ISU and OSF formally sign partnership in healthcare research


OSF Healthcare and Illinois State University have formed a new partnership called the Connected Communities Initiative.

This partnership aims to improve access to healthcare and find solutions to meet societal needs that contribute to health and wellness through research.

Speaking at a press conference at the OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, ISU Interim President Aondover Tarhule said:

Both the ISU and OSF contribute $500,000 annually to research and development in healthcare delivery, patient and provider experiences.

John Vozenilek, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Innovation and Digital Health, OSF HealthCare, said:

“It will all be about people. Institutions will probably provide structure and funding and connections, but together people are trying to make the changes that secure our future.”

This collaboration brings together clinicians, faculty researchers, and students to focus on clinical and patient education, healthcare engineering, data science, and cybersecurity.

After many years of working together, this partnership formally establishes the joint work of the OSF and the ISU.

OSF HealthCare CEO Bob Sehring said: “It recognizes the idea that together we can foster innovation that turns ideas into solutions that transform healthcare.”

Craig McLauchlan is Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies at Illinois State University.

“This is about community partnerships,” McLauchlan says. “In a community like ours, a lot of things overlap. There are a lot of people who have neighbors and co-workers, and they come up with crazy ideas while they’re out and just say, ‘Oh, I want to work on that. So it’s been going on.”

McLauchlan said the collaboration could lead to additional curricula at ISU, working with universities on campus. He pointed out that Won Suk Kim College of Fine Arts has expertise in virtual reality, augmented reality and augmented reality.

“If we were creative enough, we would see every university and every department involved,” McLauchlan said.

Vozenelik says the research will boost the economy by driving investment through new businesses and nonprofits that can use more accurate data to address healthcare needs.

“This is going to be very messy. Together we will find and invest in the best solution for our community,” he said.

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