Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Making a difference in the COVID-19 era

Even during a pandemic that strained physical and emotional resources for more than a year, our providers continued to go above and beyond to provide exceptional patient care. During the 2020-2021 academic year, see how our faculty, trainees, CRNAs, ARNPs, and staff kept raising the bar:

Andrew Miller, CRNA Andrew Miller, CRNA

Miller was cited for paying special attention to a patient with developmental disabilities who was visibly anxious about her pending surgery at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. His nominator heard him say to the patient, “You can just hold my hand and we’ll walk back to the operating room together, and you can meet my friends.” Even though she had left a beloved toy behind, when the nominator arrived in the OR suite, “there stood the patient in the OR, still holding Andrew’s hand as he talked to her about all the things she was seeing. We anticipated that she would be anxious or upset, but she was doing awesome. Daily, Andrew sets a great example of the culture the Children’s Hospital represent, and his commitment to his patients’ care deserves recognition.”


Chase Johnson, MD Chase Johnson, MD, then-CA-2

Johnson volunteered to help out with orientation for medical students when the regular staff was short-handed. “Chase was quick to volunteer and seemed enthused to orient the students and answer their questions,” his nominator wrote. “This was my first interaction with Chase and I appreciated his attitude and willingness.”


Joran Clute, MD Joran Clute, MD, then-CA-2

Like Johnson, Clute was happy to help medical student teaching when there was an unexpected absence. “The medical students had a great demonstration and simulation session, thanks to Joran,” his nominator wrote. “We appreciate the willingness to help and teach our students!”


Keegan Overbey, ARNP Keegan Overbey, ARNP

During a busy call night in the Surgical and Neurosciences Intensive Care Unit (SNICU), Overbey made himself available to assist with patient care and procedures. “The intern in the bay was overwhelmed and Keegan made sure to help,” his nominator wrote. “There were some sick patients in the bay and one in particular needed vascular access and multiple attempts at defibrillation. Keegan took initiative and made sure the intern had assistance. I greatly appreciate all the help Keegan provided that night.”


 Melinda Seering, MD

Seering was nominated for going above and beyond her duties to plan and coordinate care for a patient who may not have been able to have their procedure done. “The facility bringing the patient did not feel they would be able to get the patient into the hospital for the procedure without possibly injuring a staff member and heavily restraining the patient,” her nominator wrote. “Dr. Seering stepped up to make a plan with the anesthesia team, surgery team, and support staff who would be caring for the patient, met with the team the day before, and assisted on the day of the procedure. The procedure went smoothly because of her extra time and effort.”


Nathan Blair, MD Nathan Blair, MD

The parents of a patient at Stead Family Children’s Hospital praised Blair for his help in making the 4-year-old boy feel comfortable. “He thought about what it would be like to be in our shoes as parents and took extra steps to assure us that what our son was going through was expected,” the parents wrote. “He was a big part of our son’s journey in our stay, and we want to thank him and the team for all they have done!”


Sangini Punia, MBBS Sangini Punia, MBBS    Ina Bardhoshi, CRNA Ina Bardhoshi, CRNA    Jarrod Bang, MD Jarrod Bang, MD, then-CA-3   Michael Tan, MD Michael Tan, MD, then-CA-1

A patient who underwent surgery to repair a broken jaw suffered malignant hyperthermia, a potentially life-threatening reaction to certain anesthesia drugs. “Thanks to the OR staff that was present, they were able to notice I was having a reaction and saved my life. Thanks to them, I was able to celebrate Christmas 2020, plus many more Christmases to come, with my family,” the patient wrote. “My family and I will be forever grateful for what you have done and providing top notch care for me! Thank you all very much!!”

Scott Alvarado Scott Alvarado, BA, Quality Improvement Coordinator

“It was a busy evening in the pediatric ORs. Beyond 7 p.m. at least, I was entering the anesthesia tech supply room, and Scott was there gathering equipment to help the two operating rooms running,” Scott’s nominator wrote. “Later he came in our OR to make sure we had all the supplies we needed. I do not think Scott is even an anesthesia technician. His main job surrounds our quality initiatives, and here he was helping as an anesthesia tech because we had no other options. No one else to help our busy cases at that hour. I am not sure if this is the correct place for this nomination, but I hope to recognize him as going above and beyond his current position to help the needs of the Department as a whole.”

Cynthia Haas, CRNA

The patient who nominated Haas was impressed with her empathy. “It’s not my first surgery, but I was a little worried about this one,” the patient wrote. “Cindy came in and started talking with me about my work and making good conversation. It kept my mind off the fact that we just walked into a busy, cold operating room that was not so friendly. She of course stayed with me until I went under, and talked with me the whole time, letting me know what was happening and what to expect. This all might be normal, but she was exceptionally warm and kind, and I really appreciated it. I feel like she did an exceptional job.”

Jay Freund, RN, then-Acute Pain Service nurse

A patient’s support person praised Freund for his friendly and helpful attitude toward both the patient and the support person. “From the first 30 seconds of our meeting, he made me feel at ease,” his nominator wrote. “He was not only efficient in how he did his job for my significant other, but went out of his way to make sure I knew that I knew I could return to this area, find him, and he would help. He was very attentive, personable, and just a great nurse. We drove 2 hours away from home for this surgery, and to know that just that one person made me feel like I wasn't alone or by myself while my s/o was in surgery...well that is a feeling that I will never forget.”


Thursday, July 8, 2021