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Remembering Senator Lugar

On Sunday, April 28, Senator Richard G. Lugar passed away. His accomplishments in international politics and nuclear disarmament will be remembered for decades and captured in textbooks for generations to come.

The Lugar Center in Washington, DC released the following statement:

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator Richard G. Lugar, 87, who served as Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975, a U.S. Senator from 1977 to 2013, and President of the Lugar Center since 2013, died peacefully on Sunday April 28 at 1:44 am at the Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in Virginia. The cause of death was complications from CIDP (chronic inflammatory demylinating polyneuropathy).

His loving wife Char, his four sons Mark, Bob, John, and David and their families were with him throughout his short illness in the hospital. The Lugar Family expresses their deepest thanks to Dr. Megan Terek and her staff for the exceptional and compassionate care that they provided.

Press Contacts:

Dan Diller -

Andy Fisher -

The impact Senator Lugar made on leaders can be seen on The Lugar Center's website here. Comments from former President Barack Obama, Governor Eric Holcomb, and Members of the House and Senate are featured.

The accomplishments and legacy of the Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health will always model the Senator's attitude and Hoosier values. We are honored to continue working in his name and will work daily toward upholding the values instilled in our mission, advancing rural health through education, innovation, and collaboration. These values that are embodied in the namesake of our center. For more details on our work with the Senator please visit his page here. The following piece from the Terre Haute Tribune Star details the work of our center through the impact of Senator Richard Lugar.

One Wabash Valley resident heavily influenced by Lugar is Dr. Jim Turner, medical director of the Lugar Center for Rural Health. “He was like a father to me. I lost my dad 20 years ago ... I respected him [Lugar] as much as my own father. It was a sad day for us [Sunday],” Turner said. “He [Lugar] was always so proud of the different projects we did in his name ... He was especially proud of the rural medicine programs that trained doctors for rural areas.”

The Lugar Center has become recognized regionally and nationally for its work in telehealth.“He changed my life,” Turner said. A family physician, Turner said his work with Lugar “has given me a great opportunity to learn about government and public policy.”

Lugar helped secure funding for the Landsbaum Center for Health Education. That center provides educational facilities to second-year medical students from the Indiana University School of Medicine-Terre Haute, Indiana State University College of Health and Human Services students, including in nursing, and for physicians and staff of Union Hospital Inc.

The Richard G. Lugar Center for Rural Health is located on the second floor of the building.Initially called the Midwest Center for Rural Health, in March 2006, this center was renamed in honor of Lugar and its mission is to advance rural health through education, innovation and collaboration. Lugar had a significant impact on improving rural health in Indiana, Turner said.The Indiana University School of Medicine rural medical education program, based in Terre Haute, is now 11 years old.

“It would not have existed without the Lugar Center for Rural Health,” Turner said. The four-year program has a focus on rural medicine and includes classes on the campus of Indiana State University and at Landsbaum Center.

In February, Turner spent time with the former senator at his office in Washington D.C., where Lugar worked on international issues. Through the years, Turner met with Lugar many times. “He was very kind, very soft-spoken” and very supportive of the work the center did with rural Indiana, he said.

When he was a senator, Lugar also assisted with acquiring funding for the area’s first Federally Qualified Health Center, which is a community-based health care provider that receives federal funds to provide primary care services in under-served areas.

The first clinic was in Clinton and it was initially called the Vermillion-Parke Community Health Center. It is now known as Valley Professionals Community Health Center and encompasses more communities, including Crawfordsville and Terre Haute. Several years ago, Lugar helped the community health center acquire a mobile unit, which goes to schools to provide health care, said Terry Warren, Valley Professionals chief executive officer.

Lugar had a major impact on increasing access to health care in the Wabash Valley, Warren said. “Without Mr. Lugar, we wouldn’t have the access we have.” Ed Pease, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997-2001 while Lugar was a U.S. senator, noted that the IU rural medical education program based in Terre Haute was “hugely important” to Indiana and rural health.

“This was one example of many where Sen. Lugar would identify a problem ... and with his staff, methodically and intellectually see what resources were available” to help solve the problem, said Pease, who is chairman of the Indiana State University board of trustees. Lugar recognized the increasing disparities between rural and urban areas, not only in health care, but in access to educational opportunities and the Internet, Pease said.

The work done at the Lugar Center, particularly in telemedicine, has had a positive impact not just in Indiana, but beyond, Pease said.

For the full story on Senator Richard G. Lugar click here

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