Friday, November 12, 2021

On October 18th, the University of Iowa Staff Council Health Care Committee attended a bi-annual meeting with UIHC leadership including Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA, University of Iowa vice president for medical affairs, Suresh Gunasekaran, MBA, chief executive officer, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, senior associate vice president, University of Iowa Health Care, Patricia Winokur, MD, executive dean for the Carver College of Medicine, and Jana Wessels, associate vice president for human resources for UI Health Care.  Members of the UISC Executive Committee and co-chairs of the Health Care Committee provided an overview of the UISC structure, represented staff, committee accomplishments, and community activities.  Suresh Gunasekaran commended the Staff Council on their work representing and celebrating their constituents.   

Health Care Committee leadership reported that their constituents frequently ask about issues related to remote work, retention, and recruitment.  Suresh Gunasekaran expanded on many of the points provided at his town hall meetings which included the challenges of remote work for a health care setting, building the infrastructure, and developing a fair and equitable policy.  Jana Wessels had presented on the Future of Work at a Health Care Committee meeting in early October, so she spoke briefly on this topic and that the UIHC Future of Work Committee continues to move forward.

When asked what message staff councilors should bring back to their constituents from health care leadership, Suresh Gunasekaran outlined three points:

  1. We care.  We understand there is a great deal of pressure, and we are listening.
  2. Help us attract talented staff by letting people know the benefits of working for UI Health Care
  3. We are working in large and small ways to review compensation. 

Staff resiliency was the final topic.  A staff councilor shared the importance of maintaining a sense of pride and purpose in working at the UIHC.  Suresh Gunasekaran stated that over the next 3-5 months leadership hope to have the opportunity to show staff they are appreciated.  He asked for the staff councilors to continue to spread the message that leadership is listening and there are good things happening at the UIHC.  The Staff Council Executive Committee requested representation on the Staff Resiliency Committee and this was immediately granted.  Suresh Gunasekaran invited two staff councilors to join this committee.