Originally published in DCCJournal.com – Winter 2020

Destination Healthcare – Indiana Healthcare Network Prepares for Large-Scale Medical Campus Expansion Complete with New Hospital, Educational Facilities

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Partnered with Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University Health provides leading-edge healthcare services to Hoosiers across the state. Now, IU Health is making a major investment in its home city of Indianapolis to create a destination campus for healthcare and medical research.

IU Health’s new medical campus project will build a new hospital and research and educational facilities across a 44-acre site in downtown Indianapolis. Targeted to open in late 2026, the $1.6 billion construction project is the largest investment made by IU Health yet.

Located just south of IU Health’s existing Methodist Hospital, the new health-science campus will replace aging facilities from both Methodist Hospital and IU Health University Hospital, which is approximately 1.5 miles away. By consolidating the two hospitals’ operations, IU Health aims to eliminate costly duplication of high-acuity services and create a mixed-use, adaptable healthcare facility in central downtown. In total, the new three-tower hospital will hold approximately 576 private patient beds, as well as expansive outpatient care services.

“The time has come to move ahead on this transformative project to revitalize our downtown facilities,” Dennis Murphy, President and CEO of IU Health, says in a statement. “It has taken us several years to imagine, analyze and decide how best to proceed. Together with city officials, neighbors and other partners, we are designing a campus with a destination hospital to provide state-of-the-art care for future generations of Hoosiers.”


Medical Destination

As of 2019, Indiana was ranked #41 on the United Health Foundation’s list of the healthiest states in the nation. This ranking is something that IU Health is committed to improving, in part through its new hospital. Jim Mladucky, Vice President of Design and Construction for IU Health, says the new campus will be a transformative, world-class medical community designed to build strong ties to the larger community of Indianapolis and the state.

The campus will not only serve as a healthcare facility but also the health-sciences center for Indiana University School of Medicine. The campus will host new research and education facilities to keep the IU Health Academic Health Center at the forefront of medical innovations, research and teaching.

“It is a transformative project, a catalyst for improving the health of our city and state residents. The IU Health Academic Health Center will generate multiple investments in and around the campus neighborhood. Together with our project, these investments will help actively improve the health of the community we serve,” Mladucky says. “The new IU Health Academic Health Center is an investment in destination health for us and for the state of Indiana. As one of the only academic medical centers in Indiana, the IU Health Academic Health Center will house the latest technol­ogy, and leverage current research to enhance care and advance cures…It will definitely be a destination for health and innovation for Indiana and, frankly, the Midwest.”



To create and execute a consistent vision for the proj­ect, IU Health is working with an “executive team” of world-class partners. This team includes the architec­ture firm HOK, construction manager AECOM Hunt, campus planner and landscape architect Browning Day and engineering firm Bard Rao + Athanas Consulting Engineers (BR+A).

“The executive team is helping IU Health set the vision and standards for the project. With those in place, IU Health will select the project’s Architect of Record (AOR) from the local design community. While the AOR will complete the project, taking the vision from concept through execution and opening, the executive team will continue in their oversight role embedded as IU Health team members,” says Mladucky. “As with all large projects, many will touch it. This executive team oversight approach will ensure the project vision remains at the forefront, so expectations remain intact throughout the project’s life…We want and need one steady, consistent vision, which is drawn and woven through every aspect of this project.”

Leveraging the skills of this executive team, IU Health has designed the new hospital with the future at the forefront. To stay relevant and effective, IU Health is exploring opportunities that allow the facility to adapt alongside evolutions in healthcare delivery and treatment.

These forward-thinking aspects include potential modular units and complex structural systems to allow for flexibility, swift facility modifications and enhanced isolation measures in case of future challenges like the novel coronavirus pandemic, as well as systems that allow the transition to sustainable energy sources over time. With an EPA Energy-Star design rating target of 75, the building will be US GBC LEED® Silver certified and will meet ASHRAE 189.3 design guidelines for high-performing and sustainable healthcare facilities.

Combined with ample green space and a progressive design, the campus is exemplary of IU Health’s goal to make the healthcare experience the best it can possibly be for patients and guests and is expected to be a recruiting tool to attain and retain top health providers, researchers, educators and students.

“We are investing in this facility expecting it to last and remain relevant the next 75 years,” Mladucky says. “We are investing because we are part of our community—Indianapolis and the state of Indiana—and we are strong advocates for those who live here. And we are investing to make Indiana one of the healthiest states in the nation.”