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The Development and Maturation of a Statewide Academic Health Care System: Clarian Health Partners/Indiana University Health

Handel, David J. MBA; Kleit, Stuart A. DDS, MD; Handel, Daniel A. MD, MPH

doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000093

As health care reform continues, health care organizations are evolving both structurally and operationally to position themselves to meet the challenges ahead. Academic medical centers (i.e., teaching hospitals) particularly need an effective strategy that will allow them to meet their tripartite missions of patient care, education, and research in this time of increasing competition and resource constraints. Clarian Health Partners, recently renamed Indiana University Health, is a health care entity that developed from a partnership of the Indiana University Hospitals and Methodist Hospital of Indiana.

This case study explores the history behind the development of Clarian Health Partners, the model employed, and the lessons learned. It discusses the governance and management models implemented, the steps taken to integrate the two partners in the new system, and the specific challenges of physician partnerships and collaborations. As mergers and consolidations continue in an era of health care reform, the lessons learned from previous endeavors, such as that of Clarian Health Partners, may be applicable.

Mr. Handel is former director, Indiana University Hospitals, and former executive vice president and chief operating officer, Clarian Health Partners, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Kleit is former associate dean for clinical affairs, Indiana University School of Medicine, and former executive vice president for academic affairs, Clarian Health Partners, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dr. Handel is vice chair for clinical affairs, Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Editor’s Note: A commentary by R. Azziz appears on pages 208–211.

Funding/Support: None reported.

Other disclosures: None reported.

Ethical approval: Reported as not applicable.

Correspondence should be addressed to Dr. Handel, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Mail Code: CDW-EM, Portland, OR 97239; telephone: (503) 494-9417; e-mail:

© 2014 by the Association of American Medical Colleges