Suresh Gunasekaran will leave his position overseeing the University of Iowa Hospital System in late February to lead the University of California San Francisco Health System.
“It’s not so much that something was missing here, but rather the possibility of having an impact there,” Gunasekaran told reporters on Tuesday.
Gunasekaran has served as chief executive of hospitals and clinics at the University of Iowa since 2018. He will begin serving as CEO in San Francisco on March 1, joining one of the top-ranked medical centers in the United States.
The UIHC will conduct a national search to find his replacement. The hospital system is expected to appoint an interim “soon”, according to a press release.
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Gunasekaran’s departure comes just after the Iowa health system got the go-ahead from its governing body to begin planning a ten years of expansions and renovations at its Iowa City campus. The UIHC is also building a new hospital in North Liberty.
Gunasekaran will earn a base salary of $1.85 million at San Francisco Medical Center, an increase from his $1.1 million annual salary in Iowa. He was recruited for the new position in 2021 as part of a nationwide search.
On a personal level, Gunasekaran said, it was hard to resist the lure of working in San Francisco. But he said the UI is a “collaborative and special place that is truly valued by the state and by this community.”
“Part of what makes me even consider and be able to move forward with another career decision is that UI health care is in such good hands here. It’s always been a team effort, I was just one member of the team,” he added.
Brooks Jackson, UI Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, praised Gunasekaran on Tuesday for his vision, operational acumen and leadership amid the COVID pandemic. -19.
“Obviously (I) wouldn’t like him to leave. But I’m very happy for him at the same time. It’s a real opportunity, and it shows how well he’s played here at the University. of Iowa,” Jackson said.
More information on the UIHC this month:UIHC to forge ahead with projects that could increase capacity by 50% over the next decade
Cleo Krejci covers education for the Iowa City Press-Citizen. You can reach her at email@example.com.