Wishard receives $6 million gift from Fairbanks

The Wishard Foundation said it has received a $6 million grant from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation that will be used to help fund construction of a new Wishard Hospital, if Marion County voters approve the project.

Voters are going to the polls Tuesday to decide whether to OK a new $754 million hospital for Wishard Health Services.

Leonard J. Betley, president of the Fairbanks Foundation, said the Indianapolis-based organization has been a longtime supporter of Wishard projects, including the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center.

“The need to construct a new Wishard hospital facility is long overdue,” Betley said in a written statement.

The $6 million grant is the single largest philanthropic contribution Wishard has received in its 150-year history.

The Fairbanks Foundation was established in 1986 as an independent, private foundation granting funds to not-for-profits. Last year, the foundation awarded 130 grants totaling more than $18 million.

Wishard has advanced a plan to pay for the new hospital by having taxpayers guarantee bonds it wants to sell, so it can get much lower interest rates for the project.

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