By Mark Ambrogi
There was no hesitation on Susana Suarez’s part when Gov. Eric Holcomb made a request.
Suarez, a Zionsville resident, was named director of development for the Indiana Neuro-Diagnostic Institute and Advanced Treatment Center by the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration. Suarez was previously the executive director of communication strategies for Gov. Holcomb before he asked her to take on this challenge.
Holcomb said he is pleased Suarez accepted his request to lead the initiative.
“Susana’s experience will help bring the NDI to successful completion so the state has an asset to continue meeting Hoosiers’ mental health needs and attacking the drug epidemic at all levels, prevention, treatment and enforcement,” Holcomb said in a statement.
The NDI, with seven floors, is under construction on the campus of Community East Hospital in Indianapolis.
“When the governor asks you to do something that is this important to the state, it’s very hard to think about something other than how important it is,” Suarez said. “It’s a priority for the state. It’s a priority for him personally, “
Suarez is a council member at-large and past president of the Zionsville Town Council.
“We’ve not built a mental health facility in 50 years as far as I know,” Suarez said. “Knowing it’s a linchpin for the governor as he looks at taking on the opioid epidemic, it made all the sense in the world for me to take this.”
Suarez said Holcomb knows she comes from a strong corporate management background.
“I have a pretty good base and knowledge on project management,” Suarez said. “When you look at the scope and size of this project, my job is leading, organizing and managing the entirety of the project. I think this is the third attempt in trying to get this hospital built, so it’s finally getting its rightful day. It’s a very high-profile project. It was initiated by now Vice President (Mike) Pence (when he was governor).”
Suarez said the building should be complete by late 2018.
“Hopefully, the hospital will be able to be functional by early 2019,” Suarez said.
Suarez said the center is a $125 million project.
“My biggest focus is to make sure this project is completed on time and on budget, and it’s that marquee diagnostic center that allows people to get better and quicker treatment so they become contributing members of society as soon as possible,” Suarez said.
Suarez, who previously was the president and CEO of Media Moon Communications, said she wants to make sure all the partnerships and pieces come together in a way to make the project successful.