REVIEWER: Michael Carlson, manager of strategic information for Iowa Health - Des Moines.

BACKGROUND: Created in 1993, Iowa Health System (IHS) is the state's first and largest integrated healthcare system. IHS is a community-based organization of physicians, hospitals, civic leaders and local volunteers who are open to new approaches and who share a vision of affordable, accessible healthcare. IHS operates facilities in seven large Iowa communities, supports a system of rural hospitals in 14 Iowa communities and partners with physicians and clinics in more than 80 communities in Iowa, western Illinois and eastern Nebraska. Iowa Health - Des Moines, part of Iowa Health System, is made up of three hospitals: Iowa Methodist Medical Center, Blank Children's Hospital and Iowa Lutheran Hospital.

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