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Wishard to be renamed after $40M gift from developer

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Wishard Health Services will change its name to Eskenazi Health after receiving a $40 million gift from Indianapolis real estate developer Sidney Eskenazi and his wife Lois, the county-owned hospital announced Wednesday morning.

The $754 million hospital Wishard is building in downtown Indianapolis will be renamed the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hospital.

The Eskenazis' gift is the largest in the history of Wishard, which began as City Hospital in 1859. The Wishard name, which refers to a physician who led the hospital in the 1880s, was not adopted until 1975.

The name changes would not occur until the new hospital opens in December 2013, and the larger Wishard Health Services would change its name the following year. Any name changes must be approved by the Board of Trustees of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County, which owns Wishard.

Wishard Foundation was trying to raise $50 million to help fund construction of the new hospital. With the Eskenazi’s gift, it has now exceeded that goal, with a total of $54 million raised.

Sid Eskenazi, 81, started Sandor Development Co. in 1963 and has grown it into one of the nation’s largest owners of strip malls. Sandor has long-standing relationships with major retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kohl’s.

He grew up on the south side of Indianapolis, attending Manual high School and earning a law degree at Indiana University.

Eskenazi has been active philanthropically in recent years, giving to the Jewish Community Center, Indiana University and arts organizations. His gifts to arts causes are inspired in part by his wife, Lois, as well as his love of modern art. IUPUI’s Herron School of Art & Design named its new building after the Eskenazis in 2005.

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  • excellent funders
    thank you for interest to donate some funds to youths orgnization we are a youth organization which seeks to uplift the welfare of underprivileged and marginilised youths through the provision of basic needs knowledge and empowerment. we need your contant details and email adress or an application form sent directry to us
  • Agree
    I like the idea of combining both names.
    • Wishard Is A Recent Name
      The hospital dates back to 1859. It has only been called Wishard since 1975, and it went by various names during the intervening years. Dr. Wishard who used to work there died 34 years before the place was named after him.

      What I think is more interesting than history is quality healthcare. Hardly anyone today knows who Dr. Wishard was, even with the hospital being named after him. It is much better to get a new hospital than to worry about what it is named.
    • Something like that
      Dr. Wishard was, indeed, a great person and it seems a shame to lose his name to history. The Eskenazis are doing an amazing thing for the city as well and, even though they didn't ask for it, should be honored for this selfless gift. Perhaps it could have/or still can be done like The Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral... Or, closer to home, the Weir Cook Terminal at Indianapolis International Airport.
      • I like it!
        I like the new name--sounds very "big city". People will get used to the new name. It's really not that big a deal.
      • Wishard
        You may as well keep the name "Wishard" in there someplace it will continue to be called that by those living in Indy for years. The only reason the name Lucas Oil Stadium took off was it was new. St. V is still St. V (unless you work for the news and push Peyton Manning Children's Hospital).
      • Dr Wishard
        That's nice of them to donate so much, but Dr Wishard was a great man who did a lot for Indiana too. Why cast him aside? How about:
        Wishard-Eskenazis Hospitol.

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