Transforming brain health for all,

Why Eskenazi Health?

The Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation at Eskenazi Health is the new destination of hope for those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and other brain-related issues. It will be the first center of its kind in the United States to combine pioneering research and clinical care, yielding faster and more effective outcomes for the patient and caregiver.

The Sandra Eskenazi Center will promote brain health through innovative therapeutics, rapid translational and implementation science, advanced analytics and technology. The patient and caregiver will be treated as a team, with caregivers and family members becoming active participants in care and having significant responsibility for the overall success of treatment.

While it will first involve patients and their families in Indianapolis, the Sandra Eskenazi Center’s model will be scalable to various locations, age groups and diseases, and could soon expand nationally and internationally to become a new standard of care in the 21st century.

"From the moment that we have been at Eskenazi - the moment we stepped in the door - I felt like we'd hit the jackpot as far as people who knew what was going on. They had a team of people – together. There's a physician, there's a pharmacist, there's a nurse, there's a social worker ... all of these people working on my mother's case, all at the same time."

Maggie (family caregiver)

A special thank you... our friend and benefactor, Sandra Eskenazi, who has empowered us to follow our passion. We are extraordinarily grateful for her vision and generosity.


Diseases of the brain will affect all of us in our lifetimes, whether it is our own experience or through that of a friend or family member. There are no economic, racial or cultural boundaries. It can strike like a thief in the night, stealing the most precious part of our humanity.

If you have a brain, you are at risk.

One in four adults (approximately 61.5 million Americans) experiences mental illness in a given year. One in 17 (about 13.6 million) lives with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or major depression.

Dementia and depression

Like other chronic diseases, Alzheimer’s disease cannot be cured, but it can be managed. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. About 7 percent of adults in the U.S. – about 16 million – had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.

Psychosis and schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is one of the most severe and disabling diseases facing mankind. It begins early in life, typically in the late teens and early 20s, then follows a downward course that progresses into a lifelong illness marked by untold personal suffering.

Individuals afflicted with schizophrenia and other psychotic illnesses lead lives marked by social isolation, unemployment, disorganized thinking and lack of touch with reality. The suicide rate is high (up to 10 percent), and affected individuals die at much younger ages than their healthy peers – up to 20 years earlier.

Work at Eskenazi Health

The Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation will build on the success of the Eskenazi Health programs targeting Alzheimer’s disease and psychosis that focus on treatments and strategies that help patients and caregivers enjoy an improved quality of life.

Since 2008, clinical data show superior outcomes for Alzheimer’s disease and depression:

• Approximately 90 percent full or partial remission of major depression within first year of care

• Approximately 90 percent full or partial remission of caregiver burden within first year of care

• More than 50 percent reduction in inappropriate emergency department or hospital visits

• More than 50 percent reduction in medication with adverse cognitive effects

Work at Eskenazi Health

The Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation will further the work done in Eskenazi Health’s full-service clinic and research center for young people at the earliest stages of developing a psychotic disorder.

Since 2009, clinical data show superior outcomes for early psychosis:

• No suicides – remarkable because the rate of suicide in schizophrenia is up to 10 percent, with heightened risk in the early phase

• Decrease in symptom relapse rates

• Decrease in psychiatric hospitalizations and use of acute care services

• Statistically significant improvement in symptom severity, employment rates and social functioning

Soon, clinical services will expand to those who are at risk of developing a psychotic illness so that treatment may be initiated before schizophrenia starts in order to prevent its onset and subsequent progression.


Promote brain health through innovation,
responsible care, rapid translational and implementation
science, advanced analytics, and technology.


At the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation, technology will not replace personal interaction – it will enhance it.

Patients will visit the Sandra Eskenazi Center to meet with physicians and other team members, but they also will be able to access its experts remotely, receiving real-time clinical advice and coaching that can solve immediate issues or trigger more urgent action as appropriate. They will first complete a comprehensive profile that will be instantly available via technology to all members of the health care team. The profile will be fed into a sophisticated system with monitoring and sensing devices for the patient and an “avatar,” or automated device, which will process information immediately and pass it along to the appropriate team member for next steps.

A telemedicine component will be added to reach patients who cannot otherwise access care (such as those in rural areas where psychiatric services are sparse).

"I didn't know what was going on and I didn't know how to fix myself. They helped me get the reins and understand that it's nothing that just happens every blue moon. It happens every day. People go through this every day. They struggle with mental illnesses and they fight through it every day of the week, so I'm just here to fight. My goals are to finish college, become a psychiatric nurse, and eventually buy a house and just enjoy life. I've always had plans, big plans to do something. I'm still on the path to do it."


Malaz Boustani, M.D., MPH

is the founding director of the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation. Building on his international expertise in brain care research and health care innovation, Dr. Boustani is leading the Sandra Eskenazi Center in developing and implementing a futuristic and cutting-edge model of brain care for the 21st century.

Dr. Boustani is also the chief operating officer of the Indiana University Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science, the associate director for the Center for Aging Research, and the Richard M. Fairbanks Professor in Aging Research. As director of the Eskenazi Health Center Healthy Aging Brain Center, he has improved the quality of brain care for more than 5,000 patients and their family caregivers.

Through his various leadership roles, Dr. Boustani focuses on the rapid translation and implementation of research discoveries into clinical practice, utilizing the tools of implementation science, medical informatics and public health.

This is personal for me. I have to protect the brain. I am doing this for the world.

I do what I do so people have hope, high-quality care and have their lives returned to them.

Alan Breier, M.D.

is director of Indiana University’s Psychotic Disorders Program, brings clinical expertise and innovative therapeutics research to the Sandra Eskenazi Center for Brain Care Innovation. As the Indiana University Mental Health Research and Education Senior Professor of Psychiatry at the IU School of Medicine, in 2009 he founded the Eskenazi Health Midtown Prevention and Recovery Center for Early Psychosis, Indiana’s only clinical, research and training program for young people who are in the earliest stages of schizophrenia. Since inception, PARC has treated over 600 young adults suffering from early psychosis.

For more than 30 years, Dr. Breier has led research teams elucidating the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders and assessing innovative therapeutics for such illnesses, particularly schizophrenia. Before joining the IU School of Medicine in 2008, Dr. Breier was a tenured scientist at the National Institute of Mental Health followed by a decade of employment at Eli Lilly and Company, starting as one of the company’s top scientists in 1997. He was then promoted to vice president followed by appointment as Lilly’s chief medical officer with responsibilities for the global medical division