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Company news

March 31, 2010

Indiana University’s new vice president of research will bring with him a background in neuroscience and cell biology. Jorge José, whose appointment must be approved by IU trustees, comes from a similar position at the University at Buffalo, which is part of the State University of New York system. He will seek to grow IU’s $469 million in annual revenue from research grants and awards. José will replace Robert Schnabel, dean of the IU school of informatics, who has served as interim vice president for research since July 2009. A native of Mexico City, José received his doctorate, as well as master's and bachelor's degrees, in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His most recent research has been in biological physics, specifically in computational neuroscience and cell biology.

The tanning salon industry took a hit when the health reform bill was passed last week. Salon operators and makers of tanning products think the 10-percent tax on tanning equipment could cause the loss of thousands of jobs nationwide. The impact likely will be felt even harder in central Indiana, where dozens of tanning salons have popped up over the last two decades and where one of the nation’s largest makers of tanning beds and lotions made especially for tanning salons is headquartered. Indianapolis-based ETS LLC, ranked by several industry groups as the top-selling manufacturer of tanning beds and lotions, employs 200 in Indianapolis. “It’s difficult to say how badly this will hurt the tanning industry, but it’s safe to say it will hurt,” said Bill Pipp, CEO of ETS. The new tax takes effect July 1.

The Regenstrief Institute has been awarded a $350,000 stimulus bill contract to help the U.S. Social Security Administration and Indiana health care providers speed decision-making on disability cases. The Institute will begin the work immediately. Applying for physician care as part of Social Security disability benefits can take weeks or months as a patient’s medical information is gathered from numerous hospitals and doctors. This time lag has contributed for years to backlogs in the Administration’s caseload. Regenstrief hopes to tap its medical record sharing system, the Indiana Network for Patient Care, to cut down on the wait. The Social Security Administration awarded similar contracts to 14 other organizations throughout the country.

Six hospitals in Indiana were among the top 100 named this year by Thomson Reuters. Those making the list were St. Vincent’s Carmel and Indianapolis hospital, St. Francis’ Indianapolis hospital, Major Hospital in Shelbyville, Parkview Hospital in Huntington and Community Hospital in Munster. The Thomson Reuters list evaluates hospital performance in 10 areas: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, patient satisfaction, adherence to clinical standards of care, and post-discharge mortality and readmission rates for heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

The University of Indianapolis is developing a new on-site nursing degree program for Clarian Health. The goal of the $2.4 million initiative is to help hospital employees move up the career ladder and open up entry level positions for jobseekers displaced by cutbacks in manufacturing and other industries. The funding is part of a federal stimulus package provided by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Indianapolis Private Industry Council. The new Associate of Science in Nursing program, which will be based at Methodist Hospital, will accept 24 students this fall and the following two years.

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