Dr. Peter Embi

Regenstrief Institute is celebrating a momentous milestone: our 50thanniversary!

Sam Regenstrief, a captain of industry, and his wife Myrtie, established the institute in 1969 with the goal of advancing and improving healthcare.

A true visionary, Sam Regenstrief pioneered the cost-effective manufacture of the watertight front-loading dishwasher, transforming the American kitchen and the nature of household chores. The innovative businessman and philanthropist, who had immigrated to the United States as a young child, saw a huge need for improved healthcare delivery, and believed that knowledge acquired from manufacturing, engineering and other disciplines could be utilized to benefit the health of humankind.

In the last 50 years, the institute has grown from a collection of a few dedicated individuals to a team numbering in the hundreds, with an innumerable network of collaborators that stretches across disciplines and nations. Our work has expanded into areas as diverse as pharmacogenomics, spiritual care, human factors engineering, workforce development and myriad other disciplines.

The work we have completed, the lives we have changed, and the systems we have created, tested and helped improve are all a product of the vision of Sam and Myrtie. Their generosity has fueled our innovations for a half a century, and their dedication to an efficient, effective healthcare system that would benefit all people has been, and remains, our guiding principle.

With inspiration from our namesakes, collaborations and partnerships have been crucial to our successes. From academic colleagues to health systems such as Eskenazi and the Roudebush VA Medical Center, to private sector allies such as Merck and MDClone, alongside nonprofit partnerships and relationships with policymakers, our collaborators have been vital to the execution and scope of our work.

Innovations such as GOPHER and the Regenstrief Medical Record System, which paved the way for modern EHR systems, and LOINC®, the data standards that have been adopted all around the world, are hallmarks of the institute. Concepts from each are ubiquitous in today’s clinical and patient environments, even to the extent of being components of iPhone and Android smartphone apps. Other institute initiatives such as OPTIMISTIC, which has enabled better care for our elders, and STROKE QUERI, which has literally rewritten the book on how clinicians provide care in the aftermath of a stroke, have improved life for an untold number of individuals.

Of course, none of these innovations would have been possible without the insight of our faculty, the diligence and engagement of our staff, and the assistance of our administrative core. The labors of all members of the Regenstrief Institute have made these advances possible.

Over the course of the next 12 months, we’ll have ample opportunities to celebrate this significant milestone and recount the many stories of Regenstrief Institute’s past and present.

While we will take this opportunity to look back and reflect on our previous work, I would also encourage us to look forward and imagine how we can continue our commitment to pursue a world where better information empowers people to end disease and pursue true health.

What opportunities can we chase? What partnerships can we pursue? What revolutions might we lead? What innovations can we envision, develop and implement? What possibilities are out there just beyond our current reach, that we will achieve in the next 5, 10, or 50 years?

I look forward to greeting the future with you every bit as much as celebrating our past and our present. Its my hope for all of us — Regenstrief family, partners and others — that this year will serve not only as a celebration of what we have achieved, but also a harbinger of the future as we take this opportunity to dream bigger, think deeper and challenge ourselves to exceed our past successes, which is a lofty but attainable goal.

To our partners, who have funded, collaborated, encouraged and enhanced our work over the past five decades, I thank you for your contributions, support and faith in us. To our faculty and staff, I thank you for the excellence and commitment that you bring to the institute every day. Congratulations to all who have contributed to 50 years of hard work and innovation.

While we have a roadmap, there are always unforeseen developments and detours. We will address the challenges as they arise and we will forge ahead; because disrupting healthcare is not an easy mission, but it is a necessary one — one that we can accomplish together. Many of the challenges and opportunities ahead are trails not yet seen and mountains not yet scaled. I welcome the challenge and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for the Regenstrief Institute.

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