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East Central Indiana Excels in Access to Quality Health Care

Region rich in high-quality medical providers

By Teree Caruthers on March 18, 2018

Muncie, IN
Muncie / Courtesy of Reid Health

A community’s access to high-quality health care often is high on the list of factors affecting relocation and expansion decisions, and this is an area in which East Central Indiana shines. The region offers residents a large menu of health-care services through several major providers, including Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie, Indiana University Health Blackford Hospital, St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, Reid Health in Richmond, Meridian Health Services and VA Northern Indiana Health Care System in Marion.

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Award Winners

Indiana University Health is one of the nation’s largest academic health systems and a major player in the region. Both IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and IU Health Blackford Hospital earned the Gold Seal of Approval by the Joint Commission Hospital Accreditation Program. The Blackford facility was named one of the country’s most wired hospitals, and IU Health Ball Memorial, a Level III Trauma Center, was recently named one of the top 10 hospitals in the state by U.S. News & World Report. The 252-bed facility offers cancer care, women’s health services, wound care, heart and vascular care, and orthopedic services, among others.

“Just this year, we’ve recruited and signed 17 new physicians representing anesthesia, cardiology, endocrinology, general surgery, hematology/oncology, hospitalists, neonatology, neurology, palliative care and pulmonary/critical care,” says Jeff Bird, M.D., IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital president. “We’re also adding eight new patient rooms and upgrading four of our original operating rooms with new equipment.”

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Power in Numbers

Part of the St. Vincent Medical Group, St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital is a Level III Trauma Center that offers a wide range of comprehensive services, including a state-of-the-art cancer center, which specializes in cutting-edge treatments, such as brachytherapy and bio-targeted therapies, and was among the first facilities in the nation to implement a five-day breast cancer treatment program. The center also offers post-therapy rehabilitative services and even houses a boutique for mastectomy patients.

Like IU Health Ball Memorial and St. Vincent Anderson, Reid Health hospital in Richmond is a designated Level III Trauma Center, which means it can offer critical emergency services to the region’s rural communities and provide some specialized services that smaller community facilities cannot. These community hospitals, however, allow residents to receive primary care service close to home and include Community Hospital Anderson, Marion General Hospital in Grant County, Henry Community Health in New Castle, Fayette Regional Hospital in Connersville and Rush Memorial Hospital in Rushville.

Care for Mind and Body

East Central Indiana residents are fortunate to have access to comprehensive behavioral health services as well, thanks to Meridian Health Services, which specializes in holistic care. With more than 1,000 employees, 50 medical staff members and multiple offices located throughout East Central Indiana, Meridian Health provides acute psychiatric hospital care, internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, and even obstetrics and gynecology services.

“The reason why we’re very interested in an integrated health-care product is because a third of a primary care visits are behavioral disorders and 70 percent of all psychotropic medications are prescribed by primary care physicians,” says Hank Milius, president/CEO of Meridian Health Services. “So it’s important for us to really become assimilated into the primary care field with behavioral health services, and that really is what makes Meridian unique in that there are not too many health-care providers that have that kind of integration.”

East Central Indiana’s health-care industry also has a direct impact on the region’s economy.

“Health care is one of the fastest-growing sectors of any major industry, and Meridian has probably been one of the faster-growing health-care organizations because of all of our expansion in various cities,” Milius says. “For every physician, there are at least seven other support staff members. These are all individuals contributing economically to the community. There definitely is a ripple effect. Just from a financial perspective, it certainly adds dollars.”


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