Dr. John Gianopoulos to Lead Seton's Women’s Health Programs
Seton Communications sat down with Dr. John Gianopoulos, recently appointed president and CEO of Perinatal Programs and Services and vice president of Women’s Health Services for the Seton Healthcare Family.
A die-hard White Sox fan ("They’re going to bury me in a coffin that says White Sox on it."), Dr. Gianopoulos – a Sox season ticket holder since ’81 – left his hometown because he was compelled to come to Austin at a strategic moment for Seton.
Four Questions with Dr. Gianopoulos:
Having been a Chicago native for 60 years, what was it about this opportunity with Seton that led you here to Austin?
It would have taken an incredible opportunity to pry me away ... and this was.
First, the opportunity to create a women's health and perinatal program across a large catholic hospital system was of interest to me. The catholic environment is one that I find very comfortable. I share the mission; I share the values. I find it fulfilling, which is why I was at Loyola for as long as I was. (Dr. Gianopoulos helped to build the maternal-fetal medicine program at Loyola University Medical Center during his 30-year tenure there.) What I mean about the catholic mission-based environment is that it’s not just about treating the physical ailments, but also the emotional psychological and spiritual ailments.
The second reason is to participate in the creation of a new medical school. I’ll help to create a women’s health curriculum and oversee the training program. My academic appointment is now with UT Southwestern, helping to chair Austin education for the OB/GYN programs. Hopefully, we’ll also be shaping the new OB/GYN department for the future medical school. And, that is also very exciting to me.
Lastly, after 59 years of shoveling snow, I never want to shovel snow again.
What makes you so excited about a potential medical school and teaching hospital in this community?
The seat of UT-Austin is here. The major research initiatives are here. The opportunity for basic science and collaboration with scientists is here. The opportunity to have an academic school in collaboration with the major body of university offers tremendous opportunities and should be here, too.
The medical school brings to the community significant world-class physicians who are not only engaged in clinical care, but also in research. The school will bring innovative therapies and new techniques into this community before they get introduced elsewhere because we will be developing them right here.
It will also attract a core of young people who go to school here. Often people will stay in the community where they went to school, so it will provide an infusion of new talent in the region.
How do you see incorporating research into the new position?
I hope, once I get settled, I can once again start my research initiatives. My current research is involved in looking at conditions in the fetal environment that lead to cerebral palsy. Primarily, we discovered that a large percentage of cerebral palsy may be related to subclinical infections. I’m hoping to collaborate with others at Dell Children’s who have done work in this area.
What does the public not know about our programs?
There is one central theme that I’ve felt after visiting all the hospitals ... that there is universal caring, concern and respect. The catholic health care values definitely manifest in all of our sites. There is a deep-rooted concern and care for the populations they serve. And, of great importance, is that there is organization leadership and commitment to being sure that this service line is as good as it possibly could be.