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IU School of Medicine-Northwest receives $100,000 for renovations, expansion

Apr. 10, 2014

The IU School of Medicine-Northwest is one step closer to its goal of fully renovating and expanding its teaching laboratories, including advanced teaching technologies and state-of-the-art patient simulation equipment.

IUSM Northwest check

The Lake County Medical Society presents $100,000 to the IU School of Medicine-Northwest. IUSM Dean Jay Hess stands to the far right.

The Lake County Medical Society presented $100,000 to the regional medical education center on April 8 during a ceremony at the Briar Ridge Country Club in Schererville, Ind. The funds will allow the medical school to further meet the educational needs of its growing student body -- now that the school offers four years of medical education -- but also the health care needs of the region.

"Health care remains the most vital and stable sector of Northwest Indiana’s economy," said Patrick W. Bankston, M.D., associate dean and director of the IU School of Medicine-Northwest. "The educational experience provided at IUSM-Northwest is second to none. The future of patient care in our region is dependent upon our ability to attract and educate enough of tomorrow’s physicians and health care providers today."

“Statistics show that a majority of doctors tend to stay in the area where they are educated and trained. In a broad sense, our generous donors are helping to improve the health and vitality of the region," he added.

The donation is an opportunity for the society’s 400-plus member physicians to provide input and direction for IUSM-Northwest, added Steve Simpson, M.D., president of the Lake County Medical Society.

"It is something that the society is doing to help the community,” Simpson said. “That is what it is all about -- physicians helping the community."

In recent years, the society had been assisting the medical school by providing small scholarships to students. This donation enables the group to make a larger impact, Dr. Simpson said.

Jay L. Hess, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine and IU vice president for university clinical affairs, also participated in Tuesday's event.

For more than 40 years, IUSM-Northwest, part of the only allopathic medical school in Indiana and the only regional medical education center in Northwest Indiana, has been preparing the region’s physicians. More than 650 physicians have been educated through IUSM-Northwest since the medical school’s inception in 1972.

In response to the national doctor shortage -- brought forth by the aging American population -- IU School of Medicine embarked on a state-wide expansion project to increase the number of student doctors across all IU medical school campuses.

Meeting the needs of the growing student body, in October 2012, IUSM-Northwest completed a $1 million renovation and expansion of the classroom facilities, including a flexible learning environment complete with renovated classrooms and technology, the expansion of small group learning rooms and more study rooms.

Additional funds are needed to help further expand the region’s only medical school.

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