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IU Health, IU break ground on IU Health Regional Academic Health Center

For Immediate Release Jan 16, 2018
A graphic rendering of the new Regional Academic Health Center
A rendering of the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center scheduled to open in 2020.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Community leaders, Indiana University faculty, staff and students, and health care providers gathered today to celebrate the official ceremonial groundbreaking of the new IU Health Regional Academic Health Center on the campus of Indiana University Bloomington.

Expected to be completed in 2020, the over 700,000-square-foot complex will serve Bloomington and the surrounding region and will include a cancer center, surgical services, a women’s center, neonatal intensive care, physician offices and a trauma center. A state-of-the-art health care simulation center used to train students and clinicians on new patient care techniques will be shared by IU Health and IU.

It will also include the new 115,000-square-foot IU Academic Health Sciences Building, which will consolidate most of the academic health science programs on the IU Bloomington campus, including those in medicine, nursing, social work, and speech and hearing. It will also include a new program in dentistry.

Leaders from IU Health and IU praised today’s announcement as the beginning of a new era in health care in Bloomington and the surrounding region.

“This is truly a transformational day in the history of Indiana University Health – a day that sees us fulfilling a commitment to the community of Bloomington and the entire southern region of Indiana, while at the same time marking the launch of a new and different model of care that will shape how future care is delivered across the IU Health system,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health.

The new state-of-the-art facility will bring together multiple medical specialties and outpatient services into one convenient setting. It will also provide a unique and innovation-driven environment in which IU and IU Health can partner to teach future generations of health care professionals.

President McRobbie speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony
IU President Michael A. McRobbie speaks during the groundbreaking ceremony.

“Today is a truly historic day for Bloomington and southern Indiana and heralds a completely new era in health care in this region,” said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. “The Regional Academic Health Center will bring together in one complex IU Health physicians, clinicians and medical staff with Indiana University faculty, staff and students in a way that will enhance and broaden the services the center provides and that will substantially expand the capacity for education and research by IU’s health sciences programs by co-locating them in a dynamic and state-of-the-art clinical environment.”

McRobbie noted that the Academic Health Sciences Building will provide much-needed opportunities for growth for the IU Bloomington health sciences programs. This will enable IU to increase the number of students in these programs, thus helping to address the acute shortage of health care workers in the state. When complete, it will house about 100 faculty and staff, and train about 1,000 students.

McRobbie also noted that much of the funding for this building will come from Big Ten Network revenue, representing a major contribution by athletics in support of the academic mission of the university.

Work is underway to secure and prep the site, and moving earth will begin in the next few weeks.

For additional details on the project, please visit the Bloomington Build webpage.

IU and IU Health leaders break ground
From left, IU Health and IU leaders Matt Bailey, Lauren Robel, Michael A. McRobbie and Dennis Murphy ceremonially break ground on the new Regional Academic Health Center.

Additional quotes about the project

  • Matt Bailey, president, IU Health South Central Region: ”Since our humble beginnings over a century ago, our hospital has continued to evolve to meet our community’s ever-changing health needs. That spirit of continual growth and improvement brings us to where we are today, at the forefront of a new chapter in our rich history.”
  • Lauren Robel, IU Bloomington provost and executive vice president: ”The creation of the Regional Academic Health Center will mark an important milestone in the evolution of the thriving health sciences programs on campus. It promises to have an enormous impact on our students, who will benefit greatly from an expanded simulation center and working closely with our faculty and other medical professionals. It will also help our faculty advance research that leads to better treatments and cures, and better health for our community and the state. I am particularly grateful for our partnership with IU Health and its support of our education and research mission, as well as for the leadership of Vice Provost David Daleke in helping to turn one our most important campus goals into reality.”
  • Eric J. Holcomb, governor of Indiana: ”Progress comes when we continually move forward, relentlessly looking for ways to innovate. The collaboration between Indiana University and IU Health on the new and innovative Regional Academic Health Center poses a tremendous opportunity to improve the health of Hoosiers throughout southern Indiana.”
  • Karen Allen, director of Social Work Program, IU Bloomington: ”Students and faculty in the Bachelor of Social Work program and IU Bloomington’s new Master of Social Work program are thrilled that we will soon be relocating to a state-of-the-art clinical and academic site. We are excited about the improvements in training and care that will be realized.”
  • Dr. Jonathan Surdam, IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians: ”Having both the educational and patient care facilities co-located gives us the opportunity to enhance medical education. The fact that we will be able to be more collaborative and get more involved in clinical research will improve not only medical education but also patient care outcomes.”
  • Thomas A. Morrison, vice president for capital planning and facilities, Indiana University: ”The design of this new facility reflects the architectural character and context of the IU Bloomington campus. Indiana limestone and other materials, as well as extensive windows to bring in natural light and views of the surrounding landscape, come together in a state-of-the-art facility that will encourage unique collaborative opportunities to deliver health care and health science education to benefit patients, medical professionals, faculty and students.”
  • Cindy Herrington, interim chief nursing officer, IU Health Bloomington Hospital: ”The new facility and model of care that will be implemented in it will allow nurses to practice at the top of their profession. That’s good for the patient and good for our caregivers.”
  • John B. Watkins III, associate dean and director of the Medical Sciences Program, Indiana University Bloomington: ”One of the guiding principles of the design is to provide inter-professional education to students of medicine, nursing, social work, speech and hearing sciences, and other related fields. Bringing the clinical side and the academic side together will yield tremendous opportunities for our students.”

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