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Grants boost surgery and nursing at IU Health Tipton Hospital

IU Health Tipton Hospital

Grants boost surgery and nursing at IU Health Tipton Hospital

IU Health Tipton Hospital has received $700,000 in grants for projects focused on counteracting the nationwide shortage of surgeons in rural areas and for filling the gap when longtime nurses retire.

IU Health Foundation and Tipton County Foundation collaborated with the IU School of Medicine to create a fellowship for surgery residents at IU Health Tipton Hospital. The fellowship was developed in response to increasing demand for surgeons in rural settings and a shortage of surgeons interested in working in rural hospitals. It will benefit patients as well as surgeons in residency. The fellowship will create a one- to two-year surgical fellowship rotation at IU Health Tipton Hospital. The fellows will get diverse clinical experiences, close oversight and mentoring, as well as advanced degree leadership work. Patients from the Tipton area will be able to access surgical procedures closer to home. Each foundation contributed $250,000.

The nursing project will focus on education, leadership and community connection for the approximately 83 nurses at the hospital. The hospital benefits from high retention rates, but a generation of nurses will be retiring in the next five to 10 years. Five of the hospital’s nine nursing leaders will be eligible for retirement in the next five to seven years. To fill the gap when long-tenured nurses retire and to encourage nurses to pursue advanced degrees, the hospital will now offer help with continuing education. Components of the grant-funded project include tuition reimbursement for courses at IU Kokomo, internal change management education and advocacy education.

The nursing project received $100,000 from the Tipton County Foundation, plus $100,000 from IU Health Foundation.

“The size and scope of these grants are unprecedented at IU Health Tipton,” said Steve Wertz, chair of the IU Health Tipton Hospital board of directors. “They’re a great example of philanthropy standing in the gap to help pilot and launch some key programs.”

The Tipton County Foundation funding in this project was made possible by two endowed funds held by the foundation: the Lebo Fund for IU Health Tipton Hospital and the Hilton Hobbs Healthcare Tipton Hospital Fund.

“I’m confident that the Lebo and Hilton Hobbs family members who created these endowed funds many years ago would be pleased with the partnerships that their generosity is making possible,” said Mark Baird, executive director of the Tipton County Foundation. “The nursing and rural surgeon fellowship projects will ensure that community members have access to a quality hospital in Tipton for many years to come.”

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