Opening Lines

Among all the medical advances over the past century, arguably the most significant have protected the health of children. The polio vaccine virtually eliminated a crippling, primarily pediatric disease, and tests developed to screen newborns for an array of inherited disorders alert physicians and families to the need for early treatment or support services.

Nearly 100 years ago, a children’s hospital opened in 1919 as the first University of Iowa building on the west side of the Iowa River. It was the first such facility in Iowa. This year, we celebrate another milestone for children and families around the state: the opening of University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

The new hospital—a 14-level, 507,000-square-foot facility, plus 56,250 square feet of renovated existing space within UI Hospitals and Clinics—is built for pediatric medicine today and in the future, with state-of-the-art features that match or exceed the very best pediatric hospitals in the United States. UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital will serve as the hub of a statewide system of pediatric care, enabling Iowa to attract physicians with pediatric expertise who become resources through off-site clinics in communities around Iowa or by telemedicine.

UI Hospitals and Clinics CEO Ken Kates, UI Carver College of Medicine Executive Dean Patricia Winokur, and VPMA and Dean Jean Robillard

In this edition of Medicine Iowa, you’ll discover what our new hospital has to offer patients, families, and providers. We also reflect on the history of pediatric care at the university and present a Q&A about the historic move of patients into the new hospital.

The name of our new hospital honors the family of Jerre and Mary Joy Stead, natives of Maquoketa, Iowa, now living in Arizona. They have been generous UI supporters for over three decades whose remarkable commitment to children’s medicine at Iowa helped us to create this facility that will support new advances in pediatric medicine.

Soon after we celebrated the Steads and other children’s hospital donors at a dedication ceremony last fall, we announced another transformative gift—a $45 million grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust of Muscatine, Iowa, for the Iowa Neuroscience Institute. This new institute, with headquarters in the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, will focus on better understanding the most challenging psychiatric and neurologic diseases and translating those discoveries into clinical treatments.

Our state has plenty to celebrate in these two families, the Steads and the Carvers. Their commitment to us and to their fellow Iowans will benefit many generations to come.





Jean E. Robillard, MD

University of Iowa Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine