UI Health Care’s Brooks Jackson steps down, further reshuffles leadership

UIHC Vice President Brooks Jackson is stepping down from his current role. CREDIT UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Brooks Jackson, the University of Iowa vice president for medical affairs and dean of the Carver College of Medicine, announced Feb. 17 he is stepping down from his current role. He will return to a UI faculty position to pursue research.

“I am so proud of everything our team has accomplished over the past five years, from leading UI Health Care’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic … to obtaining approval on ambitious plans for new growth and partnerships,” said Dr. Jackson in a statement. “As UI Health Care prepares to tackle the next bold phase in its history, the time is right for new leadership to pilot the organization to the next level.”

Dr. Jackson will remain in the position until the university completes a national search for his replacement. His announcement is the most recent shake-up in a leadership team that has already faced substantial upheaval in 2022.

Last month, CEO Suresh Gunasekaran made public he is to leave the university by the end of February to lead the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health.

Joining the University of Iowa in Nov. 2017, Dr. Jackson is credited with being instrumental in numerous achievements including securing a $70 million donation — regarded as the largest gift UI history — and helping put a 10-year facilities master plan into motion. Expected to occur in stages, UIHC is aiming to build a new hospital tower, ambulatory care building and teaching and research building.

“I appreciate all that Brooks has done to lead our health care enterprise into the future over the past five years,” said UI President Barbara Wilson. “His steady presence has been an asset to our community that has allowed our faculty, staff and students to thrive. While Brooks may be stepping down from his current position, I am so pleased that he will be staying on as a member of our faculty so he can continue his research on infectious diseases.”

Along with managing an overburdened hospital system during a pandemic, UIHC is also building a $395 million hospital in North Liberty by 2025. But they will progress through this series of construction projects with many new faces on their executive team.

Dr. Jackson is attributed with growing extramural research funding by more than 26%, stabilizing the financial profile of UI Health Care, investing in initiatives to drive greater health parity and improving outcomes for patients across Iowa, according to the release.

In his current role, he manages the state’s largest multi-specialty physician group practice and a UI Health Care system that has a total impact of $4 billion on the state’s economy. Dr. Jackson is an internationally recognized AIDS researcher, is board-certified in pathology and transfusion medicine, and was the principal investigator of the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network.

The president and provost have named John Keller, a former interim president for the university, and Cynthia Wong, a professor, chair and departmental executive officer of the Department of Anesthesia, as co-chairs of the search committee.