Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded a $1.5 million grant to Eskenazi Health and the Eskenazi Health Foundation in Indianapolis. The health system says the funding will be used to expand the Initiative for Empowerment and Economic Independence program, which provides internships for Indiana students with disabilities.
Eskenazi says the program aims to help students achieve meaningful employment upon graduation. It provides students with hourly wages and nearby free housing. The health system says the grant will allow it to bring on more interns from more Indiana universities and colleges. This summer, the program has 19 interns from seven Hoosier institutions.
"We couldn’t be more grateful for the significant support from Lilly Endowment Inc.," said Ernest Vargo, chief executive officer of the Eskenazi Health Foundation. "This program not only provides real-world experience and compensation for physically and sensory disabled college students, but it also helps eradicate certain stereotypes and concerns that employers may have."
Eskenazi Health says the grant will help with the ultimate goal of establishing the Gregory S. Fehribach Center for Empowerment and Economic Independence by 2019.