Earlier this year, experts in medical and health science education reported the possibility of a multi-institutional and inter-professional campus in Southwestern Indiana. Our area’s renowned hospitals, highly ranked educational institutions and community support organizations already in place set the stage needed for this progressive idea.
Academic leaders from Ivy Tech Community College Southwest, University of Southern Indiana, University of Evansville and Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville have all since signed a letter of intent to go forward with an academic health science and research campus in Evansville. A similar agreement is expected in early 2014from Deaconess Health Systems, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Memorial Hospital & Health Care and Owensboro Health.
This project will be a great benefit to our community. Projected shortages of physicians and other health professionals expected throughout the region over the next several decades could negatively impact health care quality, ability for residents to receive their health care locally and economic growth.
Training healthcare workers together with new educational models will give Indiana an advantage over many other places in the U.S. by improving health care quality, lowering health care costs and making Southwestern Indiana a magnet for clinical, research and educational growth.
When completed, the Academic Health Science & Research campus in Southwestern Indiana will be among the nation’s most dynamic and collaborative campuses – serving as a hot spot of private and public funding, talent and innovation. It will launch new industries and add value to existing industries, creating new high-paying jobs in health care, higher education and related industries.
Projects like this cannot occur without the required funding and active involvement from community leaders who are dedicated to making the investments needed to achieve the project’s full vision. My fellow legislators and I worked to secure $2 million in education funding from the budget to conduct detailed planning for the future campus. Along with that, a local group of business leaders also provided planning funds for the project through the Evansville Regional Business Committee.
The Academic Health Science & Research campus will transform our economy over the next 50 years by creating thousands of high paying jobs, spin-off businesses in health sciences and research innovations. I look forward to seeing all the great effects this project will have on our community, our economy and our state.
Rep. Crouch (R-Evansville) represents portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties.