Union Health Foundation Gifts Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute $1 Million to Expand Nursing Program

Terre Haute, Ind. – Union Health Foundation has announced a transformational gift of $1 million to Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute, the state’s No. 1-ranked program for associate degrees in nursing. The gift, the largest in campus history, will allow Ivy Tech Terre Haute to expand its School of Nursing enrollment capacity. Additionally, the gift will provide support to the School of Health Sciences in developing a robust pipeline for future healthcare professionals.

“Since 1985, Union Health Foundation has invested nearly $4,000,000 in the education of our healthcare workforce,” said Foundation Executive Director Joel Harbaugh. “Scholarships for undergraduate and post graduate degrees, advanced training, certifications and continuing medical education all play a role to ensure our caregivers have the tools necessary to deliver quality care. This is an investment in our community, to help develop the workforce necessary to care for the Wabash Valley.”

Union Health currently employs more than 600 Ivy Tech graduates, which is equal to nearly 20% of their total staff. Union Health has served as a clinical site for Ivy Tech Terre Haute students for over 50 years. Those clinical experiences create an ideal pathway to full-time employment for graduates, but there is still a significant gap in skilled workers and workforce needs both locally and statewide.

“We want to continue to provide the best possible care to the people in this region. Employing the best healthcare professionals is how we achieve that,” said Steve Holman, president and chief executive officer for Union Health. “Ivy Tech Terre Haute produces some of the best healthcare and nursing graduates in the Wabash Valley, and they do it with top-rated two-year programs. This gift will enable more healthcare students to enter and complete the program, which allows us to maintain a strong workforce.”

This gift from Union Health Foundation will fund hiring nursing faculty and will allow Ivy Tech Terre Haute to increase nursing enrollment locally by at least 20 students. Ivy Tech Terre Haute Chancellor Lea Anne Crooks emphasized the benefit of community partners to support Ivy Tech’s mission.

“Ivy Tech was created to support Indiana’s workforce needs. 85% of our graduates stay in West Central Indiana. By partnering with Union Health, we can produce more graduates who are highly skilled healthcare professionals ready for high-demand careers. This multifaceted gift from Union Health will create a lasting impact on our economy for generations to come.”

Labor market data from Emsi/Burning Glass estimates there is a gap of 1,350 nursing graduates to meet Indiana’s need with current educational resources. Statewide, Ivy Tech currently graduates more than 1,300 associate-degree nursing students every year, more than any other institution in Indiana and the largest in the nation.

“Ivy Tech is the state’s workforce engine. Partnerships like these with employers in the communities make our state stronger,” Ivy Tech President Sue Ellspermann said. “Nursing Indiana back to health will require partnership like these across Indiana. We are all in this together.”

The $1 million gift will support the School of Nursing and School of Health Sciences with a holistic approach to recruitment, retention, and completion in the following ways:

Support the Healthcare Pipeline
Support for a comprehensive renovation project within the School of Health Sciences will create modern classrooms and labs. These renovations will allow for opportunities to create simulated experiences in the patient care setting, enabling a seamless transition from Ivy Tech Terre Haute to the workforce.

Aid in Retention and Completion within the School of Nursing
Each year, Ivy Tech Terre Haute accepts around 180 total students into the School of Nursing. Retention of these students and their successful completion is the quickest way to see growth in the available nursing workforce. Retention and completion efforts will include an expansion of nursing tutoring programs and financial aid for 100 graduating students annually to participate in credentialing test preparation courses. 

In addition, Union Health’s gift will create 10 merit-based scholarships awarding $3,000 to students who have successfully completed their first semester. The scholarships would be awarded at $1,000 per semester for their remaining three semesters in the program, beginning in the fall of the 2022-23 academic year.

Expand Enrollment in the School of Nursing
To expand the number of incoming students in the School of Nursing and continue to meet accreditation standards, additional faculty support is required. With the support from Union Health, the School of Nursing will be able to add faculty and increase the annual enrollment by at least 20 students, bringing the annual total enrollment to 200 or more.

Ivy Tech Terre Haute has strategic efforts outlined to further expand the School of Nursing at both the Terre Haute and Greencastle campuses and renovate the School of Health Sciences in Terre Haute to meet local demand. The additional plans will require investments of nearly $2 million and is part of Ivy Tech Terre Haute’s comprehensive campaign. With the gift from Union Health, Ivy Tech Terre Haute has raised $9.1 million of its $12 million goal. Statewide, Ivy Tech has been developing a plan for increasing nursing enrollment that includes investments in equipment, supplies, and faculty, as well as tools to better support nursing students in their academic success. Ivy Tech estimates those statewide investments will require $8.7 million in recurring costs over three years as well as $12.1 million in one-time costs.

About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College serves communities across Indiana, providing world-class education and driving economic transformation. It is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering high-value degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its communities, along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

About Union Health
Union Health is an integrated health system and the Wabash Valley’s largest employer with more than 3,000 associates. Union Health consists of Union Hospital, Union Hospital Clinton and Union Medical Group. The organizations that make-up Union Health have a long tradition of serving the health care needs of West Central Indiana and East Central Illinois residents, for more than 125 years. Union Health’s mission is to provide compassionate healthcare of the highest quality while leading communities to their best health and wellness.

About Union Health Foundation
Founded in 1985, Union Health Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to proactively advance the health and wellness of the Wabash Valley by providing funding for education, community health initiatives, medical equipment and services, and patient assistant programs.

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