Terre Haute a medical hub in Wabash Valley

2018-09-30 | The Tribune-Star

Sept. 30--Terre Haute is a well-known health care hub in the Wabash Valley.

As an industry, health care employs more than 8,300 health and wellness workers in Vigo County and has an $46 million annual payroll.

The variety of care options extends into neighboring counties through associated clinics and medical centers.

Both Union Hospital and Terre Haute Regional Hospital have been staples in the community for decades. Both continue to expand their services as the health care field grows, and they also have relationships with other smaller providers in the area.

Trauma training

Terre Haute Regional Hospital is a Level 2 trauma center -- the only Level 2 in west-central Indiana.

Union Hospital is a Level 3 trauma center, and its neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU, is the largest in a 70-mile radius. It was the first unit of its kind established in the state and continues to be a leader for treatment of newborns.

Health care is also a top educational and career choice in the Wabash Valley.

Medical training is offered through Indiana State University's College of Health and Human Services, Ivy Tech Community College Nursing and Practical Nursing programs and Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College's nursing program.

Also, the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health provides hands-on training in a partnership between ISU, Indiana University and Union Hospital to prepare and traing medical residents for practice in rural communities.

Terre Haute Regional

Terre Haute Regional Hospital is a 278-bed community-based medical center with comprehensive medical and surgical programs. The service area includes Vigo, Sullivan, Knox, Greene, Clay, Owen, Putnam, Parke, Vermillion and Fountain counties in Indiana and Crawford, Clark and Edgar counties in Illinois.

The hospital was founded more than 135 years ago and was known for decades as St. Anthony's Hospital. In 1979 it moved to its current location on south Seventh Street where the campus has expanded and attracted development of associated medical professionals.

As a Level 2 trauma center, Regional provides 24-hour coverage by general surgeons as well as the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care. Trauma prevention is also a focus, along with ongoing training and quality assessment.

Trauma refers to severe injuries requiring rapid evaluation and transport for immediate care. Trauma can be caused by car crashes, gunshots or other penetrating wounds, as well as slips and falls resulting in broken bones, head injuries and internal bleeding. By contrast, a Level 1 trauma center designation goes to facilities that are teaching hospitals directly connected with a university.

Recently, Regional Hospital has made multiple cosmetic improvements to the first floor of the hospital. The cafeteria renovation was probably the largest project in that initial phase.

Union Health

Union Hospital was founded in 1892 as the Terre Haute Sanitarium by Dr. Benjamin F. Swafford and Dr. Leo J. Weinstein. The name was changed in 1895 to Union Home for Invalids after the two doctors donated half of their holdings to a citizens group.

In 1900, a Training School for Nurses was added. During the next 65 years, the school would graduate more than 900 nurses before it closed.

Now known as Union Health, the hospital has expanded from its original location near Eighth Avenue and Seventh Street to become a multi-block campus. Union Hospital Terre Haute is licensed for 343 beds.

As a Level 3 trauma center, Union provides prompt assessment, resuscitation, stabilization and emergency operations, and has transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care.

Union Hospital also took over management of the former Vermillion County Hospital in 1996, resulting in the new and expanded Union Hospital Clinton.

Union Hospital Clinton is licensed for 25 beds and is a critical access hospital.

Wabash Valley Health Center

Terre Haute is also home to Wabash Valley Health Center, a federally qualified health center located in the Ryves Neighborhood.

Established in 1996 as a ministry of the Sisters of Providence, the clinic transitioned in 2014 to a health center providing a wide range of health and dental services.

The clinic serves patients of all ages and accepts most third-party payer services including Medicaid and Medicare. It also offers a sliding fee scale discount available for those who qualify.

The clinic is staffed by both paid and volunteer health care professionals. Area hospitals, medical laboratories, medical testing facilities and colleges also contribute time and services. The clinic collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to help patients obtain physician prescribed medications.

Wabash Valley Health Center's services include primary medical care, dental services, behavioral health care, health insurance enrollment, and athletic training/ rehabilitation services.

Landsbaum Center

In 2003, a collaboration by ISU, IU and Union Hospital resulted in the Landsbaum Center for Health Education, which provides educational facilities to second-year medical students from the Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, Indiana State University College of Health and Human Services students including nursing, and physicians and staff of Union Hospital.

Located on the Union Hospital campus, this educational center offers unique opportunities for health improvement and team learning through partnership and multidisciplinary education. The building houses Union Hospital's Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health, the West Central Indiana Area Health Education Center, and portions of the local IU School of Medicine, and ISU's School of Nursing.

It incorporates multiple health and human service occupations including social work, applied medicine and rehabilitation, health sciences, and kinesiology, recreation and sport. The two-story 30,000-square-feet facility includes clinical examination rooms, classrooms, 150-seat lecture hall with two-way videoconferencing technology for distance learning, student study areas, and staff/faculty offices. The total project cost was about $8 million.

Behavioral health serves are also key features of the regional medical hub.

Harsha Behavioral Center

Meanwhile, Harsha Behavioral Center just south of Terre Haute also launched its adult addictions treatment center earlier this year.

The inpatient detox center handles opioid addiction as well as alcohol and other drug-related issues that require intensive medical care and on-site observation.

Health care in the workforce

According to the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., Union Hospital is the top employer in the county with 2,118 employees as of the first quarter of 2018.

Regional Hospital was ranked as fourth largest employer with 854 employees, while Union Medical Group was ranked ninth largest with 831 employees.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development also ranks health care as the top profession in west-central Indiana. Among the top jobs are registered nurses, physicians, surgeons, licensed practical nurses, vocational nurses and physical therapists.

Hamilton Center

Hamilton Center is licensed by the state as a community mental health center and managed care provider.

The center opened in 1971 for outpatient services and has steadily grown to add satellite offices in nine other counties in west-central Indiana. It serves more than 13,000 clients and employs a staff of more than 550.

A new service for the center is its opioid treatment center located on First Street near the Vigo County Courthouse.