Eskenazi Health will host an Empowering Through Employment conference on Monday, Oct. 31, where experts will discuss the Eskenazi Health Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence (IEEI) program that provides experience for students with disabilities in their fields of study that could potentially aid them in securing a job in the future.

A partnership between Eskenazi Health and the Office of Disability Services at Ball State University, IEEI was launched in 2013 and has grown in size each year. Interns have worked in various fields including information services, palliative care, wellness, physical therapy and public relations.

The program provides interns the opportunity to gain professional, real-world experience as they work on projects that allow them hands-on opportunities while, at the same time, benefitting Eskenazi Health as a whole. Additionally, interns also get paid for their work, some earning college credit as well.

“Those of us who have been involved with the IEEI program from the beginning are proud of the feedback we’ve received from our participating students,” said Greg Fehribach, vice president of the Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County Board of Trustees Member and a Distinguished Fellow with the Ball State University Disability Project. “They often tell us that the program provides them with an incredible opportunity to grow and gain confidence in their chosen fields, and we look forward to continuing our efforts with our partners at Ball State University as we work to expand and improve this vitally important initiative.”

The conference will take place on Monday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. The event will be held in the Rapp Family Conference Center on the first floor at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital. Lunch will be provided.

Speakers at the conference include Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO, Eskenazi Health; Fehribach; Larry Markle, director, Disability Services at Ball State University; Ernie Vargo II, CRFE, president and CEO of the Eskenazi Health Foundation and Bart Upah, program manager, Eskenazi Health Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence. A panel of former IEEI interns will also host a discussion during the event.

“This conference will provide a wonderful opportunity for us to share information about the IEEI program that has been hugely successful,” said Vargo. “We take tremendous pride in seeing that this initiative has meant so much to so many deserving students, who gain real work experience that helps them build rewarding careers.”

This IEEI program is supported by a Quality of Life grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the Hoover Family Foundation, and Lilly Endowment, Inc. To learn more about the Eskenazi Health Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence, please call 317.880.3360.