Campaign Gifts Contribute to Better Human Health
This story was published in the October 2021 issue of The Philanthropist, a newsletter for supporters and friends of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Foundation. Read the whole issue here.
Through their support, donors have touched every corner of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine during We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern Medicine. Gifts of all sizes have funded scholarships, research, and crucial programs and infrastructure that enable our scientists and physicians to make new discoveries and better serve patients today and into the future.
Impact on Our Students
Compassionate philanthropy directed to scholarships makes a world of difference to our students, providing them with a terrific catalyst to successful and satisfying careers in medicine, science, industry and beyond. In the past academic year, 55 percent of our medical students received at least some scholarship support, enabling them to breathe a little easier as they focused on a demanding medical education.
Understanding this great need, Northwestern University Trustee Muneer Satter and Kristen Hertel, both Northwestern alumni, gave a multi-million dollar gift to support the Satter Foundation Scholarship Fund in 2015. “Kristen and I are committed to the goal of assuring a Northwestern education to promising future physicians and medical scientists,” said Mr. Satter at the time. “These scholarships are investments that will ultimately benefit medical science and humanity.” First established in 2008, the Satter Foundation Scholarship has supported 36 medical students to date.
Former Satter Scholar Anna Briker, ’21 MD, now an internal medicine resident at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, recently shared her gratitude to the Satters. “Thank you for your generosity in funding the scholarship and investing in my future and my education. When I look back at my four years and all the opportunities I’ve had and all the mentors I’ve met, I’m so grateful. I’m not sure that I would be here today without your support.”
Impact on Our Faculty
Named and endowed professorships provide crucial support to the medical school’s most distinguished and productive physicians and scientists, enabling them to pursue innovative research, educate future leaders and provide exceptional patient care. Professorships help Northwestern attract and recruit world-class investigators to expand our research enterprise and the treatment options we can deliver to our patients.
Knowing this, Gloria and Eugene Bauer, ’67 MD, created the Ruth K. Freinkel, MD, Research Professorship in honor of Ruth Kimmelstiel Freinkel, MD, who served on the faculty of Northwestern’s Department of Dermatology for 34 years. The professorship was bestowed upon Jaehyuk Choi, MD, PhD, in 2016.
“I am so grateful for the Bauers’ support and all that it makes possible for me and my team,” said Dr. Choi, whose laboratory uses innovative genomic and immunological approaches to identify the pathophysiology of aggressive skin cancers. By shedding light on the genetic and epigenetic mechanisms by which these cancers avoid the immune system, his goal is to improve the detection, staging and treatment of aggressive and metastatic skin cancers.
Impact on Our Patients
Everything we do at the medical school is work toward our ultimate mission of improving human health. In collaboration with our donors and Northwestern Medicine clinical affiliates in Chicago and across the state of Illinois, we are able to enhance the ways we prevent, detect and treat disease, and help thousands of patients maintain happy, healthy lives.
Key partner the Les Turner ALS Foundation made a $10 million commitment to establish the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine in 2014. The center brings together all ALS disciplines under one umbrella, enabling enhanced collaborations between researchers and clinicians to provide a full spectrum of treatment to patients while facilitating the development of new therapies for ALS. To date, the foundation has directly funded more than $31 million to Feinberg, and it continues to partner with the medical school to raise $10 million to endow the center in perpetuity.
“The Les Turner ALS Foundation has fostered collaboration among Northwestern’s leading researchers. But that generosity also directly supports the work they do,” said Robert Kalb, MD, the Joan and Paul Rubschlager Professor and director of the Les Turner ALS Center. “Our team is pursuing enormously important projects aimed at unlocking the causes and mechanisms of ALS. Their creativity, thoroughness and persistence are some of the reasons I am so optimistic that our scientific community will find a cure for our patients.”