IU Health announces plans for regional academic health campus in Bloomington
Indiana University, IU Health and IU Health Bloomington Hospital announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to create a regional academic health campus in Bloomington, which will include a new home for IU Health Bloomington Hospital.
The centerpiece of the project, announced Wednesday morning on the IU Bloomington campus, is the decision to locate IU Health Bloomington Hospital on the current site of the IU golf driving range on 75 acres just off the State Road 45/46 bypass adjacent to the IU Technology Park.
"This is an incredibly exciting time in our hospital's history," said Mark Moore, president of IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the South Central Region. "This collaboration will provide many benefits for our community, our hospital and IU. "We've been working with the community in Bloomington to determine how best to serve and deliver value to our fellow citizens, and this plan provides an extraordinary solution for meeting the emerging health care needs of the region. This synergism will create tremendous opportunity for all parties concerned and especially our patients."
Dan Evans, president and CEO of IU Health, said the project will strengthen the impact of IU Health's tripartite mission in Southern Indiana.
"The creation of a regional academic health campus in Bloomington increases our ability to improve patient care by providing more opportunities for collaboration among our clinical, research and medical staff and faculty," he said. "It strengthens our partnership with the IU School of Medicine and our ability to develop a robust research program to bring more clinical trials and innovative treatment methods to the people of southern Indiana and beyond."
Though still in the early planning stages, the proposed health complex is expected to employ thousands, not only in construction positions but in patient care and support services. It also will allow IU to expand its medical education programs and research opportunities on the Bloomington campus to keep up with increasing demand for practical experience from students in health-related disciplines, especially social work, nursing, hearing and speech therapy, and dentistry.
"This is a momentous occasion for Indiana University and IU Health -- and for the city of Bloomington," Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie said. "This plan will lead to the creation of the most comprehensive academic health campus in the state outside of Indianapolis and will bring together most of the IU Bloomington health science programs, and possibly additional programs, into one place co-located with the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital. This will considerably expand the opportunities for health sciences education and research at IU Bloomington, for innovative new programs in inter-professional education and for new clinical services at the new hospital."
Hospital leadership will remain the same, and the hospital will remain an IU Health entity. Bloomington Hospital earlier announced plans to build a replacement hospital to address an outdated facility and bring cutting-edge health services to the region. The proposed health campus affords adequate space for future expansion, including ancillary business, research, education and technology facilities.
The location provides easy access to State Road 45/46 and State Road 37 and is on current public transit routes. The driving range on the IU Golf Course will move to the current par-3 course adjacent to the driving range. The 18-hole championship course on the site will not be affected by the changes.
City of Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan also praised the opportunities that the complex will provide for the city.
"This is a momentous day for our city and health care for the region," he said. "This announcement solidifies where the new hospital will be built and creates even further synergies between two of our community's largest employers."
In addition to the hospital being built on the site, IU plans to construct a new health education building that will help the campus expand its academic health offerings and give students greater access to clinical opportunities associated with the hospital. The site also is large enough to allow for the eventual relocation of health and medical-related facilities often associated with large hospitals.
"The creation of a health education center next to IU Health Bloomington Hospital not only opens significant learning opportunities for our students but will provide much-needed room for growth in a number of our programs," said Lauren Robel, executive vice president and provost at IU Bloomington. "In many of these programs, such as nursing, social work and dentistry, we could be serving more students than we do today, which eventually will be possible through this partnership."
The regional academic health campus design planning will begin immediately, and milestone updates will be provided to the community.
For more information on the proposal and plans visit, iuhealth.org/bloomingtonrahc.