Indiana University Health has announced plans to consolidate its downtown Indianapolis hospital operations in a $1 billion project. The five-to-eight year plan includes moving University Hospital's operations into expanded facilities at Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital For Children. Chief Executive Officer Dan Evans compares the effort to iconic projects such as the new Indianapolis International Airport terminal and Lucas Oil Stadium. The system's board of directors has not yet decided on the future use of the University Hospital campus.

The decision was approved Thursday night during the Indiana University Health Board of Directors meeting.

Letter From Indiana University Health Chief Executive Officer Dan Evans

IU Health Team Members:

The founding hospitals of Indiana University Health have been a part of the Indianapolis community and beyond for more than 100 years, providing the best care possible for the patients we serve and supporting the surrounding communities to keep them healthy and vibrant. So today I am pleased to announce a major milestone in our AHC of the Future project. One that will solidify our presence in downtown Indianapolis for the long term and prove our commitment to invest in the health of the people in Indiana.

Yesterday, the IU Health Board of Directors approved a number of recommendations for the AHC of the Future, one of which is a decision on the location of the new adult academic health center. The board approved the recommendation to locate our consolidated adult services hospital on a medical campus centered on Capitol Avenue and 16th Street in downtown Indianapolis, with women's services consolidated at or near Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, where we will provide focused, specialty care settings for mothers and their newborns.

The decision was driven by our newly designed model of care, which includes a streamlined, more efficient adult academic health center serving as the system's principal referral center, providing patients with access to specialists and subspecialists with the expertise to treat severe illnesses and complex cases, along with a network of healthcare services to improve the health of Marion County residents. This model of care also would be central to the research and education components of our mission, which includes training future clinicians and delivering leading-edge medical research and innovation to the bedside.

Because IU Health is committed to improving the health of our patients and communities, our plan also includes the development of an array of ambulatory care services for residents of the neighborhoods around the downtown Indianapolis campus. The campus facilities also will include a medical education building and faculty offices on site to enhance our ongoing collaboration with the IU School of Medicine and support our tripartite mission of clinical care, research and education.

Similar to our recent announcement in Bloomington, Ind., to create a regional academic health campus, our downtown Indianapolis academic health center of the future is another step toward our statewide expansion to facilitate opportunities for inter-professional collaboration and innovation, ensuring that patients from throughout Indiana have access to leading-edge treatments, therapies and clinical best practices.

All of the above recommendations came after a year of intense research, analysis and stakeholder input. The 27-member planning team includes 16 physicians, including three IU School of Medicine chairs, along with other medical and nursing staff from IU Health Methodist and University hospitals. In addition, nine internal work groups assisted the planning team in making a fact-based recommendation to the board.

What's next

The board's approval gives the planning team authority to move forward with space planning and phasing logistics. We will establish forums where patients and their families, as well as hundreds of physicians, nurses and other clinical team members, can provide vital input and express their ideas to improve the patient experience and create the best settings for better patient outcomes, as well as generate innovative ways to enhance our research and education efforts.

Although it will be years before the new campus becomes a reality, I'm pleased that we now have a clear vision for our AHC of the Future—where we will continue to fulfill our mission of serving the people of Indiana and beyond and deliver excellent care far into the future.

I know you have many questions. We will be providing more details about the new campus in the coming weeks and will keep you apprised of each milestone we achieve.

Source: Indiana University Health

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