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Amanda J. Billings
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This Story is provided by The Herald Times

Task force formed to study possible hospital relocation

By Dann Denny 331-4350 |
October 22, 2008

A 24-member community task force is studying the question of whether a new hospital should be constructed on an 85-acre tract at North Park, near the intersection of Ind. 46 and Ind. 37.

The task force was selected by Bloomington Hospital’s board of directors in cooperation with Indiana University, Ivy Tech, the City of Bloomington and other local organizations. It is being chaired by Jim Perin, a hospital board member and past chairman of the board.

Other members include representatives from city, county and state government; the Local Council of Women, neighborhood associations, Indiana University, Ivy Tech, and various businesses, physicians and community organizations.

Jim Perin, hospital board member
Chris Kroll, hospital board member
Ellie Rogers, LCW board member
Chris Sturbaum, Bloomington City Council member
Tim Mayer, Bloomington City Council member
Pat Stoffers, Monroe County commissioner
Jack Baker, McDoel Gardens Neighborhood
Sarah Ryterband; Prospect Hill Neighborhood
Tom Micuda, city planning director
Penny Caudill, Monroe County Health Department administrator
Kirk White, IU director of community relations
Winston Shindell, Volunteers in Medicine Clinic
Christy Gillenwater, Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Vi Simpson, state senator
Jim Murphy, CFC
Chris Schrader, Author Solutions
John Fernandez, First Capital
Barry Lessow, executive director of United Way of Monroe County
George Allison, Owen County representative
Randy Hawkins, Lawrence County representative
Candace Isom, Orange County representative
John Whikehart, president of Ivy Tech
Peter Wallskog, hospitalist on staff at Bloomington Hospital
Jim Faris, chief of Bloomington Hospital’s medical staff

Amanda Roach, Bloomington Hospital’s spokeswoman, said the hospital will provide the task force with data it’s been collecting for the development of a comprehensive plan for delivering health care to the 413,000 patients in its 10-county service region in the years ahead.

The task force will analyze that data over the next 18 months to provide input on whether or not the current campus can accommodate the types of facilities needed to support future health care delivery in the region. The task force will then report its findings to the hospital’s board of directors.

Roach said the task force, which will be governed by a charter that will outline its purpose, will determine how frequently it will meet. And in conjunction with the council, the group will conduct several community forums to discuss and answer questions about the relocation issue.

Plans with Clarian

Though a challenge to the plan is on the table tonight, Bloomington Hospital and Clarian Health have picked Kaufman, Hall and Associates Inc. to facilitate a regional plan for the future — part of the next step toward the integration of the two Indiana-based health care hospital systems.

Kaufman Hall and Associates, a national health care strategy and financial advisory firm, will work with leaders from Clarian Health and Bloomington Hospital to:

Develop a comprehensive market, strategic and financial fact base to act as a foundation for regional planning.

Analyze the data to build shared knowledge about the health care needs of south-central Indiana.

Work with a community task force and hospital leadership to define facility needs for the region, and potential steps to take to meet those needs.

Hospital officials said enlisting Kaufman Hall to facilitate the regional planning effort marks a significant step toward a merger between the hospital and Clarian.

The two parties signed a letter of intent in June, and they plan to sign a definitive agreement later this year that will mark the beginning of an 18-month planning process to be led by Kaufman Hall.

But a faction of the Local Council of Women is working to force reconsideration of those plans. Council members are expected to cram into the Convention Center’s great room at 7 p.m. tonight for a special meeting to vote on a resolution that could rescind a June 16 vote by the council that made it possible for Bloomington Hospital to pursue a merger with Clarian Health Partners.

A majority vote of those attending is needed to reverse the vote.

Clarian Health is an Indiana-based, private, non-profit organization offering a broad base of services, specialized pediatric care and a Level 1 Trauma Center.

Clarian owns or is affiliated with 18 hospitals and health centers throughout Indiana. It also is affiliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine, the nation’s second-largest medical center.

Clarian Health operates Methodist Hospital, Indiana University Hospital and Riley Hospital for Children campuses as a single hospital under Indiana law.