Northwestern Medicine Rheumatologist Receives Medical Honoree from the Arthritis Foundation

Northwestern Medicine
News December 20, 2016

Calvin Brown Jr., MD, at the 2016 Jingle Bell RunCalvin R. Brown Jr., MD, rheumatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, has been named the Jingle Bell Run Chicago Medical Honoree from the Arthritis Foundation. He served as the medical honoree at the race that took place Saturday, Dec. 17. The Arthritis Foundation’s long-running Jingle Bell Run is an annual festive race that helps champion arthritis research and brings people from all walks of life together to say yes to furthering a great cause. To date, the run has exceeded all previous records and raised more than $214,301 and Northwestern Medicine is one of the leading sponsors for the race.

In addition to seeing patients at Northwestern Memorial, Brown is a professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He also serves as the director of the rheumatology training program through the medical school. We sat down with Dr. Brown to discuss what this achievement means to him.

Q: What does it mean to be given the medical honoree for this event?
A: It’s exciting to receive this award. I’ve devoted my life and career to the service and treatment of patients with arthritis. To be acknowledged for my work outside the hospital is quite an honor. I’m also an endurance sports enthusiast and to combine a great cause with running for the good of the foundation and helping those faced with arthritis, is a great thing.

Q: Why did you specialize in rheumatology?
A: I have a few reasons that I was drawn to rheumatology. Growing up, my sister faced juvenile arthritis and I was able to see first-hand what it was like to live with the condition. Also as a kid, my father wanted me and my brother to get a job. Since we lived in Detroit, we got a job in the auto plants. My neighbor, who was a rheumatologist, saw how hard working I was and one summer asked me if I was interested in helping her at her clinic. I jumped at it and found an affinity for the science and research for the specialty.

Q: What are some new developments that you are working on in the world of rheumatology?
A: Currently I direct the rheumatology training program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. I’m hoping people can realize the importance of the training program at the hospital to help ensure the future of rheumatology. The number of rheumatologists is declining right now and I think it’s vital to train more rheumatologists as well as the doctors who train residents in the future.

Along with his work at Northwestern Medicine, Dr. Brown is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American College of Rheumatology, the American College of Physicians and the past president of the Chicago Rheumatism Society. His research has been published in Arthritis and Rheumatism and The Journal of Rheumatology. He has also written several chapters in textbooks talking about arthritis and allied conditions. In addition, Brown is extremely proud to have served as the longest running director of rheumatology training in the United States. In his spare time, he is a dedicated endurance athlete in running, cycling and triathlons. He has raced competitively for more than 40 years. If you would like to learn more about the Jingle Bell Run, please visit

Find a doctor or make an appointment with a rheumatologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

All proceeds from the fundraiser support arthritis research.

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