Irsay pledges $1 million to IU Health for addiction services statewide

Patient Story

Indianapolis Colts owner & CEO Jim Irsay announced a $1 million pledge to the IU Health Foundation. This gift will be used by Indiana University Health, in its entirety, to increase access to addiction services for people in need across Indiana. Additionally, a portion of this generous gift will be matched from funding set aside by the IU Health Foundation Board of Directors to target our state’s most critical health needs.

“Addiction is terribly difficult for everyone involved, and it’s important that people aren’t shamed by this disease, because shame kills,” Irsay said. “IU Health has a tremendous program, and we are committed to partnering with them to address this problem across Indiana.”

A 2018 study conducted by Indiana University found that two in three Hoosiers know someone who is struggling with addiction. Thanks in part to recent funding from grants and philanthropic support, IU Health has significantly expanded access to addiction treatment statewide. The system has launched three regional addiction treatment recovery centers across the state, offering group, individual, and cognitive behavioral therapy along with aftercare, which offers needed support for patients after they complete the programs. Completion rates within these programs are above the national average of 40%, with some programs showing completion rates above 90%.

The centers at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie employ “embedded” peer recovery coaches, people with lived experience in addiction who can effectively help others initiate and sustain recovery, in their emergency departments. Peer recovery coach services are available 24/7 statewide through virtual visits to patients in IU Health’s 14 other emergency departments across the state. Peer recovery coaching soon will be implemented within the IU Health system in primary care settings to increase access to addiction services.

“Providing quality care for Hoosiers experiencing addiction is a priority for IU Health,” said Karen Amstutz, MD MBA FAAP, IU Health Vice President of Community Health. “We have built a statewide infrastructure that enables us to reach people even in remote rural sections of Indiana. This gift will be instrumental in getting help to people who need it.”

IU Health has plans to roll out a standardized screening tool for Substance Use Disorder (SUD) to identify people with addiction. The system is piloting a virtual intensive outpatient program from its Bloomington regional hub to the Morgan facility to increase access and decrease transportation barriers to services. Finally, IU Health is expanding access to adolescent addiction services by offering virtual access to the ENCOMPASS program, an evidence-based therapy program for children and teens ages 10 to 18 who face a dual diagnosis of substance abuse and mental health disorders.

“IU Health is committed to making Indiana one of the healthiest states,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “We are delighted to receive Mr. Irsay’s visionary support as a partner in addressing issues of addiction. This support will increase access for those seeking services across our state.”

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