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Dear Campus Community,

Important decisions await a dynamic world-class health enterprise like UK HealthCare.

The demand for advanced medical care, discovery of new therapeutics and excellent training continues to rapidly accelerate, while the need to support and take care of our people grows as well.

It is in this context – of keeping pace with demand while planning thoughtfully for the future – that I want to provide an update on programmatic priorities, infrastructure and leadership transition at UK HealthCare.

On Monday, November 14, I began a feedback cycle interviewing more than 50 individuals, focused on learning about priorities and opportunities for the next Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and the key needs of the organization. I am deeply appreciative of these leaders who graciously and thoughtfully shared with me their perspectives on our health enterprise. Additionally, I have heard from many members of our community about several initiatives that we are deeply engaged in, including:

We are in the final stages of preparation for our submission for Markey Cancer Center to achieve comprehensive status from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

  • Our nationally ranked Markey Cancer Center will be seeking comprehensive status from NCI in the coming weeks.
  • Critical to the review process is a demonstration of leadership and support. I want there to be no mistake in our commitment to this initiative because of what it will mean in saving lives and healing communities in Kentucky.

Significant capital construction projects are at important stages of development.

  • An outpatient cancer center will expand even further our capacity for advanced care and treatment against the most insidious of diseases. The center will include shelled space that will allow us to meet growing demands for other diseases that inflict too many Kentuckians.
  • A new Health Education Building, which will be home to four of our colleges, promises to accelerate our commitment to increasing the health workforce – a key priority for us and policymakers.

New and potential partnerships must be implemented and further developed.

  • On Dec. 1, we officially merged King’s Daughters into UK, a move that will continue to expand footprint of the care we provide to more Kentuckians.
  • Our partnership for the last year-and-a-half has exceeded expectations, but in many ways, Dec. 1 was only the beginning and one more step in the integration of our two health enterprises.
  • We are continuing to explore business opportunities and partnerships with the significant engagement and input of the clinical, operational and financial teams at UKHC.

In short, it’s clear to me that we are at an inflection point at UK HealthCare.

Several milestone moments and critical decisions must be met even as we prepare to search for a new, permanent EVPHA.

Against that backdrop of immediate and near-term decisions that must be made, I want to move forward in naming acting leaders for the health care enterprise.

To that end, I have asked Provost Robert S. DiPaola and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric N. Monday to serve as Co-Acting EVPHAs during this period of transition.

Provost DiPaola, as many of you know, served successfully as dean of the College of Medicine for five years and as a vice president within the health care enterprise for clinical academic affairs.

In this transition, he will have responsibility for the daily clinical operations of our hospitals and clinics, working closely with the College of Medicine’s leadership; clinical chairs and faculty; and UK HealthCare clinical leadership to ensure our outstanding provision of care continues.

EVPFA Monday will have responsibility for administrative and financial operations as well as continued business development opportunities during this interim period.

UK HealthCare’s financial performance is strong and must remain so. In his capacity as EVPFA, Dr. Monday already works closely with UK HealthCare’s budget and financial operations. Further, he has served on the steering committee that has shepherded our transaction with King’s Daughters and helps oversee the holding company we have established to manage future business development opportunities.

They already work closely together with respect to our academic and business operations. I’m asking them to extend that close working relationship to our health care enterprise and report directly to me on how we manage during this transition.

They will work alongside, and in support of, a strong and capable UK HealthCare senior leadership team, which I met with again this morning along with our clinical chairs. I will be meeting with them regularly during this time to further ensure continuity and support for the outstanding advanced care we provide here and throughout Kentucky.

As previously communicated, I plan to outline – and begin – an active search process for a regular EVPHA early in the new year. I will be using the information I gain from the feedback cycle to inform our next steps.

UK HealthCare now represents more than half of our institution’s operating budget – a number likely to grow as the health needs of our Commonwealth continue to grow.

We have outstanding doctors, nurses, professionals and staff, who work tirelessly and with dedication each day to bring healing and hope to so many people. A talented administrative team is in place to support our health enterprise.

Together, we will provide continuity and stability, both for those operations and the enterprise, while we make determinations to further our progress in the months ahead. We will move forward as a team, committed to a common purpose – healing and advancing our state in everything that we do.

Thank you for all you do, in every corner of our campus and our Commonwealth, to be Kentucky’s university.

Eli Capilouto