2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Dr. Lisa Harris

College Mentors for Kids is proud to honor Dr. Lisa E. Harris with the 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award in Mentoring!

Practicing medicine for more than 30 years at nationally recognized Eskenazi Health, Lisa E. Harris, M.D. has dedicated her career to improving health care for vulnerable and underserved populations. Since 2003, Dr. Harris has served as Eskenazi Health’s chief executive officer, leading one of America’s essential health care systems that also serves as a vital training ground for the Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition to her leadership role at Eskenazi Health, Dr. Harris remains actively engaged in patient care, research and teaching Long before health care reform began to take shape in the United States, Dr. Harris concentrated Eskenazi Health’s resources on prevention, health promotion and primary care, asserting that the greatest opportunity to improve the health and vitality of a community is to keep people well in the first place. With a deep appreciation for the societal issues which impact health, she is intensely focused on improving access to patient-centered, comprehensive and community-based primary and mental health care as well as health promotion. And, as past chair of America’s Essential Hospitals (formerly the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems), Dr. Harris has nurtured the organization’s strong presenceon Capitol Hill, advocating for our nation’s most vulnerable populations. Also an active and engaged leader in the local community, Dr. Harris serves as past chair of the board of directors and current medical director of the American Red Cross of Indiana, as well as on the boards of directors for the Regenstrief Institute, Indianapolis Coalition for Patient Safety, Second Helpings, United Way of Central Indiana, MESH (Managed Emergency Surge for Healthcare), the American Pianists Association, and the Phoenix Theatre. She also served as the 2015 chair of the American Heart Association’s Go, Red for Women initiative.

Dr. Harris also finds time to mentor others within the Eskenazi Health system and beyond. She has done this in many ways, including through the Essential Women’s Leadership Academy, through America’s Essential Hospitals. This is a community of confident and empowered women executives who lead essential hospitals in addressing the challenges of our nation’s most vulnerable populations. A critical element of this academy is their mentoring program which is vital in developing mentees’ career paths. In 2009, Dr. Harris helped successfully lead a campaign seeking voter approval for a new Wishard Hospital campus. Prior to the 2009 special election calling upon voters to approve the construction, Dr. Harris helped build a coalition of community and business leaders and participated in more than 200 meetings to share information about the project. An astounding 85 percent of voters said yes to the referendum; in 33 precincts, not one opposing vote was cast. In 2011, the organization received a $40 million gift from Indianapolis couple Sidney and Lois Eskenazi, in honor of whom Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County named the new hospital facilities. The Eskenazi Health campus opened in December 2013 and is among the first and largest hospital campuses in the United States and the first in Indiana to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold certification.