Most likely, any student who has been walking IU’s campus for even a short amount of time has heard of IUDM. Most students could tell you it’s a huge student organization, and that the main event is a dance marathon to raise funds for Riley. But how much could they tell you about Riley? Let’s take a look at some of the huge and influential things that Riley has done as one of the top 50 children’s hospitals out of hundreds in the country.

Riley hospital opened its doors to children and families in 1924. Since that time, Riley has been making history and adding to its long list of ‘firsts.’ Riley was the location of Indiana’s first pediatric open heart procedure in 1956, its first pediatric burn center and neonatal intensive care unit in 1971, its first outpatient surgical care center in 1980, its first pediatric cochlear implant procedure in 1983, and its first infant and newborn heart transplants in 1989.

In 1991, the year that IUDM started, the Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research opened at Riley. Three years later, Indiana’s first and only pediatric cancer center opened, including a stem cell transplant unit. Riley opened the world’s largest pediatric sleep lab in 2001, and one of the top three autism centers in the nation in 2002.  US News recognized Riley this year as one of the Best Children’s Hospitals for Cancer Treatment.

Next time you think of IUDM, think of the IU students working their hardest to make it happen. Think of their passion, their memories, and their reasons for doing IUDM. Think of the Riley kids with phenomenal stories and the individual paths that led them to Riley. Next time, do Riley a favor and don’t stop there. Remember the medical advancements and discoveries that have been made on a larger scale at Riley. Think about the breakthroughs that have enabled other hospitals to follow Riley’s example, the things that have happened at Riley that are helping not only the kids that go there, but kids who need medical attention throughout our country and the whole world.  Next time you think of IUDM, take a second to remember what everyone involved is doing for our school, for the kids, but also for medical history and the future of medicine.

By: Kelly Freiburger



“Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health.” Riley. IU Health, 2013. Web. 04 Apr. 2013.