Melissa Whisler to serve as interim chief administrative officer at UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital

The date of a national search for the position has not yet been announced.


Matt Sindt

The Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City is seen Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.

Grace Katzer, News Reporter

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics named Melissa Whisler as UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital interim chief administrative officer in December, and she recently started her role.

Whisler began serving in her position Jan. 12 following the departure of Pamela Johnson-Carlson, who now serves as a chief nursing officer at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska.

After graduating from the UI with dual Master of Business Administration and Health Administration degrees from the UI Tippie College of Business and College of Public Health in 2006, Whisler started her career at UIHC as manager of strategic business planning in 2008.

She has since served as the clinical department administrator for the Emergency Department and clinical department administrator of the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics. In 2019, Whisler was appointed administrative chief of staff.

“As interim CAO of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Whisler will oversee day-to-day operations as well as planning and management of pediatric care initiatives,” the release stated. “She will work closely with leaders and staff in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics as well as other departmental chairs, administrators, and staff across the enterprise.”

Whisler will also serve as the executive leader for the UI Center for Disabilities and Development and Children’s and Women’s Services at UI Hospitals and Clinics, according to the release. Additionally, she will continue her responsibilities as UIHC administrative chief of staff.

Kimberly Hunter, interim chief executive officer of UIHC and interim associate vice president for UI Health Care, said in the release she was excited to have Whisler join the senior leadership team.

“She is well-versed in the unique missions and complexities of academic medical centers through her current and previous roles, and she’s extremely knowledgeable and well-respected across our organization,” Hunter said. “I know she’ll be a great resource and colleague to continue advancing the great work of our children’s hospital and women’s health services, as well.”

UIHC has yet to announce when the national search for the CAO position will begin.