March 21, 2024

East side neighborhood welcomes Eskenazi Health’s new medical complex

The Eskenazi Health Thomas & Arlene Grande Campus will increase services to the east side of Indianapolis and the Northeast Corridor. - Elizabeth Gabriel / Side Effects Public Media

The Eskenazi Health Thomas & Arlene Grande Campus will increase services to the east side of Indianapolis and the Northeast Corridor.

Elizabeth Gabriel / Side Effects Public Media

Eskenazi Health held a ribbon cutting Thursday to unveil its newest health care complex on the east side of Indianapolis — the Eskenazi Health Thomas & Arlene Grande Campus. 

“I am very excited for all of us with the possibilities,” said James Campbell, President of the Sheridan Heights Association for Neighborhood Enhancement, which operates in the east side. 

“The growth, development and changes that are now happening on the Indianapolis east side is nothing short of miraculous based on how it's been in the past,” Campbell said at a press conference.

The new facility, which was developed with neighborhood input, will increase services to the east side of Indianapolis and the Northeast Corridor.

A partnership with the Marion County Public Health Department will allow residents to access a myriad of medical providers all under one roof, such as primary care physicians, diagnostic testing and mental health services. There will also be a public art displays and a kitchen to teach residents how to cook nutritious food

The new 95,000-square-foot building is Eskenazi Health’s largest facility, and part of a $90 million capital improvement project. 

Several organizations, such as Eskenazi, Goodwill and Cook Medical, have recently rallied together to provide more economic opportunities and health care services to the east side. That includes the Indy Fresh Market, a black-owned grocery store that opened last fall, and is located two minutes from the Eskenazi Health Thomas & Arlene Grande Campus. 

“Many said you cannot build a facility — like we see occupied by Goodwill and supported by Cook Medical — built entirely by minority owned businesses and contractors,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. “You have again proven them wrong.”

Research shows the gap in life expectancy for the Indianapolis metro area can be nearly 17 years, depending on the zip code. The 2014-2018 life expectancy for one of the east side zip codes was 74 years, compared to other areas that had a life expectancy of 79 to 84. Now the medical center will provide services that weren’t previously available in this area. 

Gail Reaves, an east side resident for 13 years, is an example of how someone’s life can improve if they seek proper health care. 

She was diagnosed with borderline diabetes in 2016, but she didn’t take her doctor's advice to consult a dietician. She later developed type two diabetes, high cholesterol and hypertension.

“I think Eskenazi Health Center North Arlington — y’all are an answer to my prayers,” Reaves said during the press conference. “So I enrolled with a dietitian and the services [and] programs that they have here. And I got the much needed support I needed.”

Reaves eventually started seeing a wellness coach who taught her about the importance of exercise, as well as a dietician. Now she’s no longer a type two diabetic. Reaves said she’s excited that east side residents will also be able to easily access the care they need. 

“The journey wasn't always easy, but I was willing to put the work in to achieve my goals,” Reaves said. “With my care team at Eskenazi Health right by my side I keep living my best life.” 

Eskenazi Health also plans to open a mental health center near the Community Justice Center by May. 

Contact WFYI’s health reporter Elizabeth Gabriel at egabriel@wfyi.org

Side Effects Public Media is a health reporting collaboration based at WFYI in Indianapolis. We partner with NPR stations across the Midwest and surrounding areas — including KBIA and KCUR in Missouri, Iowa Public Radio, Ideastream in Ohio and WFPL in Kentucky.

 

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