Indiana University School of Medicine-Evansville is expanding and possibly leaving the top floor of the Health Professions (HP) building.
Due to a shortage in physicians across the country, IU-Evansville, which was originally a two-year school, is expanding its program to four years, building a new facility, and possibly moving off of USI’s campus.
IU-Evansville has been on the top floor of the HP since 1994 and part of USI since 1971, and Catherine Zimmermann, director of development for the Evansville Center for Medical Education, said the space isn’t going to hold a four-year program.
Because of this, the school is looking for alternative places to build a new facility. Zimmermann said the east side of Evansville, downtown Evansville, and USI’s campus are all possibilities and said the decision will be determined after a study is conducted.
“Obviously USI is a site to consider as well, but being on the West side makes it a little less accessible and less inviting to other universities,” she said.
USI is working with IU, Ivy Tech, and the University of Evansville, and each school will have its own program within the new facility, which Zimmerman said will help the community.
“There are a variety of things that could help our community grow,” Zimmerman said. “So, the vision is to create a campus in some location in our community that will have the ability for all students to come together in certain learning courses.”
She said the project is in its second stage, which will be completed by August and involves deciding which schools will have what programs, what it’s going to look like and where it’s going to be.
“What this means for us is that we improve health care, we keep well-paid professionals in the community, which helps economic development, and it creates more jobs,” Zimmermann said.
Mark Rozewski, vice president of Finance and administration, said the new facility will greatly help Evansville.
“In other words, they feel that if you get your medical education in Evansville, you’re more likely to stay in Evansville,” Rozewski said. “Evansville needs doctors – Evansville really needs doctors. There’s an impending major shortage of doctors in Evansville.”
He said USI would love to have the facility built on campus.
“They need a lot more space,” Rozewski said. “So, they have to build a new building somewhere, and the question that’s being debated in the community is where. We’d be happy to have them. Or they could build one on the other side of town completely, or in downtown.
He said IU will pay for the whole building.
“It’s Indiana University’s problem to flip the bill,” he said. “We’d offer them free land on our campus. We would offer them the right to use our utility capacity, but building the building, which is probably about $35 million, would be 100 percent IU’s problem.”