The new chief executive officer of the state’s largest healthcare system says a sharpened focus on quality of care and physician engagement can help the provider weather the ongoing changes and challenges in healthcare. IU Health CEO Dennis Murphy took over for Dan Evans this month. The Chicago native and University of Notre Dame graduate is also looking to the future as the system continues with major projects in Indianapolis and Bloomington. During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Murphy said one of his top priorities is to find ways the projects can "be leveraged to enhance the communities we’re part of."

IU Health announced in September that Murphy would succeed Dan Evans. Murphy joined IU Health in 2013, leading projects including clinical quality efforts and the opening of a $500 million replacement women’s hospital. His healthcare career also includes executive positions at several hospitals and academic health systems, such as Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Murphy takes the job in the wake of two major initiatives. In April 2015, IU Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine announced a five-year, $150 million collaboration designed to boost research and treatment development for patients with cancer, neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease. Later that month, the system a $1 billion project involving the consolidation of its downtown Indianapolis hospital operations. That plan included moving University Hospital’s operations into expanded facilities at Methodist Hospital and Riley Hospital For Children.

Murphy says one of the biggest differences between he and Dan Evans is their career paths. Evans, he says, came to the healthcare industry "after a long and distinguished law career" and led from the perspective of an advocate for patients and their families. Murphy says he has spent his entire career in healthcare, leading him to focus more on the day-to-day operations of the system’s facilities and employees. He says he and Evans, however, agree that the most important parts of the system are its patients and staff.

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