Dr. James Edlund is impatient.
The surgeon, who specializes in colorectal cases, wants to shorten the time between medical breakthroughs and real world use on patients. That wait is now about 17 years.
Edlund was joined Tuesday afternoon by more than 200 people with similar goals as Parkview Foundation officials broke ground on the Mirro Family Research and Education Center.
Mike Packnett, Parkview Healths president and CEO, said the facility will be the epicenter for research and education efforts throughout northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
Parkview Foundation has raised more than $4 million toward the $20 million project. Once fundraising reaches $5 million, Parkview Health will kick in the remaining $15 million, spokesman Eric Clabaugh said.
The Mirro Center, which will be almost 82,000 square feet, is being built on the Parkview Regional Medical Center campus near Dupont Road. Construction is expected to be completed by late next year.
The center will include laboratories, equipment rooms, offices, meeting rooms and a large auditorium.
The center, which will have more than 90 rooms, is designed to accommodate up to 700 people at a time for education sessions.
Researchers will focus on heart disease, oncology, radiation oncology, neurological conditions and orthopedics.
The center will also look at how medical information is communicated, understood and managed, referred to as medical informatics.
Dr. Edlund sees the potential for economic development with the project.
The center will attract talented medical students and professionals interested in research, counteracting the tendency of educated young professionals to move out of northeast Indiana, he said.
Dr. Michael Mirro, who attended the groundbreaking with his wife, expects the center bearing his familys name will have synergies with Indiana Universitys medical school and various nursing programs in the region.
The Parkview staff is already working with Manchester University College of Pharmacy on a study about how to get more people to follow prescription dosage instructions, he said.
The research centers staff eventually will be able to embark on many more collaborative projects with students and professors in the region, he said.
Packnett, Parkviews CEO, seemed to get choked up as he talked about the research and education center, which has been one of his highest priorities since he accepted his position 7 1/2 years ago.
One of my best days ever was when Mike and Jeanne (Mirro) announced they would give us a $1 million gift to really make this thing happen, he said.
The donation was made by the Mirro Family Foundation. Jeanne Mirro is the foundations president.
Michael Mirro is a practicing cardiologist. The couples daughters, who are also active in the foundation, couldnt attend the event.
Packnett told the gathered crowd that the Mirros have many passions and places where they could have donated that money.
Then the CEO addressed the couple directly: I think were going to make you proud.