The University of Kansas Medical Center announced Tuesday that Robert Simari has been given the center’s top job on a permanent basis.
Simari, a cardiologist, had been interim executive vice chancellor of the medical center since July 1, when Doug Girod was elevated to chancellor of the University of Kansas.
“He has provided tremendous leadership and stability to the medical center during a time of transition,” Girod said in a written statement. “I am pleased KU Medical Center is in capable hands, and I look forward to working closely with Dr. Simari to advance the medical center’s mission.”
Simari has been the executive dean of the University of Kansas School of Medicine since March 2014. Because he’s taking the vice chancellor position permanently, KU Med will begin a national search for a new dean in the next few weeks.
Simari graduated from the KU School of Medicine in 1986 and previously worked as a physician, professor and researcher at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
“As an alumnus and executive dean of the KU School of Medicine, it is a great honor and a humbling experience to be named executive vice chancellor of the University of Kansas Medical Center,” Simari said. “This is an exciting time in the 114-year history of the medical center, and I look forward to collaborating with our partners and other university leaders to continue to train the best health professionals for Kansas, improve the health of our region and discover the cures and treatments of tomorrow.”
The medical center announced Monday that it had been awarded the second-largest research grant in its history: a five-year, $25 million outlay from the National Institutes of Health.
The money is earmarked for Frontiers: The University of Kansas Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which helps researchers at KU and other institutions in and around Kansas City develop and share their work.
Richard Barohn, the medical center’s vice chancellor for research and head of Frontiers, said successful collaborations with other local institutions were key to securing the grant.
“We are grateful for support from our partners in the region, particularly the University of Missouri - Kansas City, Children’s Mercy (Hospital) and St. Luke’s Health System, as well as our institutional partners — the University of Kansas in Lawrence and the University of Kansas School of Medicine - Wichita,” Barohn said.