In June 2011, Sidney and Lois Eskenazi provided a $40 million gift to the Eskenazi Health Foundation to build new hospital facilities in Downtown Indianapolis. It was the largest donation ever received by the hospital and one of the largest gifts to a public hospital in the United States.
The Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County (HHC), for which Eskenazi Health is the public hospital division, recognized Sidney and Lois Eskenazi’s gift by naming the new hospital and the health system in their honor.
On Dec. 7, 2013, the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus officially opened their doors to Marion County and its patients.
About Sidney and Lois Eskenazi
Long before their generous gift led to their names on one of the largest essential health care systems in the United States, Sidney and Lois Eskenazi were students at Indiana University. A mutual friend, Lois’s roommate and Sidney’s friend from high school, introduced the couple at a restaurant, where their relationship quickly blossomed.
The couple married. Sidney established Sandor Development Co., a successful real estate development company, in 1963 and Lois began work as a medical and lab technician. Sidney built his company into one of the nation’s leaders, with more than 70 properties under management in 23 states.
In 1970, Sidney established a scholarship fund at Indiana University, where he had also earned his law degree. Later, IU approached the couple with an opportunity to support the arts, and today the Eskenazi Hall in IU’s Herron School of Art and Design honors the couple’s contributions and support.
Sidney and Lois had made a name for themselves as philanthropic leaders in Central Indiana when they were approached about plans for a new downtown hospital. The couple was touched by all the good being performed at Wishard Health Services and wanted to ensure such care continued. When asked to consider a contribution to the capital campaign, Sidney and Lois responded – and their $40 million gift changed the hospital’s history forever.
The couple has three children – two daughters, Sandy and Dori (David), and a son, David (Julie). They have seven grandchildren.