IU Health Board Announces Community Health Grants

The Indiana University Health Board of Directors has announced recipients of its Community Health Improvement Grants. With these grants, nearly $750,000 will fund projects that address IU Health priorities—behavioral health/substance abuse, obesity, tobacco use, and infant mortality—as well as community-specific needs.

“The thoughtfulness and collaboration demonstrated in these grant applications further demonstrates my confidence that IU Health is leading the way to solve Indiana’s big health challenges,” said Dennis Murphy, president and chief executive officer of IU Health. “I congratulate the recipients and look forward to seeing solutions that can be rolled out statewide.”

The grants, administered by the Indiana University Health Foundation, will go to:

  • Family Vitality Initiative development and implementation, IU Health South Central Region, $230,000 over two years. By bringing together existing healthcare providers, social workers and researchers, this integrated program will take a holistic approach to addressing substance-related healthcare issues, especially among the most vulnerable populations of women and children. The South Central Region has seen alarming increases in the numbers of infants who test positive for opiates at birth, opioid-related encounters in each emergency department, and mothers struggling with addiction including smoking.
  • Hope Healthcare Services Program, IU Health West, $203,000 over two years. Hope Healthcare Services in Avon is the only entity in Hendricks County that provides primary medical and dental care to uninsured patients. It is staffed entirely by volunteer clinicians, many of them IU Health team members, and helps more than 900 patients a year out of nearly 15,000 uninsured adults in Hendricks County. This grant will fund the clinic’s first-ever employee, a nurse practitioner, allowing for consistent operating hours, and behavioral health services on-site and via tele-health. With this staffed clinic, they anticipate seeing more than 4,000 patients per year. 
  • Perinatal Coordinator to address infant mortality, IU Health East Central Region, $124,000 over two years. This grant funds a new staff member will focus on infants and children in Delaware, Blackford and Jay counties. This includes facilitating inter-professional collaboration, educating hospital staff, increasing collaboration with supporting agencies involved with bereavement, safe sleep, tobacco-free and addiction programs, and tracking outcomes in the areas of birthweight, birth defects and mortality.
  • Continuum of Mental Health Care Program, IU Health West Central Region, $85,247 for one year. In terms of mental illness and access to mental health care, Indiana ranks 48th out of 51 states. In its pilot year, this project will increase capacity to provide screening, support and counseling in Clinton, Tippecanoe and White counties by partnering with local providers—Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition, Learning Network of Clinton County, and Open Door Clinic— to offer technical assistance and training.
  • Prescription Drug Take-back Program, IU Health East Central Region, $49,000 over four years. Grant funds will be used to place secure drug take-back kiosks at IU Health pharmacies in Yorktown, Hartford City and two locations in Muncie. Such kiosks make the disposal of medications—including opioids and other controlled substances ripe for abuse and theft—safer and more convenient. The region’s single kiosk now takes in an average of 1,000 pounds of medicine a year; the new kiosks have the potential to collect 4,000 pounds.
  • Fishers Fire Department, Paramedicine Behavioral Response Program, IU Health North Central Region, $43,680 for one year. This pilot project expands the city’s existing paramedicine program to provide direct follow-up and support services for mental health patients. Paramedics specially trained in crisis intervention will act as patient advocates and navigators. The program will also introduce new protocols that decrease patient stress and anxiety during emergency responses, and will divert patients to behavioral services instead of emergency departments when appropriate.

The IU Health Community Health Grants seek to improve community health by supporting collaboration among IU Health Regional Hospital Boards and Community Health Committees, and local resources and programs. 

Grants are awarded to programs that seem most likely to improve access to health services, enhance the health of the community, advance medical or healthcare knowledge, and relieve or reduce the burden of government or other community efforts. Grantees must also build capacity for addressing these community health issues going forward. 

The IU Health Community Health Grants Selection Committee is comprised of the chairs of the Values, Governance and Quality committees of the IU Health Board.

For more information on philanthropy’s critical role in addressing healthcare issues in Indiana, visit iuhealthfoundation.org.