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Informatics Fellow to Help Wishard’s Transition to Eskenazi Health

February 23, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- Today, the Eskenazi Health Foundation announces that an Indianapolis couple is contributing funds to support a two-year research fellowship in biomedical informatics. The anonymous gift will work in tandem with funds from the Regenstrief Institute to establish the program.

The fellowship will be known as the Mamlin-McDonald Biomedical Informatics Fellowship and will focus on improving processes of care in the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus by the effective use of health information technology. A competition will be published and the new fellow will be selected and recruited for the 2012-13 and the 2013-14 academic years. 

Dr. William Tierney, president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, chief of internal medicine at Wishard Health Services and associate dean for clinical effectiveness research at Indiana University School of Medicine, and Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO and medical director of Wishard Health Services, Regenstrief investigator and associate dean for Wishard affairs at the IU School of Medicine, will work directly with the fellow.

“The Mamlin-McDonald Biomedical Informatics Fellowship ensures that special attention is given to several important projects at Wishard by a postgraduate physician interested in becoming an expert in the field of biomedical informatics,” Dr. Tierney said. “We are deeply grateful for the funding and the ability to be on the cutting edge of developing useful electronic tools that will enhance the ability of Wishard, soon to be Eskenazi Health, to continue to serve the community.” 

The fellowship program has been named after two physicians who have contributed greatly to both Wishard and Regenstrief. Mamlin, a long-time chief of internal medicine at Wishard, created the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics at IU and Wishard in 1970, which today serves patients on Wishard’s internal medicine units and at its community health centers. McDonald is one of the world’s pioneers in biomedical informatics, spending more than 30 years at IU and Wishard and creating one of the nation’s first electronic health records systems. That first electronic health records system put Wishard on the path to becoming a global leader in medical informatics.

“For more than 40 years, Wishard has been at the cutting edge of biomedical informatics,” Dr. Harris said.  “This fellowship will allow us to continue to be at the forefront of developing tomorrow’s electronic tools to aid physicians and nurses as they care for our patients.”

“I can think of no two others who have been more instrumental in making Wishard what it is today than Dr. Joe Mamlin and Dr. Clem McDonald,” said Dr. Harris. “Their foresight, their innovation, their energy, and their drive to improve health care delivery are a big part of Wishard’s very core.  We are honored to establish this fellowship in their honor, and we are extraordinarily thankful to the generous donors who have made it possible.”

The fellowship is available to physicians, and the awardee will conduct research on biomedical informatics at Wishard Memorial Hospital and, in the fellow’s final term, at the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and its affiliated outpatient services. The fellow will also practice at Wishard and Eskenazi, both in the hospital and in the community health centers, providing direct service to the most vulnerable patients in the community. The fellow will be named associate chief medical information officer at Wishard and will be deeply engaged in day-to-day activities within the health system, employing clinical informatics to improve the quality, efficiency, and outcomes of patient care.

“The gift to establish this fellowship, along with funding from Regenstrief Institute, will contribute positively to the health and quality of life of not only our community, but communities around the world,” said Ernest Vargo II, CFRE, president and CEO, Eskenazi Health Foundation. “We are delighted and grateful for the opportunity to support such an important and far-reaching initiative.”

For more than 40 years, the Wishard-Regenstrief partnership has produced groundbreaking work that provides the foundation for electronic medical record systems in use around the globe. These advancements have resulted in improvements that include reducing redundant outpatient test orders, decreasing the time needed from admission to first drug administration, and reducing the number of adverse drug events and medication errors; lowering hospital costs; increasing the frequency of discussions about advanced care directives; and facilitating collaborative patient management. Through the Wishard-Regenstrief partnership, Wishard was one of the first hospitals in the world to develop and utilize electronic medical records and was also the first to deploy that technology to patients in the field via ambulances.

Cited as a national model, the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems awarded the 2010 President's Award for Health Reform Readiness and Leadership to the Wishard-Regenstrief partnership. This partnership has generated more than 350 peer-reviewed research papers focusing on the effect of physicians interacting with computers to enhance medical care, one of the largest contributions to the world's collection of academic literature on this subject.

The Eskenazi Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness that support health care initiatives benefiting residents of Marion County, with special emphasis on its poor and vulnerable populations. The foundation was established as the Wishard Memorial Foundation in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and became the Eskenazi Health Foundation effective Oct. 1, 2011.

The Eskenazi Health Foundation is raising philanthropic support for construction of the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus in addition to current Wishard programs. The Eskenazi Health project is creating 4,400 jobs and will transform the landscape of health care in Indianapolis. Marion County voters approved construction of new facilities for Wishard in the Nov. 3, 2009, election, with 85 percent support for the measure, and Wishard began work immediately. Wishard plans to complete the new facilities at the end of 2013 and be fully operational in 2014. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit www.EskenaziHealthFoundation.org. For more information about the construction project, visit www.EskenaziHealth.org.

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Wishard Health Services

For more than 150 years, Wishard Health Services has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to the residents of Marion County. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Midtown Community Mental Health Center, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Wishard conducts groundbreaking work that leads health information technology around the globe. Wishard also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Wishard partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. Marion County voters approved construction of a new Wishard hospital with 85 percent support for the measure. Wishard received a $40 million gift from Indianapolis’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, in honor of whom Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County will name the new hospital and health system once the new facility is complete in December 2013.

Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

An internationally respected informatics and healthcare research organization, the Regenstrief Institute is recognized for its role in improving quality of care, increasing efficiency of healthcare delivery, preventing medical errors and enhancing patient safety. Established in 1969, the Institute is closely associated with the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County.

Tagged with: Regenstrief, Wishard

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