Dedication of IU Health Bloomington hospital
Connection and partnership for a new era for healthcare in South central Indiana
I am delighted to be here on this truly historic day to help celebrate the dedication of the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital and the beginning of what will truly be a new era in health care for Bloomington and south-central Indiana. The splendid new hospital building that we dedicate today—together with Indiana University’s Health Sciences Building, which students in our health sciences programs began to occupy more than a year ago—now form a vibrant new academic health center that will serve this region in countless ways.
I understand that team members here have dubbed the center’s beautiful enclosed walkway “the connector.” The name is quite fitting, because the walkway not only connects the two buildings, it is also designed to be a connector of people. It draws students, faculty members, physicians, and employees from both sides of the center together and allows them to connect and engage with one another.
“The connector” is also emblematic of the entire process that led to the establishment of the new Regional Academic Health Center, to its location here on the IU Bloomington campus, and of the impact it will make in the region in the years to come.
This center was born of—and will continue to operate in—a spirit of connection, partnership, and collaboration between Indiana University and our close and vital partner, IU Health.
The new Regional Academic Health Center is already one of the most tangible examples of the impact that IU and IU Health have—working in partnership—on the livelihoods and well-being of the people of Indiana.
The importance of academic health centers
It has been said that no factor has been more important to the achievements of medical practice in the United States than the nation’s academic health centers. They are the main places where the education of the nation’s health care professionals takes place.
They also help generate new medical knowledge and introduce innovative clinical practices. The research they produce helps Americans live longer, healthier lives and holds promise to alleviate suffering for millions of patients.
They also provide the most sophisticated medical care available. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that patients treated at major teaching hospitals have up to 20 percent higher odds of survival, compared to those treated at nonteaching hospitals.
Academic health centers are also often among the largest employers in their states or regions, and they can be major engines for economic development.
Expanding education, catalyzing research, strengthening partnership
One of the many highlights of my first months as president of IU was touring the state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building where future healthcare professionals will learn how to care for Hoosiers and save lives. To celebrate the building and to give our trustees an opportunity to see it and the new hospital firsthand, the April meeting of the IU Board of Trustees was held in the Health Sciences Building.
The Regional Academic Health Center is allowing IU to help address the acute shortage of healthcare workers in the state by increasing enrollment in health sciences programs that had long been constrained by space limitations. The additional research space the center provides will help IU to maximize its full capacity for research in the health sciences. And the center will help translate the discoveries of IU faculty and students into new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures and new treatments for disease.
It also strengthens our partnership with IU Health in countless ways. The construction of the Health Sciences Building and its proximity to the new hospital have already given us the opportunity to expand our nursing bachelor’s degree program and to offer new medical residency programs. It will also give us opportunities to establish future new residencies in areas that will make the most impact in the region.
On behalf of Indiana University, I want to extend our most grateful thanks to Dennis Murphy—and his predecessor as president and CEO of IU Health, Dan Evans—under whose leadership the planning for the new Regional Academic Health Center began. I also want to thank Brian Shockney, president of IU Health South Central Region, Jim Mladucky (muh-LAD-uh-kee), Vice President of Design and Construction at IU Health, and the members of the IU Health Board of Directors. IU Health has been—and will continue to be—a wonderful partner in supporting Indiana University’s missions of excellence in education and research.
I also want to thank a number of IU colleagues, including:
- my predecessor, IU President Emeritus Michael McRobbie,
- former IU Bloomington Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel,
- IU’s Executive Vice President for University Clinical Affairs and Dean of the IU School of Medicine, Jay Hess,
- Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Health Sciences, David Daleke,
all of whom, along with many other IU colleagues, have been essential partners in this enterprise.
With the new IU Health Bloomington Hospital that we dedicate today, the new Regional Academic Health Center joins the nation’s other outstanding academic health centers in leading the way in educating the next generation of health professionals and making scientific breakthroughs that will improve healthcare in ways that we can only begin to imagine.
All of us at Indiana University greatly look forward to working in close partnership with IU Health and Bloomington Hospital in the years and decades to come to support the highest quality health sciences research, clinical care, and education. all with the goal of improving the health and well-being of the people of Bloomington, of this region, of Indiana, and beyond.
 See Kenneth M. Ludmerer, Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the End of Managed Care, (Oxford University Press, 1999), xix.
 Laura G. Burke, Austin B Frakt, Dhruv Kullar, “Associations Between Teaching Status and Mortality in US Hospitals,” JAMA, May 23/30, 2017, Web, Accessed April 26, 2022.