The family of Joseph Schwarz, a real estate developer who died in March from throat cancer, is donating $10 million to Indiana University Health toward its new cancer center in Carmel.
IU Health made the announcement Thursday afternoon at a groundbreaking ceremony at the site. The two-story, 88,000-square-foot building will be built on the IU Health North Hospital campus, just south of the hospital building, in an area now used for parking and green space. IU Health originally announced plans for the $55 million facility in April.
Schwarz’ widow, Shelly, said she wanted to honor her late husband and recognize the care he received as an IU Health patient.
“The last six years, cancer has played such a big part in our lives,” she said. “We have witnessed firsthand how devastating it can be to the person going through it, as well as their loved ones.”
The center will be called the Joe and Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center. The $10 million gift represents the largest single contribution to IU Health from a living donor or family, although at least one estate has given more, the health system said.
Joseph Schwarz grew up in Manhattan, earning money as a boy by shining shoes, working in a grocery store and delivering newspapers. He eventually moved to Indianapolis and entered the real estate business, in which he co-developed apartments and the Marriott Hotel at the corner of 21st Street and Shadeland Avenue.
In 2012, he was diagnosed with throat cancer and received treatment at IU Health. The cancer went into remission, but later returned and claimed his life on March 3.
The couple lived for many years in central Indiana. Shelly Schwarz’s primary residence is now in Longboat Key, Florida.
The cancer center is designed to offer a wide range of care, including radiation and chemotherapy infusions. It will also offer support programs, such as art, music and yoga. Support services will include a pharmacy and laboratory.
IU Health’s largest cancer center is downtown, a 405,000-square-foot facility at the Simon Cancer Center, which operates as a partnership between the health system and the Indiana University School of Medicine.