Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering

About the center

Located in Discovery Park, Purdue University’s hub for interdisciplinary research, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) conducts research to catalyze the transformation of healthcare delivery systems by applying the principles of engineering, management, and science to healthcare system challenges. Center researchers come from nearly all academic colleges at Purdue University. RCHE’s  clinical and dissemination partners represent healthcare providers and professional organizations from around the state and nation. 

The Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Foundation provides core research funding and support for the Regenstrief Center, enabling it to have impact on health system challenges through collaboration with healthcare partners. The foundation’s work supports the legacy of Sam Regenstrief’s vision: The continued improvement of the healthcare delivery system.



The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering will catalyze the transformation of healthcare-delivery systems by applying the principles of engineering, management and science.



The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering envisions a healthcare delivery system capable of providing services to all in need commensurate with the prevailing level of clinical science and treatment.

The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering envisions a transformed healthcare delivery system providing services that optimize quality, cost-effectiveness and access for all persons with need.



Sam and Myrtle Regenstrief

The Regenstrief Foundation was created by Sam and Myrtle Regenstrief in 1967 to promote the application of engineering and production concepts to healthcare delivery. Recognized as an authority on industrial production techniques, Sam Regenstrief believed that these concepts would provide better care at lower cost.

In 2003, the Regenstrief Foundation solicited proposals from several universities to develop a new research center that would translate research in engineering, science and management into recognizable, long-term transformation of healthcare. Purdue University was awarded financial support for three years to establish the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering in January 2005. After three years, the Center is eligible for increased funding in perpetuity (with periodic review), provided that several metrics had been successfully met. These include strong connections with healthcare leaders to create a climate of change and sustain positive momentum in healthcare.

Additional financial support is provided by Purdue University and private and public grants and contributions.


About the Regenstrief Foundation

Samuel Nathan Regenstrief founded the Regenstrief Foundation in 1969. Sam Regenstrief was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1910. He came to America with his family when he was nine years old and they settled in Indianapolis, Indiana. After high school, his talents and ingenuity led to successful careers in accounting and management consulting, and then to becoming vice president of the refrigeration division of Philco in Connersville, Indiana. In 1958, Regenstrief left Philco and organized Design & Manufacturing Corporation in Connersville. He believed that many families would purchase dishwashers to free housewives from this menial chore. He organized D&M to mass produce dishwashers, and by the mid-1970s, D&M employed 2,000 people and produced about 37 percent of the world’s dishwashers.

Sam Regenstrief was recognized nationally as an authority on industrial production techniques. It was his contention that innovation and new technology, applied to medical problems, would provide better healthcare for more people at a lower cost. Sam joined forces with Dr. John Hickam, then chairman of the Department of Medicine at Indiana University, and the Regenstrief Foundation and Regenstrief Institute for Health Care were formed in 1969. The two operated as one entity until June 30, 2002, when a separate entity was formed to house the operations of the Institute.

The Regenstrief Foundation continues to provide funding to the Regenstrief Institute, which is well known for the development of the Regenstrief Medical Record System, pioneering medical informatics research, and health services research (particularly in the area of aging). On January 1, 2005, the Foundation began to provide funding to Purdue University to launch the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering at Purdue. The center’s focus is to apply the principles of engineering, management, and science to improve healthcare delivery.

The nature of the work of the Regenstrief Foundation will remain fully supportive of Sam Regenstrief’s vision: The continued improvement of the health care delivery system. The Foundation will differentiate itself as a grant-making entity by focusing on sustained funding of a number of smaller programs.

The mission of the Regenstrief Foundation is as follows:

“Our mission is to provide support for innovative research directed toward improving the efficiency, quality, and accessibility of healthcare. We will emphasize research in informatics, epidemiology, economics, and interventions in healthcare delivery. We will support selected programs by providing sustained long-term support of institutional partners. In pursuing this mission, we are committed to building on Sam Regenstrief’s legacy by stressing creativity, adaptability, and results in both what we do and how we operate.”

About RCHE

Applying academic research to transform healthcare delivery.

Affiliates and Programs