An official agreement between two institutions will help improve healthcare in Central Illinois.

OSF Healthcare and Illinois State University are teaming up for a Connected Communities Initiative.  

These two institutions have had a long-standing history of collaboration and now they are celebrating the formalization, bringing together the clinicians of healthcare and faculty and students of ISU.

The way it works is a clinician from OSF Healthcare and a faculty member from ISU propose a project.

“The project could be expanding service to our community, it could be in cyber security and data, it could be about access; it could be about all new services,” says Dr. John Vozenilek, chief medical officer for innovation and digital health at OSF Healthcare. “But its core is the connection between the two individuals supported by both of their organizations and funded to do wonderful work in our community.”

According to the doctor, faculty from every aspect of ISU can be involved in these programs and clinicians of every discipline.

There is a commitment over a five-year period of a million dollars a year to fund these types of collaborations, half of that coming from ISU and half from OSF healthcare.

“Half a million dollars should help the faculty and clinicians do the type of work we’re talking about,” says Craig Mclauchlan, associate vice president for research and graduate studies at ISU. “Whether those are actual dollars in donations to different foundations to support the faculty to gifts in kind, equipment, etc. We’re looking forward to putting resources into this project.”

Mclauchlan says the collaboration strengthens the ecosystem for new products/services and contributes to economic growth. He adds that novel solutions should improve access to healthcare and meet social needs that contribute to overall health and wellness.