Despite joining Hy-Vee as its Chief Medical Officer, Dan Fick, the former University of Iowa Campus Health Officer, is not ready to say goodbye to the Hawkeye community.
Fick made the decision to continue to practice medicine as a clinical professor of family medicine at the UI in addition to his work at Hy-Vee. He said Hy-Vee supported his decision to continue practicing medicine at the UI while splitting his time at both establishments.
“I was probably in high school when I thought that would be a career I would be interested in,” Fick said. “I’m not ready to give up my medical practice and providing patient care.”
Fick said he worked at Hy-Vee in high school, but over the last 10 years and during the pandemic, he and Hy-Vee talked seriously about inquiring him to become an employee. Fick has been a physician for over 30 years, he said.
“It took a bit for things to line up here where I feel I had the ability to unwind my administrative duties at the university and then start them up at Hy-Vee,” Fick said.
Fick received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and his medical doctorate degree from the UI. Fick did his Family Medicine residency at UI Hospitals and Clinics as well as a Sports Medicine fellowship.
As Hy-Vee’s Chief Medical Officer, Fick will oversee existing health and medical initiatives and services, Christina Gayman, the Hy-Vee director of public relations wrote in an email to *The Daily Iowan.*
“The past several months have shown us just how critical health care professionals are to our individual and public health, and how important it is that all residents of a community have access to the health care they need,” Gayman wrote.
According to Gayman, with Fick joining Hy-Vee’s midwest locations, the retailer will be able to expand their roles in bettering lives with medical solutions.
“We’re going to be looking for some new health care initiatives over the coming year so, it’s nice to be the first person and also be able to help develop things on the ground level,” Fick said.
At the UI, Fick served as a medical advisor for wellness efforts and employee benefits, and was a key campus leader as member of the Critical Incident Management Team at the beginning of the UI’s COVID-19 response.
Rod Lehnertz, UI senior vice president for Finance and Operations, who has known Fick for 26 years, said Fick’s role at UIHC is one that centers around patient care.
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Lehnertz said during the first year of the pandemic, Fick translated medical information to campus communications. In addition, he said Fick predicted COVID-19 waves and trends, many of which came to pass, according to Lehnertz.
“So whether it was a legislator who needed to hear what was going on in Iowa, or if it was a student, or a parent of a student, or an administrator, he was great at translating the information and kind of cutting through what we were hearing,” Lehnertz said.
Fick’s successor, Britt Marcussen, physician and clinical associate professor of family medicine and orthopedics and rehabilitation at the UI Carver College of Medicine, began serving in the role on July 1.
Marcussen and Fick worked together for 20 years before Fick began working for Hy-Vee.
As the UI Campus Health Officer, Marcussen said he will provide medical supervision for Student Health and serve as the medical director for the UI health insurance plans.
In this role, Marcussen said he will work closely with Johnson County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and UIHC to offer suggestions to campus leadership on COVID-19 preparedness.
Marcussen said he’s qualified and prepared to take on this role because of his previous experience in health care.
“I’ve been a family doctor at UIHC for over 20 years. I know a lot of the people and services, so if Student Health needs something, I know who to go to,” Marcussen said. “I’ve been practicing family medicine and taking care of COVID patients since the very beginning of this pandemic.”
UI Vice President for Student Life Sarah Hansen said she’s looking forward to Marcussen serving in this role.
“I was really excited when he was selected because I think he’ll be a great campus health officer for us, given all of his background and experience,” Hansen said. “He works very closely with athletics and he has a long history of working with the college population.”
Hansen said Marcussen’s connection to UIHC will help him support Student Health.
“Student Health is a student service, but it’s also a health care operation, so having a link to UIHC is really important,” Hansen said. “Student Health has played a key role in our COVID processes, and they’re a full-time clinic dealing with student health issues year round.”
Marcussen said one of his goals is to get as many students vaccinated as possible during the fall.
“The biggest thing we’re going to focus on when students come back is trying to get everyone vaccinated,” Marcussen said. “It’s the best method for keeping our students safe and making sure we can have in-person classes and a great college experience.”