This investment by the Stone Family builds upon the significant clinical research assets located in the Evansville region and adds to our ability to attract new life science opportunities leveraging the world-class research being performed here. Through our region’s gameplan (Talent 2025) we have a deliberate focus on attracting and strengthening employment opportunities offering higher than average wages, and this investment and the opportunity it presents is an important step forward.
Today’s announcement is also a prescient reminder of the work previously done in securing a new Indiana University medical campus in downtown Evansville, the clinical research underwriting made from the Regional Cities initiative, as well as what new horizons will be reached from this week’s READI announcement. Attracting world-class medical researchers and clinicians along with a first of its kind real-world evidence data lake to Southwest Indiana has long been the goal for the Evansville region; and solidifies our community as a place where people want to work and live. Quite simply, this announcement furthers that aspiration.
Gift to improve access to mental health resources, make southwestern Indiana hub of research in psychiatric care
A pair of Evansville natives are building on their continued support of health sciences in southwestern Indiana with a major gift to Indiana University School of Medicine.
William C. and Mary R. (O’Daniel) Stone announced a $34.2 million gift to establish the Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine—Evansville.
The center will seek to fundamentally alter and improve the standard of care for people with bipolar disorder, and dramatically increase access to psychiatric care for the children and adolescent youth of southwestern Indiana.
This gift, one of the largest in IU School of Medicine history, follows the 2018 gift of $15 million the Stones made toward a multi‐institutional health sciences collaboration between the University of Evansville, University of Southern Indiana and Indiana University.
“As natives, we are committed to Evansville’s growth. Key to quality growth is a healthy populace. Mental health is one of the least understood maladies, is often debilitating to individuals, and very difficult for families and communities,” said Bill Stone. “This center will allow researchers to make Evansville a center of groundbreaking scientific discovery, while simultaneously training physicians to address the communities’ very real needs.”
The new center will endow three new chairs and has a fund to support six additional child and adolescent psychiatrists/fellowships—a dramatic infusion for southwestern Indiana, where several counties are without any psychiatric providers. Even in Evansville, this would nearly triple the number of child psychiatrists—improving access, enabling earlier diagnosis and allowing for quicker treatment.
The psychiatrists will also be conducting research at the center, with a focus on bipolar and other mood disorders. These researchers will be able to build on the existing strength in neurosciences at IU School of Medicine, harnessing tools and expertise in the areas of genetic analysis, animal modeling and imaging, biological sampling, drug development, and data analysis.
“We are grateful for Bill and Mary Stone’s dedication to expanding Evansville’s economic growth and advancing research in mental health,” said IU President Pamela Whitten. “Through their generosity,
Indiana University continues its commitment to transforming the future of health care in the Evansville region and the entire state.”
Along with attracting world‐class researchers and clinicians to southwestern Indiana, the new center will also be leading the way in providing better treatments through big data. A real‐world evidence data lake is planned—a first‐of‐its‐kind comprehensive data platform for psychiatric research and machine learning.
This data lake would draw from millions of patient records across the United States. Through medical artificial intelligence, a research team in Evansville would identify the most effective therapies and promising innovations by analyzing patient characteristics and prescription patterns that result in optimal outcomes. This data lake would be continuously updated and expanded as new patient data is added, creating a resource for not only treating Hoosier patients, but also making southwestern Indiana a national hub for research in child and psychiatric disorders by attracting talented researchers and investment capital to Evansville.
According to the Bowen Center for Health Workforce Research and Policy at IU School of Medicine, Indiana falls far behind the national average for population per provider ratio in psychiatry. In adults, Indiana has about half as many psychiatrists treating patients as the national average. In child and adolescent care, that number is even lower—with a 20,916 to 1 ratio of patients to physicians, versus the national rate of 8,848 to 1.
IU School of Medicine is committed to improving those numbers, with new residencies established in recent years in northwest and southwestern Indiana. With the new Mary O’Daniel Stone and Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the school is positioned to continue that effort to bring better mental health services to all Hoosiers.
“When students and residents train in communities, they are much more likely to make personal and professional connections. Our efforts through our residency program in southwestern Indiana will be bolstered by this gift—offering trainees access to world‐class researchers and technology,” said Steven
G. Becker, MD, associate dean and director of IU School of Medicine—Evansville. “The continued generosity further solidifies the legacy of the Stone family in making Evansville a health sciences destination—one which will have a true impact on the health of Hoosiers across the state.”
Evansville will serve as the administrative, clinical care, clinical research and data analysis base for the center. The new center director, clinicians and support staff will work from Evansville, with the bulk of operations taking place within the new Deaconess Downtown Clinic. This 8,500‐square‐foot space was built in 2020 with this purpose in mind.
Students from the nearby Stone Family Center for Health Sciences will engage in research and learning opportunities at the new center, along with the residency program at IU School of Medicine—Evansville.
About Bill and Mary Stone
Bill and Mary Stone are natives of Evansville. Mary is a 1978 graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington. Bill received his degree in business administration and accounting from Marquette University in 1977.