, research and medical education and training,†says spokesman Tom Moore.

UI Hospitals & Clinics provides comprehensive primary and specialty care, with over 36,000 admissions to its 811-bed facility in Iowa City and more than 1 million clinic visits at the main hospital campus and care locations throughout the Iowa City area and across the state. It is home to Iowa’s only Level I trauma center and the state’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center.

Long recognized for its breakthrough accomplishments – for example, performing the first cochlear implant procedures in deaf children and developing the nonsurgical treatment for clubfoot used worldwide today – UI Hospitals & Clinics is still garnering accolades. 

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In 2018, seven of its adult care specialties were ranked among the nation’s best, including cancer, gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, otolaryngology, pulmonology and urology. Four children’s care specialties – neonatology, pediatric cancer, pediatric nephrology and pediatric orthopedics –  also are ranked nationally. UI Hospitals & Clinics was the first in Iowa to earn Magnet designation (2004) for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and it is first in the state to be redesignated three times (2008, 2013 and 2018).

Patients approve too: NRC Health and Becker’s Hospital Review ranked University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics eighth in the country for customer loyalty in a 2018 national survey. 

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UI Hospitals & Clinics also includes UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which opened a new facility in 2017. The children’s hospital was designed with input from more than 400 stakeholders, from families to professionals.  

Compassion and Kindness

Mercy Iowa City has a long and proud history of serving the Iowa City community since it was first launched in 1873 by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.

“We’re very proud to be the community hospital,†says Margaret Reese, president of the Mercy Hospital Foundation. “Our mission has not varied very much – it is to heal and comfort with kindness and compassion and improve the health of the community.”

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Mercy offers 234 acute-care beds, including a special hospice care area, 25 outpatient surgery rooms, and a 23-bed nursery that includes Level II neonatal intensive care. Among a long list of accolades it has accumulated, in 2018 Mercy Iowa City earned a top 5-star rating from CMS for the second consecutive year, putting it in the top 10 percent of hospitals in the nation.

Among the wide range of services it offers in the main hospital are 24-hour emergency care, cardiac and vascular care, and specialized care in orthopedics, maternity, cancer, general surgery, wound care and more. Mercy also operates a network primary care and family care clinics around the area.

Mercy completed a Community Health Needs Assessment in 2015, to determine what medical priorities are most pressing. Among the challenges it found are obesity and diabetes, cardiac disease and cancer. The assessment has guided Mercy toward new initiatives.

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“We provide services to under-served areas especially,†Reese says. “We opened a wound and vein center, something important that was missing, We’re opening a new endocrinology clinic, and we’re developing a new infusion center that will be for more than medical oncology.”

Care for Veterans

Serving the men and women of the region who have served in the nation’s military, the Iowa City VA Health Care System has been making medical care available to the 184,000 veterans living in the region. The VA hospital offers comprehensive primary care, many medical and surgical specialties, preventative care and help with many issues of particular concern to veterans.

The VA also provides services in ten outpatient clinics in Bettendorf, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, Decorah, Ottumwa, Waterloo and Dubuque, Iowa, as well as Galesburg, Sterling and Quincy, Illinois.

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