Committed to the Community

Northwestern Medicine
News March 08, 2012
For more than 150 years, Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s longstanding commitment to serve the healthcare needs of Chicago and our surrounding community has been a hallmark of the organization. The partnerships and initiatives created have successfully improved health outcomes in our neighborhoods by bringing efficiency to health care access and broadening the scope of health education programming. As a physician and administrative leader of the organization, it is rewarding to be an extension of Northwestern Memorial’s legacy of service to our community.

Throughout my tenure at Northwestern, I have had the privilege of working with our staff as well as various partner organizations to develop and implement programs and initiatives that have greatly impacted the Chicagoland area and the world. Four of these key initiatives include: the Diabetes Collaborative, asset donation, the Medical Explorers program and Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon.

1. Established in 2006 through a partnership between the hospital, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Near North Health Services Corp., the Diabetes Collaborative is a comprehensive program designed to identify and teach adult patients with type 2 diabetes how to better manage their chronic disease. At the program’s inception, just 200 patients were involved. Today, the Collaborative tracks more than 4,000 Near North patients who are engaged in their care and routine exams. Two years ago, we expanded the program to Erie Family Health to improve health outcomes in the Humboldt Park neighborhood. The Collaborative was also a key component in a Food Oasis program that Northwestern launched in conjunction with Walgreens Corp. in 2010 to improve access to healthier foods in underserved communities.

2. Our asset donation program launched in 2007 to provide gently used medical equipment, patient care beds and furniture to organizations in need both in the United States and abroad. Today, we are proud of the dedication to the program, and partnered with Mission Outreach in 2010 to support local, national and international organizations in their delivery of healthcare to the needy.

3. In order to offer high school students an advanced look at careers in medicine while emphasizing life skills, service learning character development and leadership, the Medical Explorers program was launched in 1996. Throughout the years, the hospital’s high school mentoring program has expanded to include programs like the Northwestern Medicine® Scholars Program at Westinghouse College Prep, which allows students who are interested in pursuing careers as physicians and researchers the chance to take part in two-week intensive summer trainings and get hands-on guidance during their four years of high school.

4. Nearly 600 Northwestern Memorial, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Feinberg School employees participated in a full day of service at the 17th annual Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon, where Northwestern was named the year’s largest corporate sponsor.

Recently, my colleague Posh Charles, director, external affairs and community health, and I had the privilege of being recognized for our work on behalf of the hospital by the Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum (CHEF). It is wonderful to be recognized and to see our efforts come together to benefit so many people.

To learn more about the hospital’s community outreach, visit us on our website.
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