Latest news

Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

Clinical Trial Explores How Breast Cancer Survivors Can Improve Their Memory

INDIANAPOLIS – A new clinical trial explores ways in which women breast cancer survivors can improve their memory.

Many breast cancer survivors report problems with their memory, including forgetfulness, difficulty remembering information, or memory lapses.

Diane Von Ah, Ph.D., R.N., assistant professor at the Indiana University School of Nursing and a researcher at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, leads the clinical trial, “Memory Training Intervention for Breast Cancer Survivors.”

“We hope to learn if this training is satisfactory and helpful in improving the memory of breast cancer survivors in need,” said Dr. Von Ah.

The trial tests ways women can improve their memory without taking medications. The study is open to women breast cancer survivors who are experiencing difficulties with their memory and are interested in treatment.

Participants in the study will be placed in one of three groups for training:-Groups 1 and 2 will meet with a trainer for a total of 10 hours over a five- to eight-week period.-Group 3 will receive all training material at the end of the study.Who is eligible?

To participate, you must be:-A female breast cancer survivor-Reporting some memory impairment-At least one year after chemotherapy treatment-At least age 40-Post-menopausal-Free of history of other cancers-The study will also include three memory assessments to be completed before, immediately after, and two months after training.

The assessments and training take place at the IU School of Nursing on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. Free parking is available for all campus visits and a $25 gift certificate is given to participants after each memory assessment.

If you are interested in learning more, call 317.274.4330.


Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

IU Simon Cancer Center Researcher Heads Cancer Study During Indiana Black Expo’s Health Fair

INDIANAPOLIS – A small drop of blood can provide researchers with countless clues into cancer.

You can help researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center by donating a blood sample during the Indiana Black Expo’s INShape Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair.

The researchers are participating in the Indiana State Department of Health’s One Stop-One Stick program which allows people to donate blood and receive free screenings of their choice.

Men and women with and without cancer can indicate they want their blood samples to be included in a study called IU-CABS – the Indiana University Cancer Biomarker Study – led by Noah Hahn, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician/researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

The IU-CABS study will be located in booths 313, 315, 317, and 319 in Hall D of the Indiana Convention Center.

The booths are open:4 – 8 p.m. Thursday, July 151 – 8 p.m. Friday, July 1610 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, July 1712 – 6 p.m. Sunday, July 18

The study will help identify genetic and environmental risk factors that lead to the development of cancer.

Each participant will be asked to provide a one-time blood sample and complete a basic medical history questionnaire.

Dr. Hahn pointed out that minorities have historically been underrepresented in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment studies.

"The burden of cancer in minority communities is high," Dr. Hahn said. "Our understanding of the cancer biology in minority populations is poor. Increasing minority representation in research trials and research tissue banks is an enormous need. For us to make dramatic progress, we have to engage the community in the research process."

Since early 2007, Dr. Hahn and colleagues have worked closely with Indiana Black Expo and the Indiana State Department of Health to involve minority populations in research studies during various events. Thus far, nearly 2,500 men and women have participated with more than 575 individuals from minority populations.

Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

IU Simon Cancer Center’s Tissue Bank Collecting Samples Aug. 7

INDIANAPOLIS – Would you like to contribute to breast cancer research?

You can help by donating a tissue sample to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 7 in the Hematology Clinic and Women's Center (second floor) in the new patient building of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, 1030 W. Michigan St.

Parking is available across the street in the Vermont Street Garage on the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus.

What to Expect During the Donation Process:During the donation process, a tissue sample is taken from one breast with a needle and local anesthesia. The amount of tissue taken is about one gram (or the size of two peas).

To participate, women must:-be age 18 or older-have the ability to understand and the willingness to sign an informed consent-be willing to give one hour of their time to complete a questionnaire and a breast biopsy-not be allergic to local anesthetics (numbing medicine)-not be receiving a therapeutic blood thinner (this does not include aspirin)-not have breast implants or have had a breast reduction

To register, visit or contact Pat Mitchum at (317) 274-2366 or Donors must have a confirmed appointment time.

By collecting samples from women with and without breast cancer, researchers will be able to determine the differences between these populations, which could lead to a better understanding of the disease. Samples taken from women without the disease are especially helpful because there are few collections of so-called "normal" specimens. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center, which is the first and only healthy breast tissue bank in the world, will ultimately give researchers valuable and unprecedented research data.

Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

Indiana University Physician Receives Funding for Rare, Aggressive Breast Cancer Research

INDIANAPOLIS – Women with a relatively rare but aggressive form of breast cancer may benefit from a unique tissue bank of normal breast tissue at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

Bryan Schneider, MD, and doctoral student Milan Radovich will study the underlying molecular underpinning of inflammatory breast cancer using cutting edge technology called Next Generation Sequencing with the support of a $50,000 grant from the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Milburn Foundation partnership. This work will capitalize on the ability to compare genetic abnormalities against normal breast tissue.

"To identify the critical molecular changes that distinguish normal from malignant, and to detect the earliest indication of the transformation, researchers must be able to study normal breast cells," said Dr. Schneider, the recipient of the IBC grant. "Since 2005, hundreds of women have donated tissue to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank ® at the IU Simon Cancer Center to make it possible for researchers to identify abnormalities in cells. We are hopeful that the information contained in the Bank will direct scientists to cures for the many forms of breast cancer." Dr. Schneider is an assistant professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine and a researcher and clinician at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

The Komen Tissue Bank is the largest and possibly only bank of normal breast tissue, blood and DNA in the nation.

Dr. Schneider and colleagues hope to identify novel drug targets for inflammatory breast cancer, which typically affects the skin. Unlike other forms of breast cancer, inflammatory breast cancer frequently does not develop masses or tumors within the breast which makes detection by mammograms or ultrasound technology difficult. Frequently inflammatory breast cancer is misdiagnosed as mastitis, a benign breast infection.

Even though this form of breast cancer only accounts for one percent to five percent of breast cancer cases in the United States, it contributes to a high percentage of breast cancer mortality. It is more common in sub-Saharan Africa but disproportionately affects African American and younger women in the United States. Few targeted therapies have been developed which contributes to the relatively low survival rate of 40 percent to 45 percent.

The study of inflammatory breast cancer and its aggressive, metastatic nature are essential to improve diagnosis, treatment and survival, said Dr. Schneider.

"It is our goal to provide new and advancing information about inflammatory breast cancer," said Dr. Schneider. "In the past we have had to react. We hope this research will inform us on ways to take proactive measures and provide insight on fundamental weaknesses in the disease that may be exploited for successful therapeutics."

The grant will allow Dr. Schneider and his New York University colleague Robert Schneider, PhD, to collect and compare normal breast tissue from the Komen Tissue Bank with other forms of aggressive breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer.

The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization incorporated in 1999, is committed to facilitating research and raising awareness of inflammatory breast cancer. The Milburn Foundation, a private charitable foundation, was created to support leaders who are making a difference in the fight against critical health-care challenges.

Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

America’s Top Doctors for Cancer Recognizes 21 IU School of Medicine Physicians

INDIANAPOLIS — Twenty-one physicians with the Indiana University School of Medicine have been recognized as the best in their field.

The 21 are among 27 physicians statewide included in the most recent edition of America's Top Doctors for Cancer. The guide identifies the nation's most outstanding physicians for the diagnosis and treatment of cancers in adults and children.

The physicians — who either practice at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, IU Hospital, Methodist Hospital or Riley Hospital for Children, which are affiliated with Clarian Health — are:

John Coleman III, M.D. (plastic surgery)James Croop, M.D., Ph.D. (pediatric hematology/oncology)Lawrence Einhorn, M.D. (medical oncology)Robert Fallon, M.D., Ph.D. (pediatric hematology-oncology)Sherif Farag, M.D., Ph.D. (hematology)Richard Foster, M.D. (urology)Robert Goulet Jr., M.D. (surgery)Paul Haut, M.D., F.A.A.P. (pediatric hematology/oncology)Valerie Jackson, M.D. (diagnostic radiation)Michael Koch, M.D. (urology)Keith Lillemoe, M.D. (surgery)Patrick Loehrer Sr., M.D. (medical oncology)David Plager, M.D. (ophthalmology)Frederick Rescorla, M.D. (pediatric surgery)Douglas Rex, M.D. (gastroenterology)Scott Shapiro, M.D. (neurological surgery)George Sledge Jr., M.D. (medical oncology)Frederick Stehman, M.D. (gynecologic oncology)Chandru Sundaram, M.D. (urology)Thomas Ulbright, M.D. (pathology)Terry Vik, M.D. (pediatric hematology-oncology)

"America's Top Doctors for Cancer has again recognized the expertise of the faculty physicians at the IU Simon Cancer Center and our other patient facilities," D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the IU School of Medicine, said. "The recognition is much appreciated and serves as a reminder that their skill, care and compassion are recognized by their patients, colleagues and others nationwide."

Published by Castle Connolly, the guide – now in its sixth edition — contains detailed profiles of more than 2,400 of America's leading cancer specialists across more than 40 medical specialties. The doctors are selected by a physician-led research team based on comprehensive national surveys of physicians and medical leaders.

When selecting a doctor for cancer, or any specialty for that matter, consider these factors:

Medical educationResidency and fellowshipsBoard certificationHospital appointmentAcademic and other professional titlesInsurance acceptedPersonality

The IU Simon Cancer Center, a partnership between the IU School of Medicine and Clarian Health, is the only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care in Indiana. To learn more about the IU Simon Cancer Center, visit


Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

IU Simon Cancer Center Receives National Accreditation for Top Quality Care to Breast Patients

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center has been granted a three-year full accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC).

Administered by the American College of Surgeons, the NAPBC gives accreditation only to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care and that undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. During the survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease.

"The NAPBC certification provides an independent assessment of the breast program at IU Simon Cancer Center," said Erika Rager, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of surgery with the IU School of Medicine and a researcher with the IU Simon Cancer Center. "Our full three-year accreditation confirms that we provide breast patients with the full range of services to meet their needs and the highest quality of care. From initial diagnosis through treatment and follow-up care, breast patients can be confident that we will meet all of their needs with the highest quality and compassion."

The American Cancer Society estimated 207,090 women nationwide, including 4,350 in Indiana, would be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2010. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women nationwide who deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center ensures a patient will have access to:• Comprehensive care, including a full range of state-of-the-art services• A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options• Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options• And, most importantly, quality breast care close to home.

For more information about the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, visit

Contact Daniel Lee for more information at 317.963.0448.


About Clarian Health – As a preeminent leader in clinical care, education, research and service, Clarian Health is Indiana's most comprehensive academic health center and one of the busiest hospital systems in the United States. Based in Indianapolis, Clarian owns or is affiliated with multiple hospitals and health centers throughout the state and maintains a strong partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine—the nation's second largest medical school and a global leader in medical education and research.

About IU Simon Cancer Center – The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is an Indiana University School of Medicine and Clarian Health partnership. Located in Indianapolis, IU Simon Cancer Center serves as a regional and national referral center for state-of-the-art cancer treatment and is Indiana’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care. The partnership between IU School of Medicine and Clarian Health is dedicated to establishing a state-wide health care delivery system that is supported by the scientific resources and clinical expertise of the medical school. Its mission is to advance the understanding, prevention and treatment of cancer throughout Indiana and the world with patient-centered care, acceleration of promising science and collaborative educational programs. For more information visit to IU Health University Blog

Mental Health, Pregnancy, Wellbeing

IU Simon Cancer Center Builds Its New Yoga Therapy Program

INDIANAPOLIS – Veteran yoga instructor Nancy Schalk is able to transform almost any spot at the IU Simon Cancer Center at Indiana University Health into an impromptu yoga space.

Schalk, director of the Yoga Therapy Program at the IU Simon Cancer Center, will help a patient in the chemotherapy-infusion area with breathing exercises. Or, work bedside with a patient in his or her room to perform poses to keep muscles as strong as possible during treatments. She'll spread out yoga mats in a break room or in the center's on-site studio to help patients, nurses or patients' loved ones practice yoga.

Since it began in January 2010, the Yoga Therapy Program has provided the stress-reducing and strength-building benefits of yoga to more than 275 patients, care providers, staff members and others at the IU Simon Cancer Center for a total of almost 800 yoga sessions. Participants in the free service range in age from 19 to 82. Most have no previous yoga experience.

"The most delightful thing patients tell me is that learning these simple yoga techniques gives them a way to participate in their own healing," said Schalk, a yoga teacher since 1984. "It allows them to make some effort and gives them useful tools to reduce some of the hardships of intense cancer treatment."

Schalk said patients many times have feelings that their body is betraying them by being so sick. Yoga, she said, can help give them a feeling of success and empowerment with their bodies.

Janet Schafstall of Franklin, Ind., was in the midst of her cancer diagnosis when she picked up a brochure about the yoga therapy program while at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Soon, Schafstall was meeting Schalk for one-on-one yoga instruction as well as attending group sessions.

"My yoga practice has made a world of difference in my attitude while dealing with my disease," Schafstall said. "There is now something I can do each day to make myself feel more positive. The benefits of a workout are immediate for me, and it is not only physical. It gives me a sense of well-being and control over my situation. I've become stronger, more flexible, and less apprehensive. I wish every cancer patient could experience this wonderful program."

The yoga therapy – part of the CompleteLife program at the IU Simon Cancer Center — is one of a small number of therapeutic yoga programs specifically designed for cancer patients. It includes the physical benefits of yoga poses (called asanas) as well as stress-reducing breathing exercises (called pranayamas), and simple self-soothing meditation practices.

"The primary goal of CompleteLifeTM is to encourage people affected by serious illness to connect with their inner resources and to gain confidence that, regardless of the outcome, they will transcend and find peace," said Dr. Larry Cripe, a hematologist and oncologist at the IU Simon Cancer Center and founder of CompleteLife. "There are many fads in contemporary American life. Nancy brings a deep understanding of the time-honored tradition of yoga and through her compassion she makes yoga accessible and valuable."

For more information or interviews on the Yoga Therapy Program at the IU Simon Cancer Center, call Daniel Lee at 317.963.0448.


About Indiana University Health – Named among the “Best Hospitals in America” by U.S. News & World Report for 13 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation’s leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology.

About IU Simon Cancer Center – The Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center is an Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Health partnership. Located in Indianapolis, IU Simon Cancer Center serves as a regional and national referral center for state-of-the-art cancer treatment and is Indiana’s only National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that provides patient care. The partnership between IU School of Medicine and Indiana University Health is dedicated to establishing a state-wide health care delivery system that is supported by the scientific resources and clinical expertise of the medical school. Its mission is to advance the understanding, prevention and treatment of cancer throughout Indiana and the world with patient-centered care, acceleration of promising science and collaborative educational programs. For more information visit and

About CompleteLife – The IU Simon Cancer Center's CompleteLife program offers complementary support and care for patients and their families and caregivers. Our team of experts provides comprehensive and compassionate care through programs that offer art and music therapy, support groups, psychiatric/psychological consultation, financial and resource counseling, appearance consultation, light massage and healing touch, nutrition counseling and spiritual support. Because cancer can affect the roles and routines of the whole family, CompleteLife is structured to address the needs and concerns of family members, including children, in addition to supporting the patient during and after treatment. For more information, please visit

Mental Health, News, Wellbeing

IU Health launches Indiana’s first full-time sports cardiology program for athletes

The same Indiana University Health doctors who will perform cardiovascular tests on each of the more than 300 collegiate prospects traveling to Indianapolis to participate in this week's NFL Scouting Combine (Feb. 23rd -29th) have opened a new, year-round program to examine the heart health of athletes of all ages and stages.

As Indiana’s first full-time sports cardiology program, the newly launched IU Health Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics, based at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, offers a full range of services fine-tuned for active individuals of all levels – from high school students in need of a physical to adults needing further examination following a concerning cardiovascular event on or off the track or field.

The comprehensive program was created to help prevent athlete deaths caused by undiagnosed heart disease – one of the deadliest issues in sports today. Hundreds of American athletes of all ages, sports and skill levels die each year from heart problems that weren’t detected or treated in time.

It’s a complicated issue to tackle, partly because an athlete’s heart tends to look and function differently than the heart of the average individual. In fact, recent studies show that approximately 25 percent of athletes actually experience adaptations in the size and function of their hearts in response to consistent exercise and intense training.

While these adaptations aren’t necessarily harmful, continued news coverage of athletes suffering sudden cardiac death has prompted heart specialists to take a closer look at athletic hearts and the ways they can differ from the average heart and to develop athlete-specific criteria for interpreting test results. But the number of clinical programs with experienced specialists trained to understand athlete-specific heart issues are few and far between.

“An athlete’s heart is a high-performance machine with unique needs, but only a handful of cardiology programs throughout the country are dedicated to evaluating these active individuals,” said Michael Emery, M.D., a sports cardiologist at IU Health and medical director of the IU Health Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics. “Now, with this program, we’re going to use every tool in our toolbox to determine which athletes might have a serious heart problem so we can intervene to help keep preventable tragedies from happening."

While the new program will use a variety of diagnostic tools including heart scans and echocardiograms, its centerpiece is its Sports Cardiology Performance Lab, which allows clinicians to recreate the physical demands of intense competition and perform functional cardiovascular assessments so they can analyze the impact such activities could have on an athlete’s heart. The lab features advanced technologies such as industrial-level treadmills—with longer, wider and more durable belts to accommodate athletic individuals—high-end sport bike ergometers and the latest equipment for wireless electrocardiograms (EKGs) and VO2 max testing to measure an individual’s cardio-pulmonary fitness.

“The idea is to use the lab setting to recreate the stresses of athletic performance that may have triggered heart-related symptoms in active individuals and study them to see if we find anything worthy of concern,” said Dr. Emery, who also has a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology and Human Performance and serves as the national co-chair of the Sports and Exercise Cardiology section for the American College of Cardiology. “We can create customized tests for every athlete and any sport and incorporate their performance data into our clinical assessments. This level of examination gives us far more reliable information about a player’s physical limitations and helps to guide our medical treatment so we can hopefully return them to a safe level of activity, which is our ultimate goal.”

Although its Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics is new, IU Health already has a long track record of experience when it comes to caring for athletes’ hearts. For nearly three decades, IU Health cardiologists and clinicians have used their expertise to perform medical evaluations on NFL hopefuls – all of whom must pass a series of exams at IU Health Methodist Hospital before they can showcase their physical skills and 40-yard-dash times at the annual NFL Combine.

"IU Health has performed heart exams on NFL Combine athletes for nearly 30 years and has a great playbook for how to do it effectively," said Dr. Emery, who along with fellow IU Health cardiologist Richard Kovacs, M.D. will use the capabilities of the new program to continue the tradition of testing athletes coming to town for this year’s NFL Combine and share that same level of expertise with athletes of all levels who can now present their hearts for closer examination year-round.

To schedule an appointment with the IU Health Center for Cardiovascular Care in Athletics, contact 317.962.9455.

About Indiana University HealthNamed among the "Best Hospitals in America" by U.S.News & World Report for 18 consecutive years, Indiana University Health is dedicated to providing a unified standard of preeminent, patient-centered care. A unique partnership with Indiana University School of Medicine – one of the nation's leading medical schools – gives our highly skilled physicians access to innovative treatments using the latest research and technology. Learn more at

Mental Health, News, Wellbeing

Discover How to Reduce Underlying Risks, Improve Health and Control Costs

Healthcare costs keep employers up at night. Yet considering some of the costs employers face, it’s easy to understand why.

Average healthcare costs were projected to be $11,304 per employee in 2015 by an Aon-Hewitt analysis, for example. For 2016, employers anticipate a 6.4 percent cost increase.

To combat rising costs plus improve employee health, a proactive strategy is needed—one that focuses on keeping “at-risk” employees from developing costly chronic conditions.

Understanding the Risks

“There are three key risk factors that every employer should be aware of—tobacco use, body mass index (BMI) and high blood pressure,” says Dr. Geraldine Darroca, Medical Director at Indiana University Health Business Solutions. The reason why is simple: These risks are precursors to the top four chronic conditions leading to morbidity and mortality—cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and respiratory illnesses. Take a look at the tremendous impact they can have on employee health and costs:

Tobacco use – This contributes to lung and cardiovascular disease because it effects oxygenation of the blood and impacts the cholesterol profile, explains Dr. Darroca. The CDC reports that tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease.
BMI – Having a BMI over 30 can lead to cardiovascular disease, multiple cancers, obesity, diabetes, back pain and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis often leads to knee replacement surgery, which is one of the highest claims costs for many employers.
Blood pressure – High blood pressure (<150 over 90) contributes to heart disease and stroke. Roughly one in three people have it. With no warning signs, it’s often referred to as the “silent killer.”

The Link to Chronic Disease

These three risk factors are important to monitor since they can lead to costly chronic conditions. People with chronic conditions are the most frequent users of healthcare services, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, accounting for:

81 percent of hospital admissions
91 percent of all prescriptions filled
76 percent of all physician visits

As a result, 84 percent of healthcare expenditures are attributed to chronic conditions, totaling more than $1 trillion annually in the U.S.

Why Population Health is the Solution

With high costs and people’s health at stake, it makes sense for employers to consider a population health strategy focused on risk reduction. After all, many chronic conditions are preventable or could be managed through behavior and lifestyle modifications.

For example, increasing physical activity by just 2.5 hours each week can help individuals lose 5-7 percent of their weight and reduce the risk for diabetes by 58 percent, reports the U.S. Surgeon General.

In a population health program, an employer’s workforce is segmented into categories through screenings and data analytics. Employees fall into either a “well/healthy,” “at-risk” or “chronically ill” category. Then, support services such as wellness or care management are applied to help maintain health, reduce risks and minimize disease progression.

As a result, employers typically see improved health and reduced costs—illustrated by the fact that 87 percent of employers plan to continue to focus on wellness and care management, according to a recent Price Waterhouse Coopers survey.

Learn More

To learn more about cost-saving population health strategies, read our latest white paper, Boost Profits by Reducing Smoking, Obesity & Hypertension.

Mental Health, News, Wellbeing

IU Health hires new CIO to oversee growing tech

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University Health has hired an information technology veteran to be its new chief information officer.

Mark Lantzy recently joined IU Health as senior vice president and CIO. In his new role, Lantzy will have overall responsibility for information services (IS), including strategic planning, operations and project delivery, for IU Health’s 16-hospital system, health plans and physicians network.

“I am very pleased to join an organization so important to the lives of our patients and Hoosiers,” Lantzy said. “There is a rapidly growing technology sector in Indianapolis and the opportunity to bring innovation and new approaches to our health information technology capability is exciting.”

Lantzy, who has a 20-year career in health information services, comes to IU Health after serving as chief operations officer and CIO for Gateway Health, a Pittsburgh-based managed care organization for Medicaid and Medicare members. Previously Lantzy held leadership positions for WellCare Health Plans, Aetna, and Accenture.

“Mark is a dynamic, accomplished leader who will help recruit top talent to our 600-person information technology team and leverage IU Health’s IT infrastructure to benefit patients and providers,” said Ryan Kitchell, executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Lantzy takes over from Bill McConnell, who is headed for retirement. As CIO, McConnell led statewide IS integration projects, built IU Health’s data warehouse and decision support and analytics capabilities, stabilized IS infrastructure and systems performance, and worked to expand research systems capabilities with IU School of Medicine and associated institutes.

McConnell is staying on for several months to serve in a human relations role at IU Health.