Rural Health Innovation Collaborative expands

March 21, 2014

The Rural Health Innovation Collaborative has welcomed two new members and is seeking additional partners for its efforts in education, research and economic development.

The board of directors of the Terre Haute-based collaborative has approved membership applications from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Harrison College's Terre Haute campus.

"The collaborative has made tremendous progress in developing and implementing inter-professional educational programs to meet the needs of medically underserved communities," said board President Dan Bradley, also president of Indiana State University. "With the support of these new partners, we will continue and expand that effort along with our work to attract new investment in health care related businesses that will bring new jobs to the Wabash Valley."

The Woods recently announced that it will be offering nursing degrees while Harrison College offers a variety of health-related programs in Terre Haute, including health care management, medical assistant, medical office assistant and medical reimbursement technology.

"Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is pleased to become an active member in this thriving organization to improve the quality of health care in rural communities," said college President Dottie King. "With the launch of our nursing program, we see this opportunity as a true collaboration. Our students will benefit from existing facilities and a dynamic community of health care professionals."

King noted that The Woods has more than 40 years of distance education experience, aligning with technological rural health care needs, while its art therapy, equine assisted therapy and music therapy programs provide a unique facet of health and wellness for the community.

"We are excited to become a member of our local Rural Health Innovation Collaborative and applaud the RHIC's decision to open up membership to new organizations in our community," said Brennan Randolph, campus president of Harrison College. "Providing experiential learning and inter-professional education is essential in today's delivery of higher education. I look forward to seeing our local students from our School of Health Sciences participate in these types of learning simulations. We live in a collaborative community and this is another example of our willingness to work together."

The addition of The Woods and Harrison College-Terre Haute gives the collaborative 13 members in education, health care, government and economic development.

Indiana State University, the Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, Ivy Tech Community College, the Terre Haute Economic Development Commission, the City of Terre Haute, Union Hospital and Hamilton Center were founding partners in the collaborative, which was launched in December 2008. Indiana Area Health Education Centers, the Indiana Rural Health Association and Valley Professionals Community Health Center have since joined as supporting members.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and Harrison College-Terre Haute are joining the collaborative as primary members.

More information about the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative is available at www.therhic.org. Information about additional membership opportunities is available by contacting Stephanie Laws, executive director, at 812-237-3630 or slaws@uhhg.org

Contact: Stephanie Laws, executive director, Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, 812-237-3630 or slaws@uhhg.org

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, and communications chair, Rural Health Innovation Collaborative, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu