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Release: Oct. 22, 2001

Howell to take post at U. of Virginia; Kelch named director-designate of UI Health Care

IOWA CITY, Iowa — R. Edward Howell, CEO and co-director of University of Iowa Health Care, is leaving the UI to become CEO of University of Virginia Hospitals and vice president for the medical center of the University of Virginia, UI President Mary Sue Coleman announced today.

Coleman also announced that she has named Dr. Robert Kelch (photo at left) as director-designate of UI Health Care and all of its components, including the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Kelch is also UI vice president for statewide health services and dean of the College of Medicine. In addition, he and Howell are co-directors of UI Health Care, which describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.

"Ed Howell, during his seven years at the University of Iowa, has been pivotal in our development of UI Health Care and our outstanding success as a nationally prominent hospital," Coleman said. "We will miss his leadership, but we understand that the opportunity to lead the medical center at the University of Virginia is attractive."

The UI president also expressed confidence in Kelch. "Because Bob Kelch has been co-director of UI Health Care since its inception, I am confident that he will provide outstanding leadership for UI Health Care and UI Hospitals and Clinics and will assure continuity in our delivery of first-rate health care to Iowans and others. Bob and the senior staff of UI Hospitals and Clinics have excellent working relationships, which will also contribute immeasurably to assuring continuity of care."

Kelch also had words of praise for Howell: "Ed and I enjoyed a wonderful working relationship as we brought UI Health Care through a turbulent time in health care financing. The positive interactions between the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the College of Medicine have never been stronger."

Howell was appointed CEO and director of UI Hospitals and Clinics in August of 1994. He also holds academic appointments in the College of Business and the College of Pharmacy and is a professor in the College of Public Health. He is a member of the executive committee and chair of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, a member of the executive committee of University HealthSystem Consortium, a member of the Board of Governors of the National Institutes of Health, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical Center, a member of the American Hospital Association Coordinating Committee on Medical Education, and chair of the Iowa Business Council.

Kelch was appointed dean of the University of Iowa College of Medicine on Aug. 15, 1994. Prior to coming to the UI, he served as professor and chair of the department of pediatrics at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and physician-in-chief at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. While at Michigan, he also served as assistant dean for clinical affairs and chief of clinical affairs at University of Michigan Hospitals.

A native of Detroit, Mich., Kelch earned his bachelor's degree from Monteith College of Wayne State University and his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1967. He is internationally known for his research in pediatric endocrinology, which had been funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, serves on numerous national committees and boards and is active in many academic and professional medical societies.