UI Hospitals & Clinics CEO puts focus on excellence

Suresh Gunasekaran portrait

Through a series of in-house forums and meetings with local media, UI Hospitals & Clinics CEO Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, says he is motivated by the hospital’s abilities to both discover new therapies and deliver them conveniently to Iowans throughout the state.

“I’m really excited to join University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics simply because of the great tradition of high-quality care and high-quality teaching that this institution is known for around the country,” Gunasekaran recently told hospital staff members.

He began his role at UI Hospitals & Clinics Nov. 19, coming to Iowa from the University of Texas Southwestern Health System in Dallas, where he served as chief operations officer.

“In my career, the areas that I’m most proud of are the times when I’ve been able to bring together the faculty, care teams, community resources—all assembled to meet the needs of patients regardless of where they are,” he adds. “I’m pleased to be part of the this University of Iowa team that continues this tradition, making investments to create new opportunities for us and the people we serve.”

Speaker answering audience questions

Suresh Gunasekaran answers staff questions during a UI Hospitals & Clinics staff forum.

Health care leadership

As CEO, Gunasekaran oversees the operational, strategic, and financial performance for UI Hospitals & Clinics, a regional referral center that includes UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. Among his administrative responsibilities, he leads enterprise-wide commitment to comprehensive primary and specialty care for patients and families, focusing on clinical excellence, collaboration and innovation, quality and safety, and outstanding service.

In his role as associate vice president of University of Iowa Health Care, Gunasekaran works closely with UI Health Care leaders to advance the organization’s three-part mission of biomedical research, medical education and training, and patient care.

His focus for the first 90 days

“I think that my real focus is actually going to be first on listening,” he says. “I think there’s a lot to learn from the folks that are on the front lines. I think there’s a lot to learn from our faculty who are working on new therapies and treatments. There’s also a lot to learn from the community to better understand how we could further meet needs that others aren’t meeting today to the best of their abilities.

“What I really enjoy about working in health care is making a difference in people’s lives. I think that in health care, we have a tremendous honor in being a part of every single patient’s life,” he adds.