Improving Health Access & Education

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Mission of the RHIC?

The mission of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative (RHIC) is to improve and expand interprofessional education, training, and deployment of future health care providers, especially for those committed to serving rural populations. The RHIC also will be an economic engine for west-central Indiana through the development of health care-related jobs and a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization in Terre Haute.

Who are the RHIC Partners?

The RHIC is a unique combination of public and private entities. The collaborative boasts partners from government, higher education, healthcare, economic development, and public health. It is this diversity that allows the RHIC to pursue innovative answers to wide-ranging issues in healthcare access and delivery.

Founding Partners

  • The City of Terre Haute
  • Hamilton Center, Inc.
  • Indiana State University
  • Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley
  • Terre Haute Economic Development Corporation
  • Union Hospital

Primary Partners

  • Harrison College
  • Saint Mary of the Woods College

Supporting Partners

  • Indiana Area Health Education Centers (AHEC)
  • Indiana Rural Health Association
  • Regional Hospital
  • Valley Professionals Community Health Center

When was the RHIC Formed?

The initial structure of the Collaborative was guided by a Leadership Committee that included the executives of the Founding Partners and convened when needed, to make high-level decisions.

In 2008 an Operations Committee was initially established to handle day-to-day set up of the RHIC. This Operations Committee was composed of representatives from each of the institutions and was responsible for the initial implementation of the RHIC’s initiative elements.

Founding Partners made significant progress toward establishing a more formal structure to ensure a strong foundation for the Collaborative.

The Collaborative formally adopted Bylaws and other guiding partnership documents in 2009. On December 10, 2009, the RHIC became officially incorporated through the state of Indiana.

The Leadership and Operations Committees were transformed into a formal Board of Directors, including standing committees as follows: Executive, Audit, Finance, and Governance.

The board also named special committees as follows: Communication, Economic Development, Education, Facilities, and Resource Development.

Through this more formal structure, the partners are excited about the RHIC’s ability for continued successful growth that will ensure our collaborative success toward improving and expanding education and training of health care professionals and future health care professionals, especially for those committed to serving rural and under-served populations. This continued success will also ensure a brighter future, including long-term economic vitality, in our community and surrounding communities.

In 2011 the Collaborative added the RHIC Simulation Center, a way of establishing a facility to provide an incubator for interprofessional education and innovative solutions to hands-on, immersive educational opporutinities for the Partners as well as the community

Why was the RHIC created?

The RHIC partners formally joined together to respond to the current and worsening health care worker shortages. In addition to addressing workforce needs, the development of the collaborative will result in neighborhood revitalization and economic development, including physical infrastructure build-out, business expansion and attraction, and the increase of rural health care services, training, and research.

How are the RHIC initiatives funded?

The RHIC Partners have each contributed to initial organization and operational costs for the RHIC. In addition, the RHIC partners are pursuing investments at the federal, state, and local levels, and through the private sector as appropriate.

Will the RHIC develop additional partnerships?

Yes. The expectation is that the RHIC will continue to evolve and expand through the involvement of stakeholders at a variety of levels.

How Can I Get Addiontional Information?

For more information, contact the RHIC Executive Director, Stephanie Laws, via email at or by phone at 812-238-7479.

For more information about the RHIC Simulation Center, contact the Sim Center Director, Jack Jaeger, via email at, or by phone at 812-238-4625

What is the RHIC Simulation Center?

The RHIC Simulation Center was created in 2011 and initially funded by four Partners of the RHIC, including Indiana State University, Indiana University School of Medicine, Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley, and Union Hospital.


The mission of the RHIC Simulation Center is to teach, maintain and assess technical and cognitive competency, new procedures and emerging technologies to current and future healthcare providers across all disciplines using state-of-the-art educational methods and technology and with an emphasis on interprofessional, team-based training.


  • Promote patient safety
  • Support continuing professional development
  • Help provide learners at all levels across all disciplines acquire and maintain cognitive and technical knowledge and skills
  • Teach and train teams across all disciplines to enhance each member’s role and communication
  • Provide long-term follow-up for the learner
  • Provide opportunities for remediation
  • Access technical and cognitive competency across all disciplines and all levels of care providers
  • Assist in curriculum development and validation for procedural and cognitive skills
  • Advance education and pursue research to advance education
  • Educate the educators of today and tomorrow
  • Develop meaningful collaboration with other institutions and centers of learning


The Simulation Center’s vision is to build an internationally recognized center for medical learning and research that will focus on the transfer of cognitive and technical knowledge in new procedures, emerging technologies and safety to enhance patient care today and tomorrow.