UI Health Care associate vice president has served the institution for a decade
Monday, January 22, 2018

Kenneth P. Kates, University of Iowa Health Care associate vice president and UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO, has announced his intention to retire in summer 2018.

Ken Kates portrait
Kenneth Kates

Kates is in his 10th year of service to UI Health Care and has led UI Hospitals and Clinics during a period of growth of the patient care enterprise, including the October 2012 opening of the UI Health Care location at Iowa River Landing in Coralville and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, which opened in February 2017.

“I am so grateful for all the amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside,” says Kates, who has spent nearly 40 years in health care operations and leadership. “I know that all of UI Health Care will continue to excel as a preeminent academic medical center, and I look forward to learning of all the great things to come.”

Under Kates’ leadership, UI Health Care implemented programs focused on providing outstanding service to patients and families at the hospital and all patient care locations. He also championed quality, safety, and optimization of day-to-day operational efficiencies.

A few of the notable accomplishments and awards during Kates’ tenure include:

  • Patient care growth—an increase of 16 percent in inpatients, 23 percent in outpatients, and 33 percent in surgeries from fiscal years 2009 to 2017
  • Expansion of the clinical enterprise—including the new UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, UI Health Care location at Iowa River Landing, and primary and specialty care locations now in more than 30 Iowa communities
  • Implementation of Epic, an enhanced electronic health record and order-entry system, in 2009
  • Maintaining a consistent ranking among the nation’s “Best Hospitals” (and the No. 1 hospital in Iowa) and “Best Children’s Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report
  • Ranking by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Employers,” including the No. 1 ranking in the health care industry in 2015 and 2016
  • Re-designation of Magnet status for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (2013) and the prestigious Magnet Prize for innovative use of evidence-based practice to impact patient care (2014)
  • Named among the “Most Wired” hospitals in the nation for eight consecutive years (2010–2017) by the American Hospital Association Health Forum and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives
  • Received the 2014 HIMSS (Health Information and Management Systems Society) Enterprise Davies Award, which recognizes health care providers for outstanding use of EHRs (electronic health records) and other health IT (information technology)—specifically for UI Hospitals and Clinics’ improvement in patient safety, population health management, and the standardization of care quality measures.

“Like so many people across our enterprise and the university campus, I have appreciated Ken’s partnership and expertise,” says Brooks Jackson, UI vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. “He has made a tremendous difference to UI Health Care, and he exemplifies what it means to always put the patient first. We will all miss him.”

Patricia Winokur, executive dean of the Carver College of Medicine, will chair a national search for Kates’ successor. The process of forming a search committee is underway.