Sandra “Sandy” Eskenazi is the daughter of Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, the Central Indiana couple who provided a $40 million gift to the Eskenazi Health capital campaign and for whom the Eskenazi Health system is named. Though following in her parents’ philanthropic footsteps, Sandy has taken on causes near and dear to her own heart.
Sandy has given a total of $10 million in support of mental health care at Eskenazi Health – $5 million to the Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center and $5 million to the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation. Her total gift represents the largest gift from a single donor in the state for mental health care and is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
Sandy’s gift of $5 million to Sandra Eskenazi Mental Health Center expands care and services for patients dealing with anxiety, depression and other mental health concerns. Established in 1969 as the first community mental health center in Indiana, it welcomes patients of all ages with a philosophy of providing community-centered care and treatment by utilizing the best practices resulting from ongoing research and medical advancements. In 2018 alone, there were 415,740 mental health-related outpatient visits and 943 inpatient psychiatric admissions at Eskenazi Health.
Her gift of $5 million to the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation supports the center’s ability to rapidly translates cutting-edge technology into high-quality, patient-centered care for brain disorders. With this approach yielding faster and more effective outcomes for patients, the center brings new hope to patients and caregivers whose lives are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, schizophrenia and other brain-related issues.
“Eskenazi Health is deeply grateful to Sandy for empowering us and following her parents’ legacy of compassion in serving our community,” said Lisa Harris, M.D., CEO of Eskenazi Health. “Sandy’s support reaches beyond any single program or department, enabling our entire model of care. Each one of us involved in the work of Eskenazi Health knows what a difference her commitment and support mean to so many.”
In the fall of 2014, Sandy made a gift that enabled the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health to purchase a Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL). Only the third PDL in the United States and the first outside the East Coast, the state-of-the-art treatment lessens pain and itching and improves quality of life.
More importantly than the resources provided, Sandy exhibits true dedication to these causes and further commits her time and energy to events and other venues that serve to benefit the patients of Eskenazi Health. In 2017, Eskenazi Health announced the naming of the Sandra Eskenazi Outpatient Care Center, which offers a wide range of hospital-based primary and specialty care services to people of all ages, in honor of the philanthropic generosity Sandy has displayed to an array of service lines throughout Eskenazi Health.
“High-quality health care for all people, regardless of their resources, has always been important to me,” Sandy said. “I am so grateful to again stand beside Eskenazi Health, an essential community institution, as they continue to improve the lives and health of those in Marion County.”