Evansville’s IU Med heads downtown

Shannon Hall

The Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville will no longer be housed in the Health Professions Center at USI come July 2017.

The IU Board of Trustees voted Friday afternoon to move Evansville’s branch of the IU School of Medicine  downtown.

More than 400 people waited an hour in The Atrium at the Old National Bank for the announcement of the site’s location.

“Our community is starting to celebrate a stronger relationship with Indiana University,” said Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke. “It’s a tremendous honor to represent your city with this historical moment. It’s even more special with you … who go to work every day and try to make our Evansvile and our region a better place.”

With about 1,800 students expected to attend the new IU School of Medicine, it will also provide about 2,200 jobs by 2020, and 1,600 more jobs within 10 years.

Winnecke campaigned for the downtown site for the past several months.

“These new positions will go a long way to bring up the shortage of physicians in this region,” Winnecke said.

The IU School of Medicine – Evansville first came to the area in 1972, but it joined with USI in 1994. The program at USI has 46 students enrolled.

“I think we should recognize the great work at the University of Southern Indiana,” Winnecke said. “They’ve been hosting the medical school for several years and the success they’ve driven out there has gotten us to this point today.”

The facility’s regional economic benefit is expected to reach $340 million by 2020.

“(Friday’s) decision is one critical piece in this effort to make our city and our region a more dynamic and more attractive location for investment, growth and enhanced quality of life,” Winnecke said.