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Lilly gives $1M toward Marian medical school

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Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation is chipping in $1 million to help Marian University build a new home for its existing nursing school and its new medical school.

The $50 million building, called the Center for Health Sciences and the Healing Arts, is slated to open in mid-2013. It was designed by Indianapolis architectural firms Schmidt Associates and BSA LifeStructures. Construction is set to begin this summer.

Marian plans to use the structure to launch its college of osteopathic medicine, which would be only the second medical school in Indiana, after the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Marian’s medical school aims to enroll 150 students each year and train them in osteopathic medicine. Doctors of osteopathy receive the same training as doctors of medicine, but they go through extra training on the muscular and skeletal systems and use their hands to move muscles and joints to diagnose, treat or even prevent illness and injury.

Marian needs to raise $120 million to pay for the entire medical and nursing school project. So far, it has raised $81 million.

The gift from the Indianapolis-based drugmaker's corporate foundation adds to $48 million in anonymous contributions; $5 million each from Indianapolis-based hospital systems Community Health Network and St. Vincent Health; $1 million from Hill-Rom Holdings Inc., the Batesville-based maker of hospital equipment; and $300,000 from the Suburban Health Organization of hospitals.

In March, Marian’s board of directors decided to push back the opening of the medical school by one year. The main delay came in December, when the accrediting commission of the American Osteopathic Association requested that Marian put the money it has raised to fund the school in a different kind of escrow fund.

That delayed the accreditation process until the commission's next meeting, which is this month. Marian must obtain at least provisional accreditation before it can begin recruiting students.

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