When it comes to health rankings, Indiana has some work to do. We currently stand as the 39th healthiest state in the U.S. and several big challenges confront us. From tobacco and opioid addiction to infant mortality, obesity, behavioral health and more, the need to get healthier is urgent and incremental improvement is not the answer.

As the state’s largest nonprofit health system, our goal is to make Indiana one of the healthiest states in America. To achieve that, we must grow and innovate around the clinical and research expertise Hoosiers depend on providers to deliver.

Donors have played a vital role in addressing so many of the challenges and opportunities we face with our state’s health. They know how vital health philanthropy is to our future well-being and they believe in the power that giving to health charities holds to make Indiana healthier.

We’ll continue to need the support of these difference makers. In addition, we need even more business and community leaders to engage in this important effort so we can reach a deeper level of philanthropic engagement and a greater sense of urgency about our health across Indiana.

We’re asking Hoosiers to join us in this endeavor to make the improvement of our public health a much bigger priority across all communities. For those able and inclined to engage, the new IU Health Foundation sees three key areas of opportunity.

First, more philanthropy is needed across Indiana to attract and retain the most talented care professionals to serve patients across the state. We must invest more in medical and leadership talent and continually train these leaders to deliver top quality care.

Next, we need more philanthropy across Indiana to unlock cures and discoveries through translational research and innovation. This work is essential to addressing both current and future challenges.

Finally, we need more philanthropy across Indiana that leverages strategic public and private partnerships to advance the health of all Hoosiers. From our biggest cities to our smallest rural areas, we need more of us rowing in the same direction to most effectively address the needs on the ground.

Philanthropy has played a key role in helping us bring cutting-edge health procedures and care processes to patients across Indiana. One example of that is our precision genomics clinic which focuses on personalized medicine and promises to revolutionize how patients with complex illnesses are treated.

Another example of the power of philanthropy includes the expanded use of telemedicine to diagnose, treat and monitor patients remotely. In addition, the funding and use of advanced analytics is also helping Hoosiers by identifying those patients most at risk of requiring hospitalization.

IU Health is committed to making Indiana one of the healthiest states in America. We are 30,000 team members and 16 hospitals strong. But, it’s going to take a statewide effort to address our biggest health challenges. We’re proud to serve our great state and we’re excited about the role philanthropy will play in the months and years ahead as we make our shared vision of improved health a reality. 

Crystal Miller is chief philanthropy officer at IU Health and president of the IU Health Foundation.

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