IU Health Foundation launches $200M fundraising campaign

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Indiana University Health Foundation, the fundraising arm of IU Health’s adult hospitals, is launching a $200 million fundraising campaign with the ambitious goal of making Indiana one of the healthiest states in the country.

The fundraiser, called “All the Difference,” was announced at a corporate breakfast Tuesday morning at The Stutz business center in Indianapolis. It marks the first fundraiser for the foundation since it was founded in 2018 to consolidate 15 separate IU Health hospital foundations around the state.

The campaign is set up to fund projects to help Hoosiers avoid and treat illness and injury along with programs outside of hospital walls, including social factors that contribute to poor health, such as housing, education, employment, and access to healthy food.

The foundation already has raised $125 million since Jan. 1, 2020, toward the $200 million goal, Crystal Miller, the foundation’s president, told IBJ. That includes $34.3 million from individual donors, $24.1 million from corporate donors, $13.6 million from foundations and $53.2 million from government grants, the foundation said.

It’s common for fundraising campaigns to begin quietly and refrain from a public launch until the foundation has raised at least half of the goal. The campaign will run through 2027.

“We felt that at this point, there were some really important programs and initiatives that were gaining momentum,” Miller said. “It was the right time for our foundation to work with IU Health to create a campaign to really mobilize our donors.”

Indiana is ranked among the least healthy states in the nation by several national groups or publications, and life expectancy in Indiana is two years below the national average.

Forbes magazine this month ranked Indiana 40th in the nation for health care, based on a study of access, cost and outcomes. America’s Health Rankings, published annually by United Health Foundation, ranks Indiana 35th in the nation, based on such measures as drug deaths, food insecurity, and air and water quality.

Foundation officials are calling the fundraiser a “comprehensive campaign” rather than the standard “capital campaign,” a term often used in connection with capital projects, such as new buildings and equipment.

They draw that distinction because the campaign coincides with several large construction projects at IU Health, including a brand-new hospital complex on 44 acres just south and east of Methodist Hospital. That project, which will feature 864 private patient rooms in three patient towers, is worth $4.3 billion, including support buildings and infrastructure.

“For us, there is a clear delineation for what philanthropy should be doing, which is really those kinds of programs that normal clinical operations can’t support,” Dennis Murphy, IU Health’s CEO, told IBJ. “So, I also think about those as things like patient education programs, supportive programs like our art therapy program, our community investments, and the recruitment of really stellar faculty from around the state.”

He said the hospital construction project is being financed by the health system’s reserves and debt.

“That kind of project stood on its own,” Murphy said. “We didn’t want it to be dependent on philanthropy to build that building. But we do think philanthropy creates programs to enhance what goes on inside the buildings.”

Several business and leaders are helping to promote the campaign, including Gary Henriott, retired chair of Lafayette-based Henriott Group insurance company and chair of the IU Health Foundation board.

“IU Health reaches into all parts of the state to tackle local health care needs,” he said in written remarks. I am especially familiar with programs that benefit my hometown of Lafayette and the rural areas around us, addressing issues such as behavioral health, early childhood development and patient assistance.”

Scott Davison, CEO of OneAmerica and former chair of the IU Health board of directors, said the hospital system is critical to the state’s economy.

“The All the Difference campaign funds programs that will attract top clinicians, develop career paths for all levels of workers needed to operate a health-care institution, and help companies like mine offer a higher quality of life as part of our recruitment and retention efforts,” he said in written remarks.

The foundation has identified several funding priorities, including:

  • Community health, a broad term that encompasses improving food insecurity, behavioral health, food as medicine, health equity and social isolation.
  • Destination medicine, which refers to helping patients heal and thrive through access to specialty care, including cancer, neuroscience, and cardiovascular care.
  • Innovation, such as new approaches to care delivery, including expansion of virtual care, robotic therapies, precision genomics and use of artificial intelligence.
  • Emerging opportunities for applying “nimble and timely resources” to emergency needs, such as a pandemic or health issues unique to a particular geographic area.
  • Equipping and attracting people dedicated to improving health, such as professional development and community workforce development.
  • Cultivating programs and places for improving health outcomes for people who live, work, learn and play near the new downtown Indianapolis hospital.

The foundation had net assets of $308 million in 2021, according to its latest tax filing. That’s up from $141 million in 2018.

Charity Navigator, a watchdog group based in Glen Rock, New Jersey, has awarded IU Health Foundation a score of 96% (out of a possible 100) to the foundation for accountability and financial performance, earning it four stars, the highest grade possible.

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5 thoughts on “IU Health Foundation launches $200M fundraising campaign

  1. We have too many agencies with large budgets doing the same thing–probably some successfully and some not. We need to pull those agencies together and have them provide statistics to show who is doing what is making an impact and doing it most efficiently. THEN look at redistribution and addition of funds where the programs are working and not duplicating efforts.

  2. Making Indiana “healthier” is a gigantean undertaking.

    How do you convince people to exercise more? Hoosiers love to burn gas that costs $3.50 circling the parking lots for a spot immediately in front of the store entrance (let alone walk 15 feet to return the shopping cart to the pen). How do you persuade them to quit smoking? Hoosiers love to complain about the cost of their portable oxygen tanks while standing in line at Speedway to buy an $8 pack of cigarettes. How do you get them to choose smaller, healthier entrees even at the national franchise restaurant even when the menu clearly states what they just ordered has 2,500 calories (more than the daily need for any human body)?

    This effort will need a lot of luck to work, especially considering that most of the Hoosiers needing to change their health habits think Donald Trump was the best president ever and can’t wait to vote for him again.

  3. Food deserts? This is a relatively new, while poorly assessed description. 30 years ago there weren’t urban food deserts in Marion county or most of America. There was actually grocery competitions to gain market share. The absence of food retail locations is only a part of ‘retail deserts’. The same neighborhoods that had these missing grocery stores are also the same areas that had places to buy shoes, clothing, sit down restaurants, business office complexes, or retail anything. Businesses will not, nor cannot, operate where crime, in particular theft, runs rampant.
    Unless certain segments of our general culture change, this situation can only persist. Numerous grocery outlets have opened in the last 15 years in certain neighborhoods, only to close not long afterward. Let’s face it. Entire blocks and segments of Indianapolis have gone from pleasant, convenient sources of retail purchasing to vacated slums.

    1. All that crime in the meridian hills area causing it to be a food dessert.

      I love the claim that crime causes food desserts when it’s only a part of the problem…

  4. One of the things the IU Health foundation could do to “Cultivat[e] programs and places for improving health outcomes for people who live, work, learn and play near the new downtown Indianapolis hospital” is sell off all those surface parking lots they own on Capitol Avenue from north of the current Methodist Hospital all the way down past the Stutz building they had this party at. Big empty poorly lit spaces in urban areas contribute to crime and “social isolation”

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