The Investiture of Dr. Kelly Michelson as the Julia and David Uihlein Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities

(l to r) Julia Uihlein, Dr. Michelson, and David Uihlein.

On June 24, Kelly N. Michelson, MD, MPH, was formally invested as the Julia and David Uihlein Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. At the ceremony held at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago, Dr. Michelson was joined by Feinberg leadership, her colleagues, family, and friends, and donors Julia and David Uihlein, whose generosity led to the establishment of this professorship in 2011. Julia Uihlein is a Northwestern University Trustee.

"This endowed professorship is extraordinarily unique and especially impactful. It stands as a monument to the generosity and wisdom of the Uihleins and to their selfless vision to advance this critical cause to which they are dedicated,” said Thomas P. Shanley, MD, who served as the evening's emcee. Dr. Shanley is the Founders' Board Centennial Professor, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Feinberg, and chief research officer at the Stanley Manne Children's Research Institute at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.

The Uihleins giving their remarks.

The Uihleins have a long history of community service and philanthropy. Together, they established the David & Julia Uihlein Charitable Foundation, Inc., through which they have donated to a variety of organizations, institutions, and charities. In addition to the Uihlein Professorship, the couple also established the Julia and David Uihlein Scholarship at Northwestern. The couple also have given endowed funds to the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, and also endowed a professorship in medical humanities at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

"We feel privileged and honored to have you hold this professorship," said Mrs. Uihlein to Dr. Michelson. "We can think of no better person to lead the new Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern."

A Leader in Bioethics and Medical Humanities

Dr. Michelson has achieved local, national, and international recognition as a clinician-scientist. Her research focuses on communication and decision-making in the pediatric intensive care unit and pediatric palliative care settings. As an educator, Dr. Michelson has made a lasting impact on innumerable clinicians. Her mentorship of over 40 individuals has led to mentee grant funding and publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Michelson receiving her professorship medal from Dr. Shanley.

"Northwestern has a long and rich history of education and scholarship in bioethics and medical humanities, and Kelly's leadership of this program will strengthen that tradition and bring innovative dimensions to both Feinberg and Lurie Children's," said Joel E. Frader, MD, the A. Todd Davis Professor of Academic General Pediatrics at Feinberg and the director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Lurie Children's, who served as Dr. Michelson’s extoller.

"Kelly's new position and role will bring honor to Feinberg, Northwestern University, and Lurie Children's," said Dr. Frader.

In closing, Dr. Michelson recognized the Uihleins. "I thank the Uihleins for identifying the vital need to support both bioethics and medical humanities as an ongoing focus that is essential for the delivery of healthcare, as well as for innovation in medicine through research, and the spiritual and soulful well-being of patients, healthcare providers, and our society," said Dr. Michelson.

Dr. Michelson concluded, "I certainly hope that I will live up to the vision that inspired you."

“I certainly hope that I will live up to the vision that inspired you.”

- Dr. Kelly Michelson