With just over one year left before the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health begin welcoming patients, Wishard/Eskenazi Health officials joined community leaders to kick off the annual Report to Our Community with a groundbreaking event for a primary care facility that will open in 2013 in the Lafayette Square area, Indy’s International Marketplace.
"Eskenazi Health is more than a hospital. It is an integrated health system built for everyone in our community,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO and medical director at Wishard Health Services. “We are focused on enhancing our community, from the new hospital campus downtown to this site on which we’re building a new 70,000-square-foot primary care center. The progress we report today – progress our community helped make possible – will create a new landscape for health care in Indianapolis."
The event was held on the construction site of the planned Eskenazi Health Center near 38th Street and Moller Road. Project and health system officials joined local community leaders and supporters to talk about the new health center, as well as progress on the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus, which is set to open in December 2013.
"Eskenazi Health is on time and on budget, and is just over a year away from delivering unprecedented access to quality care for our community,” said Matthew R. Gutwein, president and CEO of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County. “We are ahead of our goals for construction contracting with businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities, and today, as we break ground on this new comprehensive Eskenazi Health primary care center, we also report to the community that we are continuing to invest in primary care for our community."
The concept for the new health center was designed to represent a community center that also offers health care. The new facility will bring comprehensive health care to the Lafayette Square area in a way that is environmentally friendly, culturally focused and available for all.
"Right here in Lafayette Square, in a section of our city that faced difficult times during the past several years, Eskenazi Health is not only developing an improved health system, they are delivering improved development for our community," said Rep. André Carson of Indiana.
"Eskenazi Health continues to represent outstanding progress for our community," added Indianapolis Mayor Gregory A. Ballard. "The new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus and the new 38th Street Eskenazi Health Center represent great assets for our community that will improve residents’ health and quality of life. Those who live in Indy’s International Marketplace and the Lafayette Square area will benefit from the vast array of services offered so close to home."
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, who contributed $40 million to the new hospital project last summer and whose name will appear on the hospital and entire health system, were in attendance for the event.
"I built one of my first retail projects, the Honey Creek Shopping Center, across the street from this site, a property we still own and manage. What Wishard is creating in this neighborhood here at the intersection of Pike and Wayne townships is momentum,” said Sidney Eskenazi. “It’s momentum that joins upon that of the organizations out here today and the growing business community that is making this neighborhood vibrant again."
The comprehensive Eskenazi Health Center at 38th Street will be the most advanced in Wishard/Eskenazi Health’s current network of nearly 30 primary care and mental health care facilities. Its range of services will include prenatal care, senior care, health and wellness programs, physical therapy, radiology and other diagnostic testing services.
"Like the new hospital and health campus downtown, when it opens in 2013, this new health and community center will be a vital resource for this area and for all of our Indianapolis community," said Maggie Lewis, Indianapolis City-County Council president and councillor for the 7th District, where the new primary care center is being constructed.
Speakers also highlighted the development as further progress in the diverse Lafayette Square area, which has attracted notoriety and growth as a concentration of restaurants and small businesses offering fare from around the world has developed.
"With the support of businesses as well as our elected leaders, we are becoming the embodiment of our optimism," said Mary Clark, founder and board president of the Lafayette Square Area Coalition. "With growth and development from organizations such as Wishard and Eskenazi Health, we are becoming the thriving cultural, commercial and connected Indianapolis destination we have long dreamed we could be. And today, we stand closer to that dream."
The project to construct the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus is creating 4,400 jobs and will transform the landscape of health care in Indianapolis.
Visit EskenaziHealth.org to learn more about the project, and visit EskenaziHealthFoundation.org to learn more about the capital campaign and ongoing fundraising. For more information about Wishard Health Services, visit Wishard.edu.