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Indiana University Health has embarked on a bold plan to create a nationally ranked, top-10 neurosciences institute as part of the new IU Health Adult Academic Health Center in downtown Indianapolis.
The goal of the Neuroscience Institute at IU Health is to improve the health of Hoosiers by significantly moving the needle over the next five-to-10 years — and well beyond — in the development and delivery of the newest treatments for patients who suffer from neurological disorders.
“We’re on the cusp of doing some phenomenal things that will enhance people’s lives and reduce the burden of neurological issues,” says Blake Dye, IU Health senior vice president and administrative director of the Neuroscience Institute and Cardiovascular Institute at IU Health.
Dye believes the Institute will set the gold standard for delivering whole-person care to Hoosiers and will make a meaningful difference for people facing dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, traumatic injuries, epilepsy, movement disorders, strokes, brain hemorrhages, nervous system tumors, ALS, multiple sclerosis, muscle diseases, spine problems, and other neurological issues.
To get to that point, the Institute is merging education, research, and clinical services under the umbrella of six centers addressing specific areas of neurological and neurosurgical study, as well as prevention, treatment, ongoing care, and recovery. And all of this, Dye notes, ultimately will have an impact on patient care. “If our efforts as researchers and educators don’t find their way to the bedside, then we’ve failed,” says Dye. “We’re going to transform the way we provide care to patients.”
Dye is confident IU Health will make those bench-to-bedside connections in part because of the Institute’s team. Led by neurologist Laurie Gutmann, MD, Bruce Lamb, PhD, executive director of the Stark Neurosciences Research Institute at the IU School of Medicine, and neurosurgeon Shelly Timmons, MD, PhD, the Institute has drawn researchers, clinicians, and educators from across the U.S. The attraction? According to one physician, it is that the Institute seems poised and able to actually do what it says it will do.
With the incidence of neurological issues increasing, virtually everyone has been affected, Dye notes. As a result, he hopes donors will be interested in supporting the Institute because they can tailor their giving to a particular area of study or care that has personal meaning to them. Since the Institute is growing rapidly, it can offer opportunities for people to focus their giving in those ways.
In fact, Dye says, that kind of support is going to be essential to achieving the vision of impact he and the Institute leadership team carry with them every day. Because so much of healthcare is supported by third-party payments for services rendered, it’s difficult for hospitals to generate enough of a fiscal margin to support groundbreaking discovery.
“There’s no money in the healthcare system for that kind of advancement,” he says. “There’s no insurance coverage for that kind of work.”
As the former administrator of a smaller, community-focused hospital, Dye understands those are the kinds of facilities that can especially benefit from the Institute’s advances. He looks forward to seeing the impact of the Institute’s work spread to all of IU Health’s facilities as well as other hospitals across Indiana so that people in small towns who suffer from a stroke, have a loved one with Alzheimer’s, or deal with other neurological challenges can find help in their own communities.
If you’d like to support neurological care and the Neuroscience Institute at IU Health, contact IU Health Foundation Development Officer Jeffrey Roth at 317.416.4663.