IBJNews

Q&A

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Jim Alender has been CEO of Howard Regional Health System in Kokomo since 1997. He recently negotiated a letter of intent to merge the hospital with Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health. He spoke about the major factors that led to that decision, and the benefits he hopes to come from it.

IBJ: What were the factors that forced Howard Regional to look for a larger hospital system to join?

A: We’ve had a very challenging last two years in the social demographics and in the work force in Howard County. And we are seeing an aging population. The loss of the volume from a commercial population led us to look for a partner. A larger system will help us spread costs over a larger base. Also with health care reform, we felt coordination of care being emphasized. [Integrating with IU Health] is starting the first steps of an accountable care organization.

IBJ: What are the main benefits you think will come out of Howard Regional’s integration with IU Health?

A: For patients, you want to give much more convenient access to the advanced therapies and treatments they’re going to receive. For our medical staff and our employees, obviously it’s the opportunity to advance their own professional patient care practice, to have access to technologies that we currently don’t have. We believe that branding with IU Health will obviously help us recruiting physicians, particularly in subspecialties. It is hard (recruiting to a smaller city), but having the opportunity to brand with IU Health is obviously going to help us. Also, we’re going to provide those higher-paying jobs. I believe that’s really important for the community as it tries to diversify away from automotive manufacturing.

IBJ: In recent years, Howard Regional leaders have discussed moving into more high-end services, such as cardiology, neuro, gastro, orthopedics and imaging, and to expand those services outside of Howard County. Will those still be your aims under the IU Health umbrella?

A: We’ve introduced cardio, ortho and gastro. We probably won’t have neurosurgery; there’s just not a critical mass. We’re looking at developing a regional medical plan for the region. And working with providers in the region. We haven’t defined that yet, but clearly Howard and its contiguous counties would be a good region.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

  3. This house is a reminder of Hamilton County history. Its position near the interstate is significant to remember what Hamilton County was before the SUPERBROKERs, Navients, commercial parks, sprawling vinyl villages, and acres of concrete retail showed up. What's truly Wasteful is not reusing a structure that could still be useful. History isn't confined to parks and books.

  4. To compare Connor Prairie or the Zoo to a random old house is a big ridiculous. If it were any where near the level of significance there wouldn't be a major funding gap. Put a big billboard on I-69 funded by the tourism board for people to come visit this old house, and I doubt there would be any takers, since other than age there is no significance whatsoever. Clearly the tax payers of Fishers don't have a significant interest in this project, so PLEASE DON'T USE OUR VALUABLE MONEY. Government money is finite and needs to be utilized for the most efficient and productive purposes. This is far from that.

  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.

ADVERTISEMENT