Discovery Park center receives additional $10 million in research funding from Regenstrief Foundation

September 11, 2012  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Regenstrief Foundation is expanding its major partnership with Purdue's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, providing $10 million in additional research funding for the Discovery Park center through 2018, officials announced Tuesday (Sept. 11).

Tim Sands

Tim Sands
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"This funding of $2 million a year for the next five years will allow the Regenstrief Center to focus on front-line impact with its research," said Purdue acting President Timothy Sands. "Researchers will now have additional support to pursue projects with the greatest opportunities to enhance efficiencies in our nation's $2 trillion health-care system."

Jack Shaw, president of the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Foundation, said the partnership, initiated in 2005, has been an investment not just in Purdue, but also in addressing the critical health-care issues facing every American.

"We're excited about what this additional funding will mean to the Purdue center's research efforts for addressing a U.S. health-care industry that remains in serious need of reform," Shaw said.

The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering (RCHE) was borne out of the 2004 report, "Building a Better Delivery System: A New Engineering/Health Care Partnership," by the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine.

Co-written by Purdue industrial engineering professor and RCHE Advisory Committee member W. Dale Compton, the report outlined ways that systems engineering could help deliver safe, effective, timely, equitable, efficient and patient-centered health care.

Regenstrief Center director Steve Witz, Purdue's St. Vincent Health Chair of Healthcare Engineering, said RCHE has leveraged nearly $16 million worth of funding from the Regenstrief Foundation into more than $53 million in health-care related research funding from federal and state agencies, industry players, and organizations.

Steve Witz

Steve Witz
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To date, Regenstrief's research has launched the Infusion Pump Informatics Network to assist several Midwest hospitals in sharing best practices on the use of what are known as "smart pumps."

Witz said the new funding will help the center expand its focus on the center's two research focus areas: care coordination and population health.

RCHE's research and dissemination partners include 13 provider and professional organizations. Mayo Clinic became a partner in 2010, joining others such as the American College of Physicians, Ascension Health and Community Health Network. Regenstrief also was a founding member of the Healthcare Systems Engineering Association, a national professional organization promoting excellence in research and education in health-care systems engineering.

"We envision a health-care system that guides patients and families through their health-care experience, while respecting patient choice, offering physical and psychological supports, and encouraging strong relationships between patients and the health-care professionals accountable for their care," Witz said. "We envision communities that foster health and wellness as well as national, state and local systems of care fully invested in the prevention of disease, injury and disability - reliable, effective and proactive in helping all people reduce the risk and burden of disease."

RCHE also is impacting the next generation of health-care engineers and researchers by offering internships, fellowships and exposing undergraduate and graduate students to research opportunities in a variety of disciplines.

In addition, the center is collaborating with the Regenstrief Institute Inc., which is located at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. An international leader in health-care informatics, the institute was launched in 1969 and today has one of the world's first and largest electronic medical record systems with more than 300 million online clinical results.

The Regenstrief Foundation helped create Purdue's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering with a $3 million gift in 2005 and invested another $11 million in 2008 to support additional research efforts through 2013. The center's formal charge is to use systems engineering, management, science and information technology to improve patient care and safety.

The Regenstrief Foundation is named for benefactor Sam Regenstrief, who emigrated from Vienna to Indianapolis as a child. Regenstrief founded a company that manufactured and popularized the low-cost home dishwasher, at one time producing 37 percent of the world's dishwashers in Connersville, Ind. Regenstrief died in 1988. The foundation's work supports the legacy of Sam Regenstrief's vision: The continued improvement of the health-care delivery system.

The Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering makes its home in the $12.4 million Gerald D. and Edna E. Mann Hall, which opened in Discovery Park in May 2007.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133, pfiorini@purdue.edu

Sources: Timothy Sands, president@purdue.edu

              Steve Witz, 765-496-8303, switz@purdue.edu

              Jack Shaw, 317-848-1400

 

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