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IU School of Medicine receives $34.2M for child, adolescent psychiatry center

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Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 12:18 PM CST
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - A pair of Evansville natives announced a large gift to the Indiana University School of Medicine.

William C. and Mary R. (O’Daniel) Stone announced a $34.2 million gift to establish the Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine—Evansville.

Officials with the school say the center will seek to improve the standard of care for people with bipolar disorder and will increase access to psychiatric care for the children and adolescent youth of Southwestern Indiana.

They say this is one of the largest donations in the history of the IU School of Medicine.

A news release states the new center will endow three new chairs and has a fund to support six additional child and adolescent psychiatrists/fellowships. Officials say this is a dramatic infusion for Southwestern Indiana, where several counties are without any psychiatric providers.

Even in Evansville, officials say this would nearly triple the number of child psychiatrists, improving access, enabling earlier diagnosis and allowing for quicker treatment.

The psychiatrists will also be conducting research at the center, with a focus on bipolar and other mood disorders.

According to a press release, these researchers will be able to build on the existing strength in neurosciences at IU School of Medicine, harnessing tools and expertise in the areas of genetic analysis, animal modeling and imaging, biological sampling, drug development, and data analysis.

The new center will also be providing better treatments through big data.

School leaders say a real-world evidence data lake is planned—a first-of-its-kind comprehensive data platform for psychiatric research and machine learning. They say this data lake would draw from millions of patient records across the United States.

Through medical artificial intelligence, officials tell us a research team in Evansville would identify the most effective therapies and promising innovations by analyzing patient characteristics and prescription patterns that result in optimal outcomes.

According to school officials, this data lake would be continuously updated and expanded as new patient data is added, creating a resource for not only treating Hoosier patients but also making Southwestern Indiana a national hub for research in child and psychiatric disorders by attracting talented researchers and investment capital to Evansville.

According to the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at IU School of Medicine, Indiana falls far behind the national average for population per provider ratio in psychiatry.

In adults, Indiana has about half as many psychiatrists treating patients as the national average. In child and adolescent care, they say that number is even lower, with a 20,916 to 1 ratio of patients to physicians, versus the national rate of 8,848 to 1.

Officials say the new center director, clinicians and support staff will work from Evansville, with the bulk of operations taking place within the new Deaconess Downtown Clinic.

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