One of America’s largest safety net health systems opened its doors on Saturday, Dec. 7, to the nation’s newest urban public hospital campus, one on-track to become the country’s first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Silver campus.
This marks the first time in more than 40 years that a completely new Indianapolis downtown hospital campus has opened. Saturday, Dec. 7, was the official first day for the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and the final day of operation for Wishard Memorial Hospital, which operated for more than 150 years just east of the new Eskenazi Health campus. Of the more than 1,000 public hospitals in America, Wishard to Eskenazi Hospital is the first new complete public hospital campus relocation in more than a decade, dating back to when Chicago’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital opened to replace Cook County Hospital in 2002.
In a highly coordinated process involving Eskenazi Health, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, the U.S. Navy Reserves, the Indiana National Guard, MESH (formerly known as Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare), hundreds of volunteers and ambulances from across Central Indiana, patients receiving care at Wishard moved to the new Eskenazi Health campus beginning at 7 a.m. on Dec. 7 and finished hours ahead of schedule just after 2 p.m. Then, this morning, Dec. 9, the Eskenazi Health Outpatient Care Center opened for patient appointments, the final step in the process of opening the new campus.
“The new Eskenazi Health campus will give members of the Indianapolis community improved access to quality and affordable health care,” said U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly. “I congratulate Eskenazi Health on its commitment to Indiana, and I hope to visit this new facility in the future.”
“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,” said U.S. Congressman André Carson.
“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 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.”
After hundreds of elected officials, community leaders and members of the public joined Eskenazi Health on Nov. 16 for a ribbon cutting, dedication ceremony and public tours that saw more than 4,000 explore the new campus, the new Eskenazi Health campus underwent final preparations to begin caring for patients. Eskenazi Health opens on time and on budget.
“We have been building toward this moment for more than four years, and today we are both elated and filled with gratitude as we take this path down 10th Street, supported by our community, to our new Eskenazi Health campus,” said Dr. Lisa Harris, CEO of Eskenazi Health. “This new day, new hospital campus and new opportunity to provide welcoming, compassionate and patient-centered care for our community — it is all here. And like never before, today Eskenazi Health is here for you.”
“We are deeply grateful to our community for all of your support in making this moment possible and for providing our patients, our community’s most vulnerable and all of Central Indiana with a singular new, welcoming health resource to provide care for generations to come,” said Matthew R. Gutwein, president and CEO of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County. “Our ability to complete this project on time and on budget, to contract with minority-, women-, veteran- and individuals-with-disabilities-owned businesses, to engage fully our community and its leaders in every step of the process, and to deliver this new health campus is only possible with your support. We are grateful.”
The new Eskenazi Health campus will provide patient-centered care on 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 19 operating rooms and four interventional labs, 12 labor and delivery rooms, a 90-bed treatment room emergency department with a 20-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 Eskenazi Health Outpatient Care Center, providing entry for inpatients, outpatients and visitors and approximately 110 exam rooms. The Fifth Third Bank Building at Eskenazi Health 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 2,700-car parking garage.
Eskenazi Health opens 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 metropolitan area.
With unique features such as the one-of-a-kind sky farm on the rooftop of the Outpatient Care Center, the 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 would make it the first such health campus in the United States registered publicly in the national LEED® database. Eskenazi Health anticipates final U.S.G.B.C. certification in 2014.
Eskenazi Health also creates a welcoming environment of health and healing through access to natural settings and an extensive art collection, which studies show contributes to improved health outcomes. Following an extensive public engagement and comment process, Eskenazi Health’s art committee selected artists that represent the rich diversity of the Indianapolis community, including native Hoosiers and artists born or living in Indianapolis, and artists representing women, minorities and people with disabilities. More than half – 57.8 percent – of the full art program comes from local Indiana artists, while 47 percent of the artists are minorities, 31.5 percent are female, 10.5 percent are veteran, 5.2 percent are individuals with disabilities and 5.2 percent are seniors.
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 campus 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 system Eskenazi Health. The new Eskenazi Health campus opened, and the Wishard Memorial Hospital campus closed, at 7 a.m. on Dec. 7.
CONTACT: Todd Harper