Officials Sign Letter of Intent to Expand IU Medical School in Area



Officials sign letter of intent to expand IU Medical School in area
By Susan Orr/Evansville Courier & Press
Originally published 11:33 a.m., October 18, 2013
Updated 11:33 a.m., October 18, 2013
EVANSVILLE — With the stroke of a pen, local educational leaders took a significant step forward Friday in the efforts to expand medical education in the region.  Representatives of the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville, the University of Evansville, the University of Southern Indiana and Ivy Tech Community College signed letters of intent to participate in a new interdisciplinary health science research and education campus. The signing ceremony took place at the Chamber of Commerce of Southwest Indiana.
The project has been referred to popularly as the “IU medical school project,” but in reality the project will include all four of the above-mentioned schools, multiple health science degree programs, and four regional hospitals. Plans also call for a 40,000-square-foot simulation center to be used for training, research and possibly product development work.
“When this health care campus is opened, it will be home to 1,600 to 2,000 health care students from all four universities,” said Steven Becker, director and associate dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville.
Speakers noted that the collaborative nature of the project is unusual.  “This project will be one of only a handful of like projects in the nation,” said Christy Gillenwater, the chamber of commerce’s president and chief executive officer.  “We have an opportunity to be a standout in the nation.”
A site for the project has not yet been selected. Next month, IU is expected to issue a request for proposals for possible locations.  IU’s Board of Trustees are expected to select a site at the board’s February or April board meeting, Becker said.
Groundbreaking is planned for summer 2015, and the campus is set to open in August 2017.