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IOWA CITY - One year after the head of University of Iowa's $1.9 billion health care enterprise announced plans to step down, a 17-member search committee has chosen two finalists to replace him.
The candidates for UI vice president of medical affairs and dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine are scheduled to visit campus Tuesday, Oct. 3, and Monday, Oct. 9, according to UI News Services.
During each of the campus visits, finalists will meet with UI Health Care faculty, staff and leadership and participate in public forums - following the practice of past UI vice president and dean searches. Both of the hourlong forums will be followed by public receptions.
The names of the finalists will be made public 24 hours before they arrive on campus - as has been the recent practice in Board of Regents searches for university presidents.
University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld will make a hiring decision after the second vice presidential candidate's campus visit, according to UI spokeswoman Jeneane Beck.
The person chosen for the job will replace Jean Robillard, who first came to the University of Iowa in 1973 to complete his pediatric nephrology fellowship. He joined the UI Department of Pediatrics faculty a year later, but soon left for a position at the University of Montreal.
He returned in 2003 to lead the College of Medicine and ascended to vice president in 2007. In 2015, Robillard stepped in as interim UI president - even while continuing in his role as vice president of the health care operation. A year later, after UI President Bruce Harreld's hire, Robillard asked the Board of Regents to merge the vice president and medical dean roles, putting him in charge of both entities.
In September 2016, Robillard announced plans to step down from his leadership post - although he's told The Gazette he intends to stay on faculty in the UI Stead Family Department of Pediatrics after his successor arrives.
That person will inherit one of the state's biggest assets and moneymakers at a time of significant unrest across the industry - posing significant challenges both locally and nationally.
Earlier this month, Robillard told the Board of Regents that UI Hospitals and Clinics' operating income for the 2017 budget year was down nearly 50 percent from its budget and more than 72 percent from the previous year.
The hospital's budget in July - the first month of the new fiscal year - similarly showed operating income at a deficit of nearly $7.2 million, compared to a budget of $1 million in the positive and more than $3.8 million at the same point last year.
Contributing factors include Medicaid Managed Care denials, state budget cuts, and commercial payers exiting the insurance market. Still, Robillard has expressed confidence UIHC will see improvements in subsequent months.
In response to the shifting health care landscape, UIHC has hired a consultant to evaluate potential partnerships with larger regional systems, which experts say could help the university in its clinical, research and teaching endeavors.
Neither the hospital nor the consultant has publicly identified potential partners.
If you go
Candidate No. 1
will visit the UI campus Tuesday, Oct. 3, and participate in a public forum from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium of the Medical Education Research Facility (MERF).
Candidate No. 2
will visit campus Monday, Oct. 9, and participate in a public forum from 5 to 6 p.m. in the Prem Sahai Auditorium of MERF.
Both open forums
will be followed by a public reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the MERF Atrium.
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