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Office of the President, Michael A. McRobbie

President's Update: February 2011

Dear Friend of Indiana University,

Just a few days ago, I helped to announce an important undertaking that, now and in many years to come, will have an extraordinary impact on the health and lives of Hoosiers all across our state—the transition of Clarian Health to Indiana University Health.

More than just a name change, this transition signals a new era in health care for Hoosiers and others across the nation.

As Indiana University reaffirms its partnership with the newly named Indiana University Health—which has evolved and grown into one of the nation’s leading health-care networks—Hoosiers will have enhanced access to the very latest advances in patient care, research, and treatment, state-of-the-art hospitals and health centers, and the nation’s best primary care and specialty physicians. Just last year, 11 IU Health clinical programs were ranked among the top 50 national programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2010-2011 edition of “America’s Best Hospitals.”

A great partner: Indiana University Health

First formed in 1997 as Clarian Health, Indiana University Health (http://iuhealth.org) continues to support IU’s mission of educational and research excellence. Under the leadership of president and chief executive officer Dan Evans, Indiana University Health will also continue to take the nationally recognized clinical and research capabilities of the IU School of Medicine, the second-largest school of medicine in the nation, to all parts of the state.

Indeed, during the coming year, as each of Clarian’s dozens of facilities across Indiana is renamed an Indiana University Health facility, the impact that IU has on the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers will become strikingly evident.

Through the educational, research, and clinical activities at our schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, optometry, social work, and health and rehabilitation science, IU is not only making a dramatic contribution to Hoosier health and social development, it is also developing the state’s economy by providing a highly educated, well-trained workforce. More than 50 percent of Indiana’s physicians, 40 percent of nurses, 90 percent of dentists, and 60 percent of optometrists are trained at IU.

IU’s partnership with Indiana University Health also supports and strengthens the university. With the help of Indiana University Health, we have added 1.2 million square feet of teaching, research, and living space in the past several years. These facilities have created opportunities for faculty, staff, and students alike, and they help the university support the highest quality research, clinical care, education, and workforce development in the health sciences. 

Indeed, the long-term success of IU’s clinical programs greatly depends on the success of our partnership with Indiana University Health, as well as on coordinated efforts with our other clinical partners, including Wishard Health System, the Roudebush VA Medical Center, and IU Health Physicians (formerly Indiana Clinic). These partnerships have significant potential to benefit IU’s clinical programs in the form of ever-improving educational venues, research opportunities, and direct financial support.

Furthering a tradition of excellence

The support and the successes of our partners have allowed IU to continue building upon its magnificent tradition of excellence in the health and life sciences, which includes Nobel Prizes for fundamental discoveries about the basic building blocks of life itself, to cures and treatments for deadly diseases such as cancer.

IU’s success in furthering this tradition is also reflected in the amount of external support we have recently received for our research in these areas, as well as in the quality and impact of our efforts. Faculty at the IU School of Medicine received more than $264 million in research grants awarded last fiscal year and have already been awarded more than $173 million in FY 2011.

In just the past few weeks, school researchers have unveiled a potential lead in the development of new anti-cancer agents; a routine blood test that may accurately pinpoint individuals with pre-diabetes conditions; a potential new gene associated with Alzheimer’s disease; and a new model that could result in better treatments for certain hormone deficiency problems in children.

Furthermore, in November, 21 physicians at the medical school were recognized as the best in their field in the recent edition of America’s Top Doctors for Cancer. The physicians practice at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, IU Hospital, Methodist Hospital, and Riley Hospital for Children, all of which are affiliated with Indiana University Health.

Looking forward

In today’s challenging economic times, exceptional people and partnerships continue to allow IU to pursue its core education and research missions, further its traditions of excellence, and enhance our state. As the partnership between IU and the newly named Indiana University Health continues to grow and prosper, all of us can look forward to a healthier, stronger and more successful Indiana.