An announcement on Tuesday morning could be the first step towards a medical center in the heart of downtown Evansville. It's a dream that could, in reality, bring 3000 new jobs to town.
The Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville, which is located on the campus of the University of Southern Indiana and several other organizations have been trying to figure out if it's possible.
They hired consultants to do a feasibility study and the results were released today.
Paul Umbach, with Tripp Umbach Consultants says all the pieces are in place to make it happen; "It's not just the hospitals that are strong, but also the whole continuum of educational assets."
He's talking about assets like the IU School of Medicine-Evansville. Dr. Steven Becker, Dean of the School says, right now, their graduates don't have much of an opportunity to stay in town. "There's one residency program in Deaconess Hospital and there are 18 residents total... A community our size should have between 100-150 resident spots."
The goal, now, is to have those students become local doctors.
To achieve that goal, the consultants suggest building a 35 million dollar, 100,000 square foot facility in the heart of downtown Evansville.
They say that money could be raised by the Universities, the state of Indiana, and other local donors and organizations.
Becker says the facility would not be a University hospital, but rather an educational building with classes as well as research labs.
This is the first of a two part study; the next phase will begin in March and be complete in August. It will include finding a location, financial planning, new program development and developing a business plan and structured strategy.
It will be paid for by the University of Southern Indiana, The University of Evansville, Ivy Tech Southwest, Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville, Deaconess Health System, St. Mary's Health, Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, and Owensboro Medical Health System.
Evansville's mayor Winnecke says that it is the city's role to help them figure out the best downtown location.
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