Press Release

IU Health Foundation receives Lilly Endowment grant to support workforce development project in Near North Indianapolis

April 07, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS (April 7, 2021) – Indiana University Health Foundation has received a grant of $8 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Mosaic Center for Work, Life and Learning, a project led by IU Health in collaboration with community partners.

IU Health is among 28 organizations being supported through Lilly Endowment’s Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, an initiative to improve the livelihoods of individuals and families facing poverty or financial insecurity.

The Mosaic Center will offer a “mosaic” of individualized and intensive services to help individuals chart pathways to meaningful careers at IU Health, other healthcare settings, or beyond the healthcare field. The Mosaic Center will support under- and unemployed individuals, entry-level IU Health employees, independent former foster care youth ages 18-26, and Crispus Attucks High School students in the IU Health Fellowship program, which uses a curriculum co-developed by IPS and IU Health and guarantees fellows job offers from IU Health upon graduation.

Based in Indianapolis’ Near North neighborhood, the Mosaic Center will build on the proven success of Financial Opportunity Centers, a model developed by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national community development organization with a local chapter in Indianapolis. Career, financial and personal coaching will be delivered by IU Health team members, and Mosaic Center staff will also refer participants to resources for needs such as food access, transportation, substance use disorder and mental health treatment.

The Mosaic Center will be located in the Excelsior, a mixed-use housing complex being developed at 22nd and Illinois streets by Near North Development Corp.

“As the largest health system in Indiana, IU Health is taking a broader look at healthcare and addressing the key social factors that often impact healthy living,” said Dennis Murphy, president and CEO of IU Health. “With our partners and critical funding from Lilly Endowment, we plan to create a long-lasting model for workforce development next door to our Methodist Hospital campus that will guide participants and their families toward greater self-sufficiency.”

“We are grateful to Lilly Endowment for recognizing the unique nature of this workforce development program, which leads participants into existing jobs,” said Crystal Hinson Miller, president of IU Health Foundation and chief philanthropy officer of IU Health. “This type of innovation is possible only through the power of philanthropy.”

Mosaic Center a team effort

IU Health and partners, including Indianapolis benefactors Mike and Sue Smith, contributed $4 million in in-kind support and funding to kick-start the Mosaic Center plans. Other partners include LISC Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, Ivy Tech Community College, Employ Indy/Indy Achieves and Recovery Café, among others.

Plans call for the Mosaic Center to open in late 2022 and serve 800 to 1,000 participants annually by 2024.

“We are grateful for the tremendous response we received from the Indianapolis community during a time when organizations were called upon to significantly ramp up their existing programs and services in response to the acute needs brought on by the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rob Smith, Lilly Endowment senior vice president for collaborative strategies. “We believe that the projects being funded through this initiative have the potential to improve the lives of a significant number of Indianapolis residents facing the challenges of poverty and financial insecurity.”

The Mosaic Center will serve as a demonstration project for national LISC and its Financial Opportunity Centers model to help low- and moderate-income people achieve financial stability.


About the Mosaic Center for Work, Life and Learning

Mission: To guide financially vulnerable adults and students to career success by providing a “mosaic” of services, coaching and mentoring.

Opening: Late 2022.

Location: The ground floor of the Excelsior, a proposed multi-use facility at 22nd and Illinois streets that will contain 80 apartments and 7,500 square feet of commercial space.

Capacity: 800 to 1,000 participants annually.


Lilly Endowment launched Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis in 2019 because poverty and financial insecurity have been persistent challenges in Marion County. Research has indicated that around 20 percent of residents in the city have been living in poverty and an additional 20 percent have been living close to poverty and struggling to make ends meet.

Through Enhancing Opportunity in Indianapolis, Lilly Endowment invited eligible organizations to consider how they would work comprehensively with other community partners and employers to help residents progress toward achieving lasting economic self-sufficiency. Due to the number of high-quality proposals Lilly Endowment received and the challenges COVID-19 brought to bear on vulnerable individuals and families, Lilly Endowment nearly doubled its initial funding commitment to more than $93 million.

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is an Indianapolis-based, private philanthropic foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly, Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. Although the gifts of stock remain a financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. In keeping with the founders’ wishes, the Endowment supports the causes of community development, education and religion. The Endowment funds significant programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion. However, it maintains a special commitment to its founders’ hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About IU Health

Indiana University Health is Indiana’s most comprehensive healthcare system. An academic health center, IU Health provides leading-edge medicine and treatments.

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