Indiana State University Newsroom

Rural Health Innovation Collaborative secures feasibility study funding

March 10, 2010

A grant from Duke Energy Foundation and matching state funds will enable the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) to study the feasibility of a rural healthcare and life science-oriented business incubator and accelerator.

The study will assess the possibility of building or acquiring a facility to house and support the development of new ventures.

"A business incubator and accelerator associated with the RHIC has great potential to provide the region with much-needed job creation, economic diversity and a vehicle for technology transfer," said Richard "Biff' Williams, dean of Indiana State's College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services and chair of the RHIC Facilities Committee.

The RHIC was formally established in 2008 to address the challenge of healthcare provider shortages, particularly in rural areas. Building on a nationally-recognized record of success, Union Hospital and its Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health joined with the Indiana University School of Medicine at Terre Haute, Indiana State University, Ivy Tech Community College, the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. and the City of Terre Haute to jointly develop the RHIC initiative. The collaborative will assess workforce needs and address neighborhood revitalization and economic development. It also seeks to improve physical infrastructure, expand and attract business and increase rural health care services, training, and research.

To achieve these goals, the RHIC hopes to appeal to life science and health care companies and start-ups, with a particular focus on those that are developing products and services needed to support the decentralized health care system emerging in rural communities.

In addition to the $10,000 Duke Energy grant, half of the cost of the $26,300 study is being funded by the Indiana Economic Development Corp. The remaining $3,150 will be shared between Union Hospital, the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. and the ISU Foundation.

ISU's Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation will act as lead agent for the study with center Director Christopher Pfaff as its coordinator. Thomas P. Miller and Associates of Indianapolis, a full-service economic and workforce development consulting agency, has been selected to conduct the study. Miller and Associates has extensive funding research and proposal development experience.

More information about the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative is available at

Contact: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or