University of Iowa Health Care makes top 10 in Forbes' best employers

UIHC earns top spot among health care providers for second year

The Pappajohn Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
The Pappajohn Pavilion at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is shown in Iowa City on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — University of Iowa Health Care, for a second straight year, has earned the top spot on Forbes Magazine’s list of best employers in the health care industry. In the publication’s overall ranking of top employers for 2016, UIHC moved into the top 10, earning the No. 7 spot.

Last year, the state’s “only comprehensive academic medical center” was ranked No. 12 overall and No. 1 in the health care category. Forbes reviewed 500 employers for its ranking based on surveys of more than 30,000 American workers. Employees were contacted anonymously online without the involvement of their employer, according to the Forbes methodology, which created a sample representative of the United States by gender, age, region, education, and ethnicity.

Participants simply were asked, “How likely would you be to recommend your employer to someone else, and what about to other employers in your industry?”

Companies included in the ranking cover a wide range of industries, including retail, education, health care, restaurants, and information technology.

Those topping UIHC in the overall best-employer rankings, which were made public Wednesday, include Marathon Petroleum at No. 1, Google at No. 2, Costco Wholesale at No. 3, Wegmans Food Markets at No. 4, United Service Auto Association at No. 5, and SAS Institute at No. 6.

UI Health Care, which Forbes lists as employing 8,347, beat out organizations like the Mayo Clinic at No. 9, Facebook at No. 11, Trader Joe’s at No. 20, NASA at No. 28, and Apple at No. 37. In the health care category, UIHC topped the likes of Seattle Children’s Hospital and Kaiser Permanente.

Jean Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs, said the rankings show employees “are not only outstanding at what they do, they thoroughly enjoy doing it.”


“Our nurses, physicians and all of our staff are intensely focused on service excellence, which makes UI Health Care not just great for patients, but also a great place to work,” he said in a statement.

UIHC officials also credited the high ranking to faculty and staff efforts to “foster a culture of excellence that values, engages, and enables the workforce.” They said those efforts create a welcoming and respectful environment, and Ken Kates — CEO of the UI Hospitals and Clinics — praised employees for their work in providing safe, quality care, along with excellent service producing “exceptional outcomes.”

“I am continually awed by the loyalty of our employees, and personally proud to serve Iowa with each and every one of them,” Kates said in a statement.

UI Health Care includes the UI Hospitals and Clinics, UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, and UI Physicians, a multi-specialty physician group practice with more than 1,400 physicians, residents, and fellows.

The Board of Regents last month agreed to restructure UI Health Care leadership by putting Robillard in charge both of medical affairs and of the College of Medicine. In his new role, Robillard now will serve as dean of the college, and former dean Debra A. Schwinn was moved to a new position — associate vice president for medical affairs, focused on special projects aimed at fostering “stronger alignment of the organization’s clinical and educational missions.”

Robillard said the restructuring came in response to rapid changes in health care that have put pressure on the organization to adapt its existing infrastructure.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.