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The Community Health Network hospital system will purchase the Hilton Indianapolis North hotel along Interstate 69 and redevelop it as a facility for physicians and patients. The 221-room hotel sits on a nine-acre piece of land, adjacent to Community North Hospital, which is owned by the hospital’s foundation. The foundation has first-right-of-refusal to purchase the hotel from the current Hilton franchisee. The foundation announced Sept. 11 it would exercise that right, purchasing the hotel for an undisclosed amount. The hotel will continue to operate until the end of the year. “Community’s north region continues to expand its reach and needs the physical space to meet the growing demands of the marketplace,” said Joyce Irwin, president of the Community Health Network Foundation, in a written statement. “Opening up this prime area of real estate for health care services benefits the residents who live in the northern areas of central Indiana.” Community Hospital North opened in 1985 with 100 inpatient beds, emergency department and outpatient services. It has since expanded to include a 42-bed neonatal intensive care unit, a maternity unit with 60 private patient suites, a heart and vascular hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, and an oncology center.

Three years after its founding, Lafayette-based SpeechVive Inc. has launched its first product, a device intended to help people with a soft voice due to Parkinson's disease speak more loudly and communicate more effectively. Based on technology developed at Purdue University, the device is now available to try as a demo through the National Parkinson's Disease Foundation’s Centers of Excellence before purchasing. The technology was developed over the past decade by Jessica Huber, a professor in Purdue's Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. Huber co-founded SpeechVive in 2011 to bring the technology to market. According to SpeechVive, more than 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, and about 89 percent of those with the disease have voice-related change affecting how loudly they speak.

The Indiana State Department of Health and the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging & Community are offering $30,000 grants to as many as seven groups to use to improve the quality of nursing home care. The grants will be made to regional groups formed by health care facilities, provider associations, consumer advocacy groups and community organizations. The collaborative partners will work together to assess needs, design quality improvement plans and provide education and resources to nursing homes in their areas.

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