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Ruth Lilly Health Education Center to Close After 25 Years

Center's outreach programs will continue and expand under management of Marian University

A popular Indianapolis field-trip destination for Hoosier health students is closing its doors after 25 years and reinventing itself.

The Ruth Lilly Health Education Center will merge into Marian University after the first of the year. Instead of bringing tour groups in, the center's two health educators will bring presentations to Indiana classrooms as part of Marian's School of Education and Exercise Science. Lilly Center president Joyce Hertko says surveys of superintendents and students indicated they preferred having the program come to them. She says a growing number of superintendents couldn't afford the cost of busing students to the center.

The center will honor all reservations through the end of the year, but schools which had planned visits in 2015 will be rescheduled for in-school visits.

Hertko says the center could have continued as an independent entity, but was facing financial difficulties similar to those of other nonprofits. She says the merger ensures the center's financial sustainability.

Marian's Education and Exercise Science dean Diana Cheshire, who will oversee the program after the merger, says Marian plans to expand the center's reach to offer programs for adults, in conjunction with Marian's nursing and osteopathy programs. She says the university plans to complete a full programming plan in six months.

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