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A partnership of historic proportions. A model for the country.

 

One of the greatest success stories in American medicine is the enduring partnership between academic institutions and the Veterans Health Administration. Northwestern played a foundational role when that relationship was forged in 1946. Today, through our clinical partner, the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center, we continue to care for our veterans, while impacting the practice of medicine through education and discovery.

Read the Northwestern Medicine Magazine Article
Feinberg residents at the VA

Reflections from Our Team

Eric Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean

It is a special honor to partner in care of the men and women who have served our country so selflessly, and we feel a special sense of pride knowing that this enduring partnership was originally fostered here at Northwestern.

Eric Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean

Marianne Green, vice dean for Education and Raymond H. Curry, MD, Professor of Medical Education and of Medicine

Our partnership with the VA provides an invaluable learning experience for our trainees and is a key element of our competency-based curriculum.

Marianne Green, vice dean for Education and Raymond H. Curry, MD, Professor of Medical Education and of Medicine

Robert Rosa, MD, vice dean for regulatory affairs, a Navy veteran who has served on the dean’s VA committee for more than a decade

Academic affiliations were a great boon to improving patient care — and to medical education. Students and residents learn civility, respect, and responsibility for the care of fellow citizens who made significant sacrifices when they became veterans.

Robert Rosa, MD, vice dean for regulatory affairs, a Navy veteran who has served on the dean’s VA committee for more than a decade

Murray Levin, MD, professor emeritus of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, who held leadership positions at VA Lakeside in the ’70s and ’80s

The relationship with the VA has always been symbiotic — both sides gain.

Murray Levin, MD, professor emeritus of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, who held leadership positions at VA Lakeside in the ’70s and ’80s

Nicholas Volpe, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology

Seventy-five years later, we remain steadfast in our commitment to empower the unique strengths of our academic physicians as clinical experts and surgeons, researchers and educators to care for those who sacrificed so much to serve. This powerful collaboration allows for care at the highest level by some of our best doctors and trainees for our country’s veterans.

Nicholas Volpe, MD, chair of the Department of Ophthalmology

Russell Huang, MD, former Northwestern Medicine ophthalmology resident about training at Jesse Brown

You have to learn to be independent and advocate for your patients because many of these veterans really need your care and have nowhere else to go. The buck stops with you, because you are their doctor.

Russell Huang, MD, former Northwestern Medicine ophthalmology resident about training at Jesse Brown

Joshua Meeks, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Urology and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and section chief of Robotic Surgery at Jesse Brown

The VA has been extremely supportive of my development as surgeon. VA grants address the unique needs, exposures and challenges faced by our veterans. In urology, we see almost every veteran at Jesse Brown, which allows us to understand how we can improve their quality of life.

Joshua Meeks, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Urology and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and section chief of Robotic Surgery at Jesse Brown

Andrea Birnbaum, MD, PhD, associate chief of staff for education at Jesse Brown and associate professor of Ophthalmology at Feinberg

VA hospitals attract physicians equally passionate about caring for veterans and teaching trainees. We have an amazing medical staff at Jesse Brown and many of them are from Northwestern.

Andrea Birnbaum, MD, PhD, associate chief of staff for education at Jesse Brown and associate professor of Ophthalmology at Feinberg

Did You Know?

144 LCME-accredited medical schools partner with the Veterans Health Association

195 Feinberg medical students rotate through Jesse Brown annually

438 McGaw residents trained at Jesse Brown during the 2019-2020 academic year

21 Feinberg principal investigators led research at Jesse Brown in 2020

46 clinical trials at the Jesse Brown were led by Feinberg principal investigators in 2020

Research at the VA

Mahew Majr, PhD

Matthew Major, PhD

In 2018, Major, associate professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and research health scientist at Jesse Brownr, testified before Congress about medical technologies designed to help veterans. Major investigates the relationships between prosthetic device properties and user performance. Hear him testify before Congress.

Theresa Bender Pape, DrPH, MA, CCC-SLP/L, FACRM

Theresa Bender Pape, DrPH, MA, CCC-SLP/L, FACRM

Pape, research associate professor in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, led a Northwestern Medicine and Hines VA Hospital study that showed the recorded voices of loved ones sharing familiar stories stored in long-term memory can help awaken the unconscious brain and speed recovery from the coma.

Jsha Haser, MD

Joshua Hauser, MD

As part of a pilot study in 2019 (and still ongoing), Hauser, associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine, and his colleagues read poetry to VA patients at to elicit memories of their youth and families, reflections on their military experience and ruminations on their illness to gauge how poetry affects their quality of life and healing. Read the Wall Street Journal story.

Adam Mrphy, MD

Adam Murphy, MD

In 2016, Murphy, assistant professor of Urology and a scientist at the Jesse Brown, was a lead author of a study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Chicago that was published in Clinical Cancer Research. It found that African-American and European-American men at high risk for prostate cancer have greater odds of being diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease if they have a vitamin D deficiency. Read more about his study.

Sherri LaVela, PhD, MPH, MBA

Sherri LaVela, PhD, MPH, MBA

LaVela, research associate professor in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and a Department of Veterans Affairs scientist, led a study that included a self-reporting health survey of over 3,000 veterans. This tool may serve as a motivator for some veterans who are hesitant to seek medical care, as well as inform provider interventions.

Our History

This innovative relationship — one that transformed the delivery of care to veterans and helped advance the health of the nation — was conceived by Northwestern orthopaedic surgeon Paul B. Magnuson, MD (pictured with President Truman, who speaks here about the importance of the VA). Browse the timeline of this historic partnership below.

Read more about Magnuson

More About the Celebration

Learn about how the VA is celebrating this partnership anniversary.