New leaders will attract more providers to the state as UI Health Care evolves as a system of connected care to provide more health care access for Iowans.

To meet the evolving health care needs of Iowans and provide more access to care, UI Health Care’s recruitment of top talent for key leadership roles will help attract more health care professionals to support clinical care, research, and teaching in Iowa.  

These executive appointments come at a transformative time as the health care needs of Iowans continue to grow and UI Health Care begins a new chapter in its evolution as a system of connected care. 

“UI Health Care’s role as a system of connected care is to continue to advance health and medicine in Iowa, shaping the future of health care for Iowa and beyond,” says Denise Jamieson, MD, MPH, UI vice president for medical affairs and the Tyrone D. Artz Dean of the Carver College of Medicine. “We are fortunate we have many exceptional leaders currently serving our organization, and introducing new talent with new ideas and skillsets will strengthen our teams even further to better serve Iowans.” 

UI Health Care recently announced the following executive appointments: 

  • Christian Pettker, MD, chair and department executive officer (DEO) of Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 

Start date: July 1 

Maternal-fetal medicine specialist, currently serving as professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and vice chair of quality and patient safety at the Yale School of Medicine and Chief of Obstetrics for Yale New Haven Hospital

Christian Pettker, MD, DEO Department of OBGYN
Christian Pettker, MD


Start Date: Oct. 1 

Physician-scientist with clinical expertise in infectious diseases, currently serving as professor and division chief of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine 

Upinder Singh, MD
Upinder Singh, MD


  • Jody Reyes, chief operating officer (COO) for the clinical enterprise 

Start date: June 28 

Executive leader with more than 20 years of health care leadership experience, most recently serving as senior vice president and COO at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center 

Jody Reyes, COO
Jody Reyes


  • Kris DeMali, PhD, chair and DEO of Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology  

Effective date: June 7 

UI researcher and faculty member for 18 years with teaching duties in biochemistry, who served as the department’s interim chair and DEO since August 2020 

Kris DeMali, PhD
Kris DeMali, PhD


UI Health Care is also nearing the completion of national searches for a number of leadership roles: 

  • Director of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center 
  • Chief Administrative Officer for UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital 
  • Chief Administrative Officer for UI Health Care Medical Center Downtown 
  • Chair and DEO of Department of Surgery 

“As someone who recently came to Iowa this past year, I know exactly why we are able to attract such high-caliber leaders,” says Jamieson. “We have a critical role in serving the health care needs of the state, and Iowans trust us deeply. Our relationship with patients and our team’s passionate commitment to our mission is unique from other health systems. Leaders from across the country are recognizing this and want to be a part of that culture.” 

In addition to recruiting talent to fill existing leadership positions, UI Health Care is adding a new role: chief physician executive. The health system recently began a national search for the newly created position. The inaugural chief physician executive will provide leadership to integrate clinical care across all entities of the system, while advancing and continuously improving quality, patient safety, and operations of the health system.