A Look at a Leader: Dr. Gregory Kiray
September 18, 2017
You’ve got to be in the trenches to know how to help your team. It’s a motto Dr. Greg Kiray maintains when he talks about his role at IU Health.
As one of the primary care service line leaders for Indiana University Health Physicians, he has a full plate. The physician leader helps oversee over 200 primary care providers in over 50 offices in central Indiana. Dr. Kiray is also IU Health Physicians Medical Director of Ambulatory Quality and an advisor for IU Health’s system clinical services. He is also active working with the IU Population Health team to help transform our system to succeed as reimbursement models evolve. “My job requires me to wear many different hats, but they all support the primary care and specialty doctors in IU Health Physicians, and most importantly our patients” he says.
The days are long and the duties are many, but they’re all things the physician says he feels proud to shoulder. “I’ve always felt lucky to be a doctor. People entrust us with their lives, and that’s an incredible privilege. Becoming a physician was something I wanted from the time I was a four year old boy,” he recalls.
Though he was born in Kentucky, Dr. Kiray says he spent his childhood in the Hoosier state. The physician grew up in Frankfort, Carmel and Zionsville before settling in Ohio. “My father was a saleman. He sold Oreo cookies for Nabisco. My mom was a schoolteacher. No one in our family was a doctor—it was a new path.”
Dr. Kiray graduated from high school in Centerville, Ohio and attended Northwestern University, moving on to Cincinnati for medical school and Indiana University to complete his residency. He also completed a General Internal Medicine Fellowship at Indiana University
His first post-grad stop? IU Health Medical Group, now part of the IU Health System.. “My wife, who is a general internist, and I, both got jobs there and we’ve been here ever since,” he says. The couple met in medical school. He says his wife still practices at IU Health’s Glendale location. He is also the proud father of three daughters, Amy, who is a Methodist minister in Illinois, Christine who is completing her Doctor of Psychology internship at Butler, and Mary who is in her second year of Masters of Health Administration studies at IUPUI
In an age of people pin ponging back and worth between jobs, Dr. Kiray is content and consistent. “My wife and I have spent our whole careers here—now over 30 years,” he says.
Like most people, Dr. Kiray’s career path was curvy, taking him to unexpected and gratifying places. “I saw patients at the IU Health Broad Ripple office for the first 10 years of my career, where I was also the office Medical Director. Then, I ultimately accepted more system medical director roles at IU Health.”
Through it all, his passion for patient care never changed. He always had his eye on new ways to improve care. “I have enjoyed helping to pilot for IU Health many of the innovations that we now take for granted such as the ambulatory Cerner Electronic Medical Record, the patient portal, and patient self-scheduling systems. Along with our entire Primary Care leadership team we have made great strides in patient access by creating a Same Day Line for patients to call a single number for appointments, instituted open access scheduling and other innovative measures to improve access to Primary Care. With the support of the entire IU Health system we have expanded access to primary care by opening over 10 new offices and hired over 50 new Primary Care physicians in the past 3 years.”
Despite his schedule, the doctor still sees patients two half days a week. “I love that part of my job and don’t ever want to give it up.”
“You have to know the job and do the job to truly be effective as a physician leader. You have to have your hands in there and use all tools and have the same experiences that you ask others to have so you can figure out where to best assist and make improvements for everybody.”
And the secret behind his own success? “The people,” he says. “I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by and supported by so many talented and skilled teams. I work with amazing people and we all get to make a difference.”
-- By Sarah Burns