The Duke Energy Foundation along with matching state funds makes it possible for the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) to study whether it is feasible to establish a rural healthcare and life science oriented business incubator and accelerator in Indiana. This facility would be used to house and support the development of new ventures.
In addition to the $10,000 Duke Energy grant, half of the cost of the $26,300 study is being funded by the Indian Economic Development Corp. The remaining $3,150 will be shared between Union Hospital, the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp, and the Indiana State University Foundation. Other collaborative partners in the venture are Indiana University School of Medicine (Terre Haute), Ivy Tech Community College, and the City of Terre Haute.
The RHIC working group is looking at programs, services, and amenities that are most needed to support students, educators, and healthcare providers, to be able to ensure that there is a vibrant workforce in the future to meet these needs.
The basic plan is for the collaborative to study and assess workforce needs and at the same time, address revitalization and economic development in neighborhoods and how to increase rural healthcare services along with training and research.
To achieve these goals, the RHIC is trying to appeal to life science organizations, healthcare companies, and start-ups with a particular focus on developing the products and services needed to support the decentralized healthcare system now emerging in rural communities.
RHIC is looking at developing a facility in a selected community in the state, to create a state-of-the-art learning space. The plan is to develop a facility with space for educators , students, and businesses to work on projects that at the same time will spark economic development and perhaps generate future grant funding.
Indiana State University’s Center for Business Support and Economic Innovation will act as lead agent for the study with the Center’s Director Christopher Pfaff as the Coordinator. More information on RHIC is available at www.therhic.org.