In the Community

Indiana University Health Adult Academic Health Center (AHC) Methodist and University Hospitals

Jump ahead on this page

Our Work in the AHC Community  
Day of Service Indianapolis Making a Difference in Our Communities
Understanding the Needs of the Communities
Helping Communities Get Strong
Contact Information

Our Work in the AHC Community

Located in downtown Indianapolis, the IU Health Adult Academic Health Center (AHC) is comprised of Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital and Indiana University Health University Hospital. In addition to providing exceptional patient care, the AHC is highly regarded as an academic center for medical research.

IU Health’s AHC Community Outreach and Engagement Team provides a wide variety of programs, initiatives, and collaborations – working with the community to address the health and wellness needs of central Indiana residents. 

From our work with neighborhood organizations to collaborations and partnerships with local school systems, IU Health’s AHC hospitals are making a difference every day.  Below are just a few of the programs and highlights of our work within each of our community priority initiatives:

Obesity Prevention

IU Health’s AHC Community Outreach and Engagement team is working to combat obesity within the Indianapolis community.  Whether aimed at improving access to healthy fruits and vegetables or creating spaces for residents to take advantage of physical activities, IU Health’s strategic programs and community collaborations are making a difference. 

In 2011 IU Health launched Garden on the Go®, a Jackson Healthcare Hospital Charitable Service Award-winning year-round mobile produce deployment program.  Garden on the Go® brings fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income neighborhoods and food deserts throughout Indianapolis and the surrounding area.  The Strong Schools statewide grant program was created in 2013 to help primary school children increase their daily physical activity.  Ten schools from around Marion County are currently participating, encouraging students to get active, get fit, and get healthy.  IU Health has additionally provided support to organizations working to advance the health of Indianapolis residents, such as Health by Design – an important partner in helping local schools create Safe Routes to School plans.  In addition, IU Health’s continued support of Indy Parks has provided countless families with the opportunity to increase physical activity every day.

Access to Healthcare

In nearly every Indiana community, there are people unable to access quality, affordable healthcare for themselves and their families.  To help residents in need, IU Health has generated several partnerships and collaborations in the Indianapolis community to address population health – like that of the Marion County Public Health Department.  Through this partnership flu vaccines are made available to Indianapolis’ most vulnerable populations. Our Garden on the Go® locations serve as sites for flu vaccine campaigns.  And, thanks to collaboration with Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, more than 300 residents are administered vaccines each year.

Paramount to the need for population health interventions is the demand for primary care. IU Health has a close partnership with HealthNet, a federally qualified health center, with top primary care physicians.  A recent collaboration has provided the west side community with longer service hours, to increase access for individuals and families in need of care.

Behavioral Health

Behavioral health covers a range of conditions, from depression and anxiety to issues related to substance abuse and chemical dependency, and continues to be a top priority in many of IU Health’s communities.   This need is being met in a number of ways by IU Health team members and clinicians both inside and outside the hospital setting.  In addition, a variety of local organizations provide continued care where the hospital setting is not appropriate, such as Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis.   Mental Health America of Greater Indianapolis receives funding from IU Health to further support the organization’s behavioral health outreach initiatives.

Community Revitalization

IU Health has a long history of community revitalization Indianapolis neighborhoods surrounding the Academic Health Center.   Recently, IU Health has been active in the Indianapolis Mid-North and Northwest Quality of Life planning processes.   IU Health has been a consistent supporter of the Near North Development Corporation working alongside the group as they work to provide quality, affordable housing.   AHC team members have also participated in multiple Habitat for Humanity builds over the years with several of the homes placed in the Near North area.

Day of Service Indianapolis

IU Health’s annual Day of Service is our signature volunteer event, engaging more than 2000 team members statewide in activities that create or enhance spaces in local communities in an effort impact our Healthy Weight and Nutrition priority.

In the Indianapolis area, more than 1,200 team members volunteer annually, sharing their time and working alongside the community to be the strength that cares. 

Back to top

Making a Difference in Our Communities

Indiana University Health cares about the health of the communities we serve and strives to make significant and sustained investments to benefit the wellbeing of local Hoosiers.  Through programs and activities that deliver treatment, promote health and healing, or those which help to provide ongoing support for medical research and education, IU Health is committed to strengthening Indiana communities.  IU Health captures and reports community benefit in accordance with IRS rules that:

  • Improve access to healthcare services
  • Enhance the health of the community
  • Advance medical or healthcare knowledge
  • Relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community effort

As defined by the Catholic Healthcare Association guidelines, community benefit includes charity care, unreimbursed costs of government-sponsored programs, support for medical research and other healthcare services that provide care to promote health and wellness in response to identified community needs.

Click to learn more about the most recent community investments from IU Health Methodist and IU Health University.

Discover how IU Health is investing in the community statewide by viewing the 2015 Community Benefit Report.

Back to top

Understanding the Needs of the Communities

Indiana University Health cares about the health and wellness needs of Indiana communities, and every three years, looks to residents to help identify those needs. 

In 2015, IU Health identified the following community health needs, in which to focus our resources:

  • Access to Affordable Healthcare
  • Obesity Prevention
  • Behavioral Health

IU Health invites community members to review the community health needs assessments and provide comments to

View the 2015 IU Health Methodist and University Community Health Needs Assessment
View the IU Health Methodist and University CHNA Implementation Strategies

Back to top

Helping Communities Get Strong

IU Health is committed to addressing the needs of the communities we serve and provide the help they need to get healthy and get strong to live healthy lives. Click here to view the implementation strategies adopted to help Indianapolis get strong.

Community Impact Fund

Leaders from IU Health work to support non-profits engaged in the areas of healthy weight and nutrition, behavioral health, access to healthcare, and community revitalization through a small grant program called the Community Impact Fund. This fund provides non-profit organizations with up to $5,000 to support programming that aligns to one or more of the aforementioned priority areas. To learn more about the Community Impact Fund click here

Back to top

Contact Information

To learn more about Community Outreach and Engagement in the Indianapolis community, please contact us at

Back to top