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Campus Community,

This week, I asked Bob DiPaola and Eric Monday to assume the positions of Co-Executive Vice President for Health Affairs on a permanent basis. I am gratified they have agreed to do so.

I am excited about what it means for UK HealthCare (UKHC) and our university as we seek to advance Kentucky in everything that we do.

There are several reasons why this is the right move – and Drs. DiPaola and Monday are the right leaders – for our academic health system and campus as they will also continue as Provost and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration, respectively.

This decision reinforces our commitment to continuity of leadership. It further fosters a compelling vision during a time of tremendous transformation within UKHC. And it enables a clear benefit for our campus and our Commonwealth for greater partnership and alignment across the institution as we focus on the needs of our state.

Bob and Eric have been in co-acting roles since December. Without question, they have provided steadfast and strong leadership over the past several months. They have worked to ensure greater feedback from administrative and clinical leadership.

They also have established a thoughtful approach to facility planning. And they are aggressively emphasizing programmatic clinical areas, whose continued excellence is critical to meet our mission as Kentucky’s center for advanced subspeciality care.

With a sense of positive urgency, they led a remarkable refresh of UKHC’s strategic plan. With partners across the UKHC enterprise, what has emerged is a bold vision for health care grounded within an academic health system – all for Kentucky’s future.

We are now planning for $2.4 billion in new facilities. We will make more readily available the complex care only we provide. We will expand access throughout our community to the primary care needs of our people and those who are medically underserved, right here at home.

They have initiated a comprehensive planning process for current and long-term budget needs to help ensure we have the resources to fund our aspirations. And they have continued the successful integration of King’s Daughters Medical System into UK HealthCare, while also pursuing business development opportunities essential to creating a healthier Kentucky.

Finally, Bob and Eric, as leaders, represent the best opportunity to strengthen the continued alignment of our health, research, education and service missions – all in service to our goal of advancing the state.

We must do even more to maximize the potential of our geography and proximity – for the success and distinctive experiences of our students, for the expansion of scholarship and for the enhanced capacity of our ability to discover and transform our state.

Our breadth and depth should not simply be a point of pride, but a signal of strength. I believe that a more intentional integration of our campus – and all that we offer – provides more possibility and potential for our entire community and our state.

Our search process – led by Dr. Seth Himelhoch, Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, and Dr. Nancy Cox, Vice President for Land-grant Engagement and Dean, Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment – yielded strong candidates.

But, in an important sense, that national search process reinforced that the best thing for UK HealthCare and our university were the two people already in the job. In recent days, I have received positive feedback from clinical chairs and senior health care leadership, among others, about the prospect of keeping Bob and Eric in a co-leadership role, permanently.

Over the past seven months, Bob and Eric have balanced their respective roles as Provost and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration extremely well.

Yet, moving forward as the health care positions become permanent parts of their portfolios, they will be making moves to reorganize their administrative offices in ways that maximize their strong teams. Bob, for example, will be consulting with faculty leaders, as contemplated by our governing regulations, as he builds out an administrative organization within the Provost’s office to support his continued leadership at UK HealthCare. Eric will be similarly designing his structure to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in operations.

This is an exciting and pivotal time for our university – Kentucky’s university. We are doing more than ever before to advance our state. And more is expected of us. More will be required from us, if we are to realize a vision of Kentucky that is healthier, wealthier and wiser.

This move supports those efforts and that vision. I know you join me in congratulating them personally and in supporting them professionally as they continue their important leadership of a place, whose purpose has never been more important to the future of the state we were created to serve.                                        

Thank you for all you do to help us realize our purpose every day.

Eli Capilouto