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Our History

Sam Regenstrief was a captain of industry with a brilliant mind when it came to increasing manufacturing productivity while lowering costs. After a hospital visit for a physical, and experiencing firsthand the inefficiency and inequity too often plaguing health care, Sam sought to find a way to apply technological and engineering advances to medicine.

The Regenstrief Foundation and the Regenstrief Institute were established by Sam and his wife Myrtie on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus in 1969. They believed the modern advances in technology and processes in industry which made Sam successful could be applied to health care systems and research.

Closely associated with the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Eskenazi Health, and IU Health, Regenstrief Institute was created as a medical research and development organization focused on improving quality of care, increasing efficiency of healthcare delivery, preventing medical errors, and enhancing patient safety.

Our researchers and their teams honor Sam Regenstrief’s legacy every day by creating pathways for better health. Sharing Sam’s vision to improve the quality of patient care through innovation, the work of the Regenstrief Institute lives at the intersection of medicine, research, technology, and engineering.

The Regenstrief Foundation

After struggling with a personal experience with the healthcare industry, philanthropist Sam Regenstrief was determined to spark change in the quality and efficiency of patient care. Sam and his wife, Myrtie, created The Regenstrief Foundation April 7, 1967 with assistance from legal counsel Leonard Betley, Sam’s nephew Dr. Harvey Feigenbaum, and Dr. John B. Hickam, professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at the IU School of Medicine.

The avowed purpose was “to bring to the practice of medicine the most modern scientific advances from engineering, business, and the social sciences, and to foster the rapid dissemination into medical practice of the new knowledge created by research.”
Regenstrief: Legacy of the Dishwasher King

For five decades, the foundation has supported the efforts of researchers and clinicians who, like Sam, realize the tremendous opportunities to make medical care safer, more efficient and more accessible for everyone — no matter where they are.