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April 23, 2007

Purdue's Regenstrief Center, Community Health Network form $1.5 million research collaboration

Stephen Shortell tours Discovery Park
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Community Health Network, a multi-hospital system in Indianapolis, and Purdue University's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering have announced the formation of a strategic partnership. In creating the partnership, officials at Community Health Network and the Regenstrief Center say they anticipate a $1.5 million three-year collaboration to identify research opportunities for improving health-care delivery at the regional and national levels.

Details of the partnership will be announced at 1:30 p.m. Monday (April 23) during a Discovery Lecture Series event sponsored by the Regenstrief Center, Purdue's Discovery Park and Lilly Endowment.

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Community Health Network, one of the largest health-care providers in the state, employs more than 10,000 people at its five major hospitals and more than 70 sites of care in central Indiana.

"Since it was launched two years ago, the Regenstrief Center has demonstrated its leadership for applying engineering principles to give us a clearer picture on how hospitals can improve health-care delivery," Purdue Provost Sally Mason said in announcing the agreement. "Working as partners, Community Health Network and the Regenstrief Center will be able to provide new strategies for helping patients and physicians in their pursuit of the best health care possible."

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William E. Corley, president and chief executive officer at Community Health Network, said the first task of the partnership is to develop a roadmap for how to use Regenstrief's expertise in applying engineering principles for analyzing how the health-care industry, particularly hospital operations, can best meet the current and future needs of patients and their families.

"Our mission at Community Health Network has been to provide exceptional health care for families living in the communities we serve. Since opening the doors at our first hospital over 50 years ago, Hoosiers of all ages have come to depend on us for that care and caring," Corley said. "This collaboration with the Regenstrief Center will enable us and other health-related organizations to explore opportunities that will enhance the quality, accessibility and affordability of care."

Earlier this month, Community completed its $170 million expansion of Community Hospital North. The new facility, envisioned as the next evolution in health care, creates an exceptional environment for healing, focusing on the special needs of patients and their families through innovative care models and technology.

In March, Community opened its $7 million radiation oncology treatment center at Community Hospital East. The regional facility features intensity-modulated radiotherapy and image-guided radiotherapy, which allows doctors to locate and target tumors more quickly and precisely. In 2003 Community opened The Indiana Heart Hospital, becoming one of the most advanced all-digital facilities for heart care and advanced technology for central Indiana cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons.

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Steven Witz, executive director of the Regenstrief Center, said the center's ability to design and implement effective and sustainable solutions is strongly linked to its partnerships with professionals throughout the health-care industry.

"By drawing on talent from all of Purdue's 13 schools and colleges, the Regenstrief Center is gaining industry attention for its holistic, interdisciplinary approach to improve the cost, efficiency, quality and safety of health-care delivery," Witz said. "By collaborating with Community Health Network, we will be able to advance our process-engineering principles and create a framework that ensures this nation's health-care system remains the best and most efficient in the world."

This spring, construction will be completed on the $12.4 million Gerald D. and Edna E. Mann Hall, which will be home to the Regenstrief Center and several other Discovery Park centers. About 25 percent of Mann Hall will be for the Regenstrief Center; the rest will be utilized by Discovery Park's e-Enterprise Center, Center for Advanced Manufacturing, Oncological Sciences Center and Homeland Security Institute.

Ranked among the top 20 integrated health-care networks nationally, Community Health Network includes Community Hospitals East, North and South in Indianapolis and Community Hospital Anderson; The Indiana Heart Hospital; MedCheck urgent care centers; Indiana Surgery Centers; and Community Physicians of Indiana, a 170 member primary care physician network. Community also operates the largest home care company in Indiana, along with several long-term care facilities.

Writers: Phillip Fiorini, (765) 496-3133,

Lynda de Widt, (765) 621-3636,

Sources: Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709,

William Corley, (317) 904-8845

Steven Witz, (765) 496-8303,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

Stephen Shortell, dean of the School of Public Health at the University of California at Berkeley, from left, Steven Witz, director of Purdue's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, and Jack Frank, vice president of network development and marketing at Indianapolis-based Community Health Network, tour Discovery Park on Monday (April 23). The tour was in conjunction with a daylong Discovery Lecture Series event, sponsored by the Regenstrief Center, Lilly Endowment and Purdue. Shortell was one of the event's keynote speakers. Members of the National Academy of Engineers also participated in the tour of the park's Bindley Bioscience and Birck Nanotechnology centers. The Regenstrief portion of the free conference, titled Advancing the Future of Healthcare Delivery: Access, Quality and Responsibility, continues Tuesday (April 24) in Stewart Center, Room 218. (Purdue News Service photo/Mark Simons)

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