OSF HealthCare and the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have announced a $25 million commitment from the Chicago-based DiSomma Family Foundation in support of efforts to advance community wellness.
The gift will support an expansion of the Jump Applied Research for Community Health Through Engineering and Simulation (Jump ARCHES) program, a partnership between the College of Engineering's Healthcare Engineering Systems Center and OSF HealthCare's Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center that seeks to improve patient outcomes and lower healthcare costs through innovative solutions to social and behavioral health problems. Additional commitments of $12.5 million from the OSF HealthCare Foundation and $12.5 million from the university will boost the endowment for the program to more than $100 million.
With the funding, the program will double its annual grantmaking, from $2 million to $4 million, allowing healthcare providers and university researchers to experiment with supportive medical devices, robots, and process improvements that enable seniors to age safely in place. Construction already is under way on a 2,500-square-foot Life Home on the Champaign-Urbana campus where researchers will be able to test the efficacy of cloud-based systems, sensors that measure vital signs, and in-home virtual assistants. The program also will conduct research on the role that human factors play in influencing whether people actually use such devices and systems.
A second initiative will examine underlying conditions that, if treated, could prevent opioid addiction, as well as technology that could assess people's risk for opioid dependence. Researchers will also explore social factors — including food insecurity, lack of transportation, and isolation — that contribute to poor health outcomes.
"With this engineering know-how and device development know-how and social science know-how," said John Vozenilek, vice president and chief medical officer for Jump Simulation at OSF HealthCare, "we're going to be able to create solutions that are not just good ideas, but are creating great impacts in our communities."