Union Health

The Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health has been instrumental in the creation and growth of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) and its Simulation Center. The RHIC represents a unique opportunity to align the resources and strategic direction of several community institutions in Terre Haute to address a grand challenge - improving and expanding health care in our community.

 

RHIC

 

Partners

  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University, School of Medicine
  • Union Hospital, Inc.
  • IVY Tech Community College
  • Hamilton Center
  • Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation
  • City of Terre Haute

Supporting Partners

  • Indiana Rural Health Association
  • Valley Professionals Community Health Center
  • Indiana AHEC

Primary Partners

Mission

The mission of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) is to improve and expand inter-professional education, training, and deployment of future health care providers, especially for those committed to serving rural populations.

The RHIC also will be an economic engine for west-central Indiana through the development of health care-related jobs and a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization in Terre Haute.

Vision

Indiana faces severe health care worker shortages. These shortages are particularly severe in Indiana's more rural areas. A key federal report indicates that "the distribution of available health professionals is a particularly acute issue in certain locations. These medically underserved areas, ranging from isolated rural areas to inner cities, have problems attracting and retaining health care professionals." The report further states that "these concerns are likely to increase in the future as demographic pressures associated with an aging population are expected to both increase demand for health services and limit the pool of available workers."

In May 2004, the Indiana Medicine and Public Health Initiative published "The Community Health Improvement Plan, 2004-2007," stating that Indiana ranks 42nd in the nation in doctor to population ratio. Half of Indiana's 92 counties are designated as whole or partial Medically Underserved Areas and 17 counties are designated as Health Professions Shortage Areas, while 11 are low-income counties. A recent analysis by the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies found that, in Indiana, family physicians have an economic impact of $949,269 per doctor, per year. In addition, every five jobs generated within the health sector results in four additional jobs within the community.

Union Hospital and its Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, Indiana University School of Medicine - Terre Haute, Indiana State University and Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley (collectively, "the Founding Partners") each have successful programs to recruit students into health care focused careers and particularly to prepare them for service in rural areas. Building on this nationally-recognized record of success, the Founding Partners - which also includes the Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation and the City of Terre Haute - are jointly developing a Rural Health Innovation Collaborative ("the Collaborative") in Terre Haute, Indiana, to respond to the current and worsening health care worker shortages. In addition to addressing workforce needs, the development of the Collaborative will result in neighborhood revitalization and economic development, including physical infrastructure build-out, business expansion and attraction, and the increase of rural health care services, training and research.

The Collaborative will be anchored by the Union Hospital campus to the north and the Indiana State University campus to the south. This largely distressed area will become the site of an unique and expanding constellation of mixed-use commercial and residential property, as well as multidisciplinary, rural-focused training and research sites. As such, the Collaborative and the focused redevelopment will make critical contributions to the health and economic vitality of the local community, the region, and the state.

 

For additional information, visit the RHIC's site.