"Continuing a Partnership Toward Better Health"

Groundbreaking for the New Wishard Hospital
May 12, 2010

A Century of Partnership

Thank you, Matt, for that kind introduction, and let me add my congratulations to you and all of your staff.

It is my pleasure to join such a distinguished group on this historic day for Wishard Hospital and the local community.

As many of you know, Wishard Hospital and Indiana University have a long and rich tradition of partnership. It dates back even before our first official teaching affiliation agreement signed in 1909. Even then, many members of the IU School of Medicine faculty served as staff physicians at what was then known as City Hospital.

It seems fitting that the oldest hospital in Indianapolis and the largest medical school in the state, and the second largest in the nation, have such a strong and lasting partnership.

Shaping Education, Research, and an Entire Campus

That partnership has deepened over the course of the last century, improving physician education, supporting the health-care needs of Marion County residents, and advancing health-care treatments and technologies.

Wishard is home to one of the nation’s first electronic medical record systems, a system with IU roots. It was first developed by research scientists at the Regenstrief Institute, which is very closely affiliated with the IU School of Medicine. IU partners with Wishard on the IU/Wishard Level I Trauma Center, one of just two such centers in Indiana, and in a wide range of women’s health services at the IU National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.

In addition to these collaborations, Wishard provides clinical practice and field instruction sites for students in the IU School of Medicine, Dentistry, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Nursing, Social Work, and the Purdue School of Pharmacy.

And of course, these are only a few of a century’s worth of examples I could cite.

From an historical perspective, it is worth noting—especially today— that the IU Medical Center and IUPUI are located where they are because of the presence of Wishard Hospital. Long Hospital, the first building in the IU Medical Center, opened in 1914 and was built along Michigan Street because of that location’s proximity to Wishard (then City Hospital). That, in turn, led to the School of Medicine relocating next to Long Hospital in 1919, and the Medical Center grew up around those two early buildings. Ultimately, the presence of the Medical Center shaped the entire IUPUI campus, which developed to the center’s south.

The recent large and complex land swap between the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County and Indiana University is another example of the partnership which has shaped both institutions and was a crucial step that enabled today’s groundbreaking. It also exemplifies the strong local and state leadership that has encouraged such growth, especially at a time of great economic challenge.

The new Wishard Hospital will ensure that this long and productive partnership will continue into the 21st century and beyond. It will further enhance educational opportunities for the next generation of physicians by providing a technology-rich clinical environment that is easy to navigate and that serves the underserved populations of Marion County.

Conclusion: Continued Progress Toward Better Health

On a broader scale, this facility will add to the region’s already-strong life sciences economy.

In recent years, Indiana University and the IU School of Medicine, in partnership with community leaders across our state, have worked tirelessly to leverage our extensive resources in the life sciences, expand our core research capabilities, and further improve medical education and health care innovation.

The New Wishard project reinforces this progress.

Visionary projects like this allow us to provide the very best medical care to our community, make new discoveries that will improve upon that care, and ensure an exceptional quality of life for all Hoosiers. All of us can be extremely proud of this project.

My congratulations to all involved in this historic achievement, and thank you very much.