Mayor Joins Wishard, Eskenazi Health to Celebrate Black History Month with Program to Recognize New Hospital Project African-American Contractors - Eskenazi Health

Wishard and Eskenazi Health held one of the culminating events of Black History Month today with a program recognizing the success of African-American contractors on the new Eskenazi Health project. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard joined Matthew R. Gutwein, President and CEO of Health and Hospital Corporation; Eskenazi Health Project Diversity Team Manager Barbara Holder and other leaders in honoring the successful contractors. 

"Indianapolis is a city of economic opportunity for all residents and businesses, and today we honor the meaningful and measurable progress of our commitment to diversity," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "Already this team of contractors on the Eskenazi Health project in Indianapolis stands 30 companies strong, shoulder to shoulder – hiring, training, employing and paying people to build this new hospital. As Black History Month draws to a close, we take this moment to reflect on the vast contributions our African-American leaders have made to our community for many years and look to the impact they will have on our success in the future." 

The project to construct the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus is on time, on budget and ahead of its goal for minority-owned business participation, with more than $69 million in construction contracts awarded to minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs) to date. 

"Our entire team is working hard to afford broad opportunities at the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital for local businesses that are owned by minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities," Gutwein said. "We are excited that when the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital opens its doors, it will be a hospital of the people, by the people and for the people of Marion County.  We are grateful for the diverse group of contractors, professionals and consultants from our community that is making this project possible." 

Owners of the African-American construction companies and suppliers working on the Eskenazi Health project received certificates of recognition from Mayor Ballard and Gutwein for their successful participation. Attendees enjoyed refreshments as well as brief remarks from project leadership offering thanks for their support and participation. 

The City of Indianapolis is committed to ensuring opportunities for African-Americans and minority-, women- and veteran-owned business enterprises and supports the Eskenazi Health project’s efforts in maximizing diversity participation. Eskenazi Health project and city leaders have hosted or participated in more than 120 outreach events and workshops for minority-, women- and veteran-owned business enterprises. 

"Black History Month is a heightened moment of deep respect and appreciation for the contributions of African-Americans to our nation, to the state and our city," said Holder. "We are pleased to recognize the success of the African-American contractors working on the Eskenazi Health project and the efforts by all in this project to increase opportunities and expand the capacity of Central Indiana’s minority-, women- and veteran-owned business community." 

The Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus will open in December 2013 and will replace the current Wishard facilities. The Eskenazi Health project is creating 4,400 jobs and will transform the landscape of health care in Indianapolis. Marion County voters approved construction of new facilities for Wishard in the Nov. 3, 2009, election, with 85 percent support for the measure, and Wishard began work immediately. For more information about the construction project, visit www.EskenaziHealth.org.


CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317.880.4785
Pager: 317.310.5972 
Email: todd.harper@eskenazihealth.edu