Wishard-Eskenazi Receives Major Gift

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Wishard-Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis says a significant gift will support the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus set to be complete in December. A spokesman says the system is not releasing the amount of the gift from Kathi and Bob Postlethwait, but says it is one of the largest gifts it has received from an individual or couple.

September 12, 2013

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Support and momentum from the community continues to grow as Wishard-Eskenazi Health moves toward completion of the new Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital and Eskenazi Health campus in December 2013. With less than three months remaining before the new health campus opens for the community, the Eskenazi Health Foundation announces that Indianapolis-area couple Kathi and Bob Postlethwait have contributed one of the largest individual gifts ever to the Eskenazi Health Campaign.

The Postlethwaits' significant contribution reflects their support for Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, the first and largest community mental health center in Indiana.

"Kathi and Bob were motivated to support Eskenazi Health because of the health system's role in providing mental health care," said Ernest Vargo II, president and chief executive officer of the Eskenazi Health Foundation. "They were also driven to support mental health care because of their interest in raising awareness and reducing the stigma associated with seeking mental health care. We are grateful for their extraordinary gift and for their leadership in making mental health a philanthropic priority."

Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County will recognize this remarkable gift through the naming of the Kathi & Bob Postlethwait Mental Health Recovery Center in the Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital. The Kathi & Bob Postlethwait Mental Health Recovery Center, like all areas of the new Eskenazi Health campus, benefits from the philanthropic support of the community. The gift from the Postlethwaits increases the amount raised for Eskenazi Health to more than $75 million.

"Kathi and I are pleased to make this gift in support of Eskenazi Health and their longstanding commitment to providing mental health care as part of a comprehensive and integrated health delivery system," said Bob Postlethwait. "We are delighted to be part of the Eskenazi Health family."

"This level of giving for mental health is rare in our community and for mental health centers across the country," said Margie Payne, chief executive officer of Eskenazi Health Midtown and vice president of mental health operations for Wishard-Eskenazi Health. "One in five people in the United States lives with a mental illness, and yet, fear and lack of knowledge cause negative attitudes about this fundamental component of overall health and wellness. The Postlethwaits are wonderful people whose support shines a bright light on the value of mental health and the importance of seeking treatment. This is truly a transformative gift."

Eskenazi Health Midtown is licensed by the State of Indiana as a community mental health center and addictions services provider. Eskenazi Health Midtown’s primary mission is to serve people with serious mental illness and chronic addiction, as well as seriously emotionally disturbed children and their families. Eskenazi Health Midtown welcomes all ages, from children to seniors. Eskenazi Health Midtown’s treatment philosophy is known as the innovative recovery model, emphasizing the strengths and resources each person brings to the challenge of resuming a fully productive life.

For more than 150 years, Wishard-Eskenazi Health has provided high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care to the residents of Marion County. Accredited by The Joint Commission, nationally recognized programs include a Level I trauma center, regional burn center, comprehensive senior care program, women’s and children’s services, teen and adolescent care programs, Eskenazi Health Midtown Community Mental Health, and a network of primary care sites located throughout the neighborhoods of Indianapolis known as Eskenazi Health Center. In partnership with the Regenstrief Institute, Wishard-Eskenazi Health conducts groundbreaking work that leads health information technology around the globe. Wishard-Eskenazi Health also serves as the sponsoring hospital for Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services. As the public hospital division of the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Wishard-Eskenazi Health partners with the Indiana University School of Medicine whose physicians provide a comprehensive range of primary and specialty care services. In 2009, Marion County voters approved construction of a new Wishard hospital with 85 percent support for the measure. Wishard received a $40 million gift from Indianapolis’ Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, in honor of whom Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County has named the new hospital facilities. The Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital is slated to open in December 2013, and the name of the health system will change to Eskenazi Health in January 2014.

Source: Wishard-Eskenazi Health