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INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana University Health has stepped up its commitment to make Indiana a healthier state by investing $100 million in a fund that will address critical health issues affecting Hoosiers over the long term.
The newly established Community Impact Investment Fund will be administered by the Indiana University Health Foundation, which will use income from the fund to award yearly grants to address social issues affecting health outcomes across the state.
“Health care must go beyond treatments in a medical setting,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “This new fund will enhance IU Health’s mission to make Indiana a healthier place, by pooling financial and other resources to combat negative social determinants of health, such as substandard housing, lack of education and literacy, poor lifestyle habits and adverse childhood experiences.”
Research shows that 70 percent of health measures are dependent on environment and behaviors. To address the holistic nature of good health, grants from the IU Health Community Impact Investment Fund will be used to develop strategies in four broad areas: healthy living, educational attainment, workforce development and place-based solutions to improve neighborhoods and alleviate poverty.
The first round of grants has been awarded. They will fund a healthy families program in Indianapolis, a diversion center dealing with opioid abuse in Bloomington, a neighborhood revitalization project in Muncie and an undertaking between faith congregations and hospitals in Central Indiana to better care for socially isolated people with chronic health issues. (See more details on awards below.) The fund is set up to continue well into the future, with new grants awarded annually.
The $100 million commitment by IU Health will be in addition to its community benefit investments, which last year amounted to $711 million. The amount includes free care, existing investments in community health services, medical education, financial and in-kind contributions and losses on federal healthcare programs. IU Health also has invested heavily in its 10-year goal to improve Indiana’s poor overall health rankings, with care initiatives across its 16-hospital system and Riley Children’s Health network focusing on obesity, infant mortality, tobacco cessation and behavioral health.
Establishment of the fund comes as IU Health launches a new initiative called One Measure that encompasses and tracks all the community-facing IU Health programs that influence healthy living habits -- one measure is an expression of our values and our commitment to improving the health of the citizens of Indiana.
Reduce Infant Mortality – IU Health is committing $1 million over three years to help reduce infant and maternal mortality rates in Indiana. Efforts will focus on healthy family education and providing access to providers and contraception at no/low cost to underserved women. The program will be piloted in underserved clinics in Marion County, expanding to rural clinics throughout the state. The projects hopes to serve more than 200 women a month in its first year with education on planning healthy families.
Opioid Crisis Diversion Center Development – IU Health and the IU Health Foundation are investing a combined total of $1,050,000 over three years to support the efforts of Stride (The Monroe County Substance Use Disorder Coalition), a cross-section of community stakeholders including government, corporate and non-profit institutions. Stride is launching a 24-hour crisis center in Monroe County, operated by Centerstone, for those facing a substance use-related crisis. Instead of transporting individuals to jail or a hospital emergency room for acute mental illness or substance use, the program will divert them to a therapeutic alternative better able to help. Local partners who are matching the IU Health Community Impact Investment Fund grant include Cook Group, Bloomington Health Foundation, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, Monroe County Council and Commissioners, Family and Social Services Administration, and the City of Bloomington.
Reduce Social Isolation Through Spiritual Care – IU Health is investing $1.37 million over three years to help faith congregations work with hospitals to care for those who are socially isolated and suffer health issues complicated by depression, anxiety, or loss. Partners from faith communities throughout Marion County and other select communities will care for those most in need of community and health services, with a goal of improving health habits and reducing emergency room misuse and hospital readmissions.
Muncie Neighborhood Impact Project – Over three years, $1 million will be given for revitalization in the Thomas Park-Avondale and South Central neighborhoods in southeast Muncie. The area has struggled with food insecurity, poverty, substance use disorders, vacant/unsafe housing, lack of healthcare access and low educational levels. IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and the 8twelve Coalition will use the funding to bring new trails, bike lanes and an expanded sports center, along with greater food accessibility and more attractive housing options.
About Indiana University HealthNamed among the "Best Hospitals in America" by U.S. News & World Report for 22 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation's leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.
About Indiana University Health FoundationIU Health Foundation leverages the power of philanthropy to support the IU Health goal of making Indiana one of the nation’s healthiest states. IU Health Foundation improves the health of individuals, communities and the state by focusing its philanthropy on people, progress and partnerships. Learn more at iuhealthfoundation.org.