Ribbon cutting for new Eskenazi Health Center

After four years and 13 days, thousands of jobs created and 421 Indiana contractors, vendors and suppliers engaged, and nearly $81 million in philanthropic funds raised, the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus is ready to open. A crowd of hundreds, including elected officials and community leaders, joined Eskenazi Health to hold a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the new campus.

Many of Indiana’s most esteemed leaders joined Eskenazi Health for the ribbon-cutting, including: U.S. Congressman André Carson; U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks; representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly and U.S. Senator Dan Coats; Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard; City-County Council President Maggie Lewis; State Representative Greg Porter; former U.S. Senator and Indiana Governor Evan Bayh; Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the Marion County Public Health Department; Dr. Anantha Shekhar, associate dean of the IU School of Medicine; Bruce Siegel, president and CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals; Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, who contributed $40 million to the project and in whose honor it is named; and an array of Central Indiana’s elected and appointed leaders including members of the City-County Council, the Indiana General Assembly and more, as well as business, nonprofit, faith and community leaders.

“Today’s ribbon cutting marks the culmination of a milestone project for all of Indiana,” said U.S. Congressman André Carson. “Eskenazi Health represents not only a great resource for health care in Central Indiana but also an example of what we can achieve when we work together for a common goal.”

“This is a visionary project that will help Hoosiers of all backgrounds receive the quality health care they need,” said U.S. Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks. “It’s also a project that has put Hoosiers and Indiana companies to work. I am proud to be a part of today’s ribbon cutting, and so encouraged to know this wonderful facility will contribute to a healthier Indiana for decades to come.”

“For more than four years, men and women from across our community have joined together in an effort to better the health of our community, and today we celebrate all that they have achieved,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “The new Eskenazi Health campus represents an affirmation of our city’s most cherished values — health, education, life sciences, diversity, growth and development, accessible to all.”

“This project to build a new downtown health campus, built by the people and for the people of Indianapolis, has been one of the greatest symbols of our community’s progress and our values over the last four years,” said Maggie Lewis, City-County Council President. “While we celebrate each new development, there has been something extraordinary about the collaboration and community spirit embodied by Eskenazi Health, and I am pleased to celebrate this moment for our city and all of Central Indiana.”

“We are inspired and deeply grateful for the outpouring of support from across our community as we celebrate the opening of this transformational new health campus,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO for Eskenazi Health. “This is an exciting moment for our staff, physicians and the community, and we are thankful to all who have made this moment possible.”

“Our community has come together in an extraordinary way to make this new health campus possible, and we are grateful,” said Matthew R. Gutwein, president and CEO of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County. “We undertook this project with a number of core goals — to complete it on time and on budget, to contract with minority-, women- and veteran- and individuals with disabilities-owned businesses, to engage fully our community and its leaders in every step of the process, and to deliver a new health campus that meets the needs of our community while delivering expanded health and wellness offerings — and we are pleased to reach this moment, just weeks before the opening of Eskenazi Health, having successfully achieved those goals. We wouldn’t be here without support from across our community.”

Eskenazi Health completes construction ahead of goals for minority-, women- and veteran-owned business participation, with 17 percent of construction contracts going to minority-owned businesses; 8 percent going to women-owned businesses; and 6 going to veteran-owned businesses. Additionally, 90 percent of construction contracts went to Indiana firms, including nearly 400 companies from the Indianapolis/Marion County metro area.

“We have seen an overwhelming wave of support over the last four years,” said Mike Smith, chair of the Eskenazi Health Foundation board of directors. “As they seem to in every endeavor, the people of Central Indiana and our philanthropic community went above and beyond our initial goals. Today, I’m pleased to share that the Eskenazi Health campaign has raised nearly $81 million. We are so thankful.”

The new Eskenazi Health campus is also on pace to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design® (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for the entire campus. This distinction that would make it the first such health campus in the United States registered publicly in the national LEED® database. The campus features a first-of-its-kind sky farm on the rooftop of the Outpatient Care Center. The sky farm will grow fresh produce which will be made available to patients and visitors through campus dining options. Eskenazi Health’s design also heavily incorporates natural light and utilizes a rainwater landscape irrigation system, among many environmental and energy efficient components. The campus features an array of employee- and visitor-focused amenities to encourage environmentally responsible transportation, recycling and other sustainable practices.

In addition to the new downtown hospital and health system campus, Eskenazi Health West 38th Street, a new community health center, is also pursuing LEED® Silver certification. In addition to numerous design and energy efficiency components, the facility will feature a large rain garden and walking track.

The new Eskenazi Health campus encompasses 37 acres at the western end of the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) campus, between Michigan Street and 10th Street in downtown Indianapolis. The 1.3 million square foot facility includes a 315-inpatient bed hospital with 17 operating rooms and four interventional labs, 12 labor and delivery rooms, a 90-bed treatment room emergency department with a 16-bed clinical decision unit, and more than 200 ambulatory clinic exam rooms and an Adult Level I Trauma Center. The hospital links functionally and operationally to the adjoining Outpatient Care Center, providing entry for inpatients, outpatients and visitors and approximately 110 exam rooms in a clinical setting. The Fifth Third Bank Building also links with and supports the Outpatient Care Center and hospital, housing faculty and support functions as well as related entities serving and supporting Eskenazi Health. The project also includes a 2,654-car parking garage adjacent to the Outpatient Care Center.

More than 10,000 individuals worked on the construction site and contributed to the development of the Eskenazi Health campus. Eskenazi Health’s construction also outperformed local, state and national averages for work site safety. Eskenazi Health’s construction was projected to create 4,400 jobs from its inception in 2009. Marion County voters approved construction of new facilities to replace the current Wishard Memorial Hospital in the Nov. 3, 2009, election, with 85 percent support for the measure. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi of Indianapolis contributed $40 million to the project’s capital campaign in June 2011, and Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County recognized their gift in naming the new hospital the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and naming the campus and health system Eskenazi Health. The new Eskenazi Health campus opened, and Wishard Memorial Hospital closed, on Dec. 7.