You are viewing the Ward Rounds Online Archive. To view the current issue, click here.


Ward Rounds News

Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care

Maggie DaleyFirst Lady Maggie Daley (seated) spoke at the April 19 dedication of the Center for Women’s Cancer Care that carries her name. Her husband, Mayor Richard Daley (left), is pictured with philanthropist Ann Lurie and Dr. Steven Rosen, director of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

The Maggie Daley Center for Women’s Cancer Care, part of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, was unveiled in April. The center is a partnership between Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Named after the First Lady of Chicago, who receives treatment for breast cancer at the Lurie Cancer Center, the new two-floor Center for Women’s Cancer Care offers a unique integrative, holistic approach to cancer care that addresses all of a woman’s needs — emotional, aesthetic, and physical — during treatment. Centralizing these services is important because finding and driving to various locations often feels overwhelming to a patient whose primary focus is cancer treatment.

At the center, located in Northwestern Memorial Prentice Women’s Hospital, a patient can access services to improve quality of life in the same place she is receiving cutting-edge therapy for breast and gynecological cancers from internationally renowned medical oncologists, gyne- and surgical oncologists. A woman could get acupuncture or Reiki, visit a nutritionist or see a health psychologist to cope with her diagnoses and life during treatment, all while receiving chemotherapy. A new program also offers rehabilitation services for women to maximize their strength and endurance. A “healing boutique” offers wig and prosthesis fittings, hats, and makeup consultations for patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

The Center for Women’s Cancer Care also offers patients access to novel therapies and drugs, as well as more than 100 clinical trials. A cancer genetics program screens patients at higher-than-average risk for cancer and provides education and guidelines for early detection and possible disease prevention. The center includes 11 private chemotherapy rooms, most with lake views, as well as a group chemotherapy area.

Mrs. Daley, accompanied by her husband, Mayor Richard M. Daley, spoke at an April 19 ceremony to celebrate the center’s opening.

“The tremendous care I have received from Northwestern Hospital and the Lurie Cancer Center has impressed upon me the remarkable healing power of care in every sense of the word — from treatment to thoughtfulness, protection, and sensitivity.

“When people walk into this center for women’s cancer care, which now carries my name … a fact that has honored me more than anyone will ever know … I feel certain that they will receive the utmost care possible, both medically and emotionally, in both big and small ways,” she said.


Feinberg Moves Ahead — Again!

US News and World Report Chart

For the second year in a row, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine has jumped one space forward in the U.S. News & World Report rankings, moving from No. 19 to No. 18 in the category of Best Research Medical School. Feinberg shares the spot with Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Rankings are based on five categories that can be classified into two areas: the opinion of experts (deans, program directors, and senior faculty members) about program quality, and statistics that measure the quality of the school’s students, research activity, and faculty. The medical school began participating in the survey in 1995 and ranked 32 that year.


Medical School Journey Complete for the Feinberg Class of 2010

Above: Senators from the four student medical colleges pose with Class President Martin Pham (right). They include: Leslie Kim, Marguerite Converse (center), Jason Rho and Lindsay Kuo.

Members of the Class of 2010 spent four momentous years navigating the challenging world of medical school — studying and training in a focused effort to absorb all they could about the practice of medicine. On May 20, these 156 Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine graduates joined their family, friends, and faculty mentors at Chicago’s Navy Pier Grand Ballroom to complete the last leg of their emotional journey to become physicians: earning their Doctor of Medicine (MD) degrees.

J. Larry Jameson, MD, PhD, vice president for medical affairs and Lewis Landsberg Dean of the medical school, cut through the nervous anticipation of all assembled and set the stage for the long-awaited event. Jameson reminded the 151st graduating class that they were departing medical school during a time of health care reform and great scientific advancements —an exciting, yet challenging time of change and transition that they are well poised to handle and succeed in.

Jameson went on to say, “Please retain the passion that brought you into the profession of medicine and the core values that you have developed during your training here; these will guide you throughout your career. Also, never forget along the way that Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine will always be one of your homes, an alma mater, a place to renew your friendships.”

“As a physician, I’ll be able to help people at their time of greatest need; it’s more than an honor, it’s a privilege.”
— Martin Pham, MD ’10

In his remarks, University President Morton O. Schapiro, PhD, again spoke directly to the graduates, declaring a certain faith he has in them to proudly represent the medical school and the university in their practice of medicine. “I know you’re going to change the world,” he emphatically stated.

Dr. Daniel Federman, Harvard Medical School, gave the keynote address in the Grand Ballroom at Chicago’s Navy Pier.

During the ceremony, Thomas C. Corbridge, MD, professor of medicine in the Feinberg Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, received the 2010 George H. Joost Award for teaching excellence. During his acceptance, Corbridge reminded the class to savor their accomplishments and make certain they remain students for life. He added that he was “truly moved to be recognized by such an intelligent group of physicians.”

In presenting the award, Class President Martin Pham, MD ’10, of Santa Ana, Calif., described Corbridge as a “persuasive instructor and wonderful friend.” Pham, who was matched in the University of Southern California’s neurological surgery residency program, is excited to be returning to his home state to start his career.

“I’ve always been interested in science and want to use that knowledge to help people directly,” Pham said. “As a physician, I’ll be able to help people at their time of greatest need; it’s more than an honor, it’s a privilege.”

Following the faculty award, Daniel D. Federman, MD, senior dean for alumni relations and clinical teaching and Carl W. Walter Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at Harvard Medical School, presented the keynote address. His lighthearted, yet insightful recommendations focused on three main topics (teaching, loving, and choosing) and for each, he provided a mantra that the newly proclaimed doctors could bear in mind throughout their careers.

In regard to teaching, Dr. Federman’s advice was to “stick to the basics, think out loud, and be kind,” reminding the class to never miss a chance to say something positive to someone else. As he discussed loving, Federman recalled his residency experience and cautioned graduates that the long hours, constant fatigue, and overwhelming responsibility for the life and death of patients would take its toll on their relationships. Despite their hectic schedules, he counseled them to “kiss and hug your loved ones at every chance” because you never know when you will fall asleep and lose the opportunity to do so. When speaking of making choices in a world of “moral hazard,” the Harvard dean pleaded with the graduates to “always take the high road,” regardless of the pressures they will most certainly face.

Emmanuel Bessay, MD ’10, a native of Liberia, West Africa, celebrates with family.

Dr. Federman’s poignant address served as the final lesson for the Class of 2010. It was, at last, time for Dean Jameson, along with President Schapiro, to distribute diplomas, while the college mentors hooded each graduate, signifying their transition from student to doctor. At the same time, many graduates were honored with additional academic distinctions.

Following the conferring of degrees, Susie Morris,
MD ’10, MA ’10, of Price, Utah, who was selected as the class speaker by medical school deans and her Student Senate peers, addressed the convocation. Morris will soon begin her psychiatry residency at the University of Southern California.

In her humorous and retrospective speech, Morris shared an embarrassing story about a patient care mishap that a kindhearted resident had deemed her “one big screwup,” and tales of medical school memories she would carry with her forever. Morris also reflected on her teachers — those faculty members “who remember that in the beginning, nothing is obvious; that ‘pimp’ questions should not be ego driven; and that ‘Is there anything else I can do for you?’ is student-speak for ‘Can I please go home now?’”

To conclude the ceremony, the graduates recited the Declaration of Geneva, also known as The Physician’s Creed —the same oath they took as first-year medical students —pledging to maintain by all means in their power “the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession” and always considering the health of their patients first and foremost.

Upon departing the ballroom, the Class of 2010 gathered with Dean Jameson, who led a traditional champagne toast that celebrated their achievements and marked the beginning of the next phase of their lives —their new journey as physicians.


northwestern medicine™

Health Care Reform 2010 Highlights

President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law on March 23, 2010, legislation that holds promise of being the most important public policy achievement of this generation. Until now, payment for medical care had grown, except for Medicare, in a fashion entirely without public planning. Consequently, the United Sates has been the only developed nation without universal health care coverage, with more than 45 million Americans without access to pay for health care. To add insult to injury, despite pockets of world-class medicine, the U.S. as a whole does not rank near the top of any list of national health care excellence, while leading the world in costs. Here are some highlights of the 1000-page bill.

new insurance regulations

PPACA prohibits some of the most negative practices of the health insurance industry. Effective immediately, insurance can no longer exclude children because of pre-existing conditions. By 2014, pre-existing exclusions for adults will disappear. Until then a subsidized health insurance exchange will temporarily be available. Insurance companies cannot impose lifetime limits on coverage. The federal government will regulate annual coverage limits until 2014, at which time annual limits will disappear. Dependents of parents with insurance must have optional coverage until age 26. The law prohibits rescission, the practice of insurance dropping individual coverage because of high utilization. Finally, preventive services will have no out-of-pocket costs.

insurance plan

Insurance companies, like any other business, need revenues to exceed expenses. Employers choose among various plan benefits and prices that are difficult to compare because benefits vary from plan to plan. PPACA addresses this challenge in several ways. Insurance companies will participate in insurance exchanges to create transparency and facilitate comparison shopping. Both individuals and employers will choose coverage from these exchanges. Larger employers can self-insure or purchase plans. The Department of Health and Human Services will review and certify plans in exchanges.

The insurance industry uses “loss ratio” as a euphemism for benefits they pay for care, as opposed to administrative costs, capital investments, and profits. The legislation limits minimum loss ratio to 85% for large group plans; 80% for small group plans; and 75% for individual plans. Thus, a greater share of premiums will fund actual care provision.

Health care reform imposes restriction on plans for discrimination. By 2014, there will be no difference in plans by gender or health. The ratio between highest to lowest premiums by age will be limited to 3:1 and by tobacco use to 1.5:1.

coverage for the poor

The federal government will mandate that states provide Medicaid for all below 133% of the federal poverty level, with graduated mandates up to 400%. The federal government will provide matching subsidies to states that have less generous provisions. In addition, Medicaid must pay at 100% of Medicare rates. There will be subsidies so residents can purchase individual plans from insurance exchanges.

payment reform

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) certified PPACA as budget neutral or better over 10 years. Clearly, the CBO predicated potential for controlling rapidly escalating health care costs to payment reform. At present, both governmental and private insurance reimburse for individual services, an environment that leads to disproportionate compensation for specialty versus primary care and a strong incentive to do more. Medicare, and consequently almost all insurers, use a Resource-Based Relative Value System to set payments. Unfortunately, this system has been a total failure and has escalated the drift of physicians into specialized care. The reform law provides for demonstration projects to bundle charges, replacing pay for service or procedure.

The legislation proposes complicated mechanisms for physicians and hospitals to report quality measures, ultimately progressing to adjusting payment to quality. Both metrics to assess quality and appropriate sampling size remain undefined. There are funds for demonstration projects to assess using “accountable care organizations” as a method to measure quality while controlling costs and coordinating care.

The haphazard U.S. health care system is inequitable, inefficient, and financially unsustainable. PPACA is a partial fulfillment of President Obama’s campaign promise to create a sustainable, fair system. The health care reform legislation leaves many unsolved challenges, but may prevent a system meltdown.

Jim Foody, MD, FACP
Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Governor, American College of Physicians, Northern Illinois Chapter

Batjer Co-chairs NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee

BatjerH. Hunt Batjer, MD, Michael J. Marchese Professor of Neurological Surgery and chair in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Neurological Surgery, was recently named by Commissioner Roger Goodell as one of the new co-chairs of the National Football League (NFL) Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee.

As co-chair of the committee, Batjer will assist in strengthening the NFL’s leadership role in research, education, prevention, and treatment of head and spine injuries in sports. Batjer will also seek to advance the mission of the NFL Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee. Batjer, and co-chair Richard G. Ellenbogen, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, will also be responsible for appointing other members of the committee.

While the focus of their research explorations will be on the safety of NFL players, Batjer says that the findings regarding how to make contact sports safer will apply to non-professional sports and even children’s athletics.

“This is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at the science that we have behind NFL policies and engage in proactive activities like longitudinal assessments of athletes throughout their careers and beyond that will allow us to discover new knowledge,” he says.

Batjer anticipates that a number of his colleagues from Northwestern will be involved in the projects that the committee initiates, including materials sciences experts from the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science who can assist in developing technology like nanomaterials in order to improve the safety of athletic equipment by making impacts safer on the head and spine.


Online Extra

Teresa Woodruff Awarded Prestigious Tripartite Legacy Prize

(from the FSM Researcher newsletter, April 2010)


Teresa Woodruff, PhD, Thomas J. Watkins Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, chief of the Division of Fertility Preservation, and director and founder of the Institute for Women’s Health Research, has been named the winner of the Tripartite Legacy Prize, presented annually to the faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in research that emphasizes translational approaches, teaching and mentoring, and leadership. 

“Receiving the Tripartite Legacy Prize is a great honor for me personally, but it is also a recognition of great lab members over a number of years, great students in undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and my wonderful Northwestern colleagues,” says Dr. Woodruff.

Dr. Woodruff began her academic career at Northwestern in 1995, after working as a research scientist for Genentech in San Francisco. Though the transition from “nearly unlimited budgets” to grant-writing was a challenge, she says, “I believe my background in biotech industry provides a perspective on both career paths that is useful to my students making life choices about fulfilling their career ambitions.”

Indeed, teaching and mentoring are at the heart of Dr. Woodruff’s successful research career at Feinberg. She says, “My proudest moments come when I welcome a graduate student into the scientific profession, see a postdoc mature into a scientific leader, celebrate the new aspirations of a high school student, or see a high-impact publication from one of my colleagues.” 

She not only mentors Feinberg students at the University, she also encourages young women to pursue careers in the sciences, and has developed the Oncofertility Saturday Academy in conjunction with the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School as a venue to involve high school girls in college-level science.

Though Dr. Woodruff is dedicated to teaching and mentorship, her impressive research and career accomplishments already place her among Northwestern University’s most honored faculty. She has recently become chief of the newly created Division of Fertility Preservation at Feinberg and is working at translating the research funded by a number of grants, with the goal of preserving a woman’s fertility after undergoing cancer treatments.  She holds six patents, has served on numerous editorial boards and professional committees, and has prolifically published in high-impact journals.

Dr. Woodruff has been honored nationally by the “Speaking of Women's Health” Distinguished Service Award (2007), the American Women in Science (2008) Innovator Award, and the American Medical Women Association Gender Equity Award (2009). She was awarded the Endocrine Society’s Richard E. Weitzman Memorial Award (2000) and was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005).


Tackling Pediatric Patient Safety in Chicago

It was essentially an unmapped frontier before Donna Woods, EdM, PhD, and Jane Holl, MD, MPH, decided to help improve pediatric patient care at Children’s Memorial Hospital (CMH) in 2003. Dr. Woods led the study with Dr. Holl that determined that more than 70,000 children annually (a conservative estimate they cited in Pediatrics in 2005) experience adverse effects serious enough to cause a longer hospital stay or, worse yet, disabilities, and 60 percent of these situations are preventable. Woods and Holl quickly realized that if they were going to make a positive impact, more could be accomplished by involving other institutions. Thus was born Woods’ idea, the Chicago Pediatric Patient Safety Consortium (the Consortium), the only effort of its kind in the country.

“Pediatric medicine is different than adult care and so are the safety issues,” explains Woods, co-director of graduate programs in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, a collaboration between the graduate and medical schools at Northwestern. “Clinicians are seeing children from infancy to 18 years of age — the epidemiology and treatments are different, as are the cognition and physiology — which leads to a lot of complexity. Medication safety, the most widely studied area of pediatric safety, indicates that errors in medication delivery are more common in children because dosages must be customized and calculated for each patient.”

WoodDonna Woods, EdM, PhD, had the idea to start a pediatric patient safety consortium in Chicago, which has been going strong for seven years.

With these complicating factors, and the volume of pediatric patient care, Dr. Woods, a research professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, felt a multi-institutional approach was necessary. Together with Dr. Holl, associate professor of pediatrics, she convinced pediatric chairs at Chicago hospitals treating large numbers of children, including John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, and Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, to join their efforts.

The duo co-chairs the group, which includes urban and suburban, as well as a safety net and a freestanding children’s hospital. This diversity allows them to collect important data about inpatient safety risks (the sickest kids and most complex cases), and develop effective interventions to improve pediatric patient safety in different environments, says Woods. It also gives them a significant volume of patients to study and provides anonymity to the participating institutions.

“We were very fortunate in identifying pediatric department leaders who said, ‘we know we need to do this’ — and who really took on the task of convincing their leadership,” says Dr. Holl, who was recently named director of the Institute for Healthcare Studies at the Feinberg School of Medicine.

Clinical Perspective

Michael Reese Health Trust provided the Consortium’s initial funding to conduct pediatric patient safety assessments. Sixty-five focus groups were held with clinicians at different professional levels in each institution. It was no surprise that teamwork and communication — as previously shown in the literature to be the root cause of many patient safety errors — were highlighted.

“We learned a lot through this process,” explains Woods, “and, as a result, developed training modules around standardized communication. Communication is a fundamental skill; we learn it early and it becomes connected to who we are. Because there is no significant training on how to communicate in health care, each person brings his or her own idiosyncratic style. We felt there should be a standardized structure for organizing information.” In addition to creating a 20-minute computer training module covering standardized communications in patient care and appropriate clinical team responses, they crafted the policies required to support these activities.

Woods and Holl quickly learned that table-top exercises and computer modules worked to enhance patient safety awareness, but to change behavior, more robust training was needed. As a result, they began using simulation exercises on medical teamwork and communication. These videotaped sessions enable individual clinicians to view and critique their approaches, highlighting the need for personal and team improvement.

The Consortium typically uses Children’s Memorial Hospital to pilot test all interventions before dissemination to the other participating institutions. “This is a beautiful example of how academia can team up with and leverage the clinical capacity of community partners to effect change,” says Dr. Holl, CMH’s patient safety medical director. “Children’s has seen the overall benefits of this through increased focus and awareness.” At present, the Consortium is tapping into the expertise of Dr. William Hamman, who helped create training systems for pilots at United Airlines, to develop and implement a method of simulation called “in-situ” — scenarios conducted in the actual clinical setting. The focus is twofold: develop capacity to conduct these simulations and build effective models for medical teamwork.

Dr. Holl also took advantage of the relationship between United Airlines and CMH and adapted one of the air carrier’s robust programs to fit the hospital’s needs. “We’ve been able to implement a successful reporting system (100 incidents reported every week since 2005) and a separate organizational structure to promote patient safety,” explains Holl. The cross-disciplinary Safety Quality Learning Team reviews, addresses, and communicates solutions about reported problems.

Open to Sharing

An original Consortium member is Dr. David Soglin, chairman of the Department of Pediatric Health and Hospital Systems for Cook County and John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital. “We launched this group thinking, ‘Let’s see where it takes us.’ We’ve worked together to develop research-driven projects that have practical value — things that I can and should be dealing with and that contribute to our QI work at Stroger,” he explains.

Jane Holl, MD, MPH, co-chairs the consortium that includes five large Chicago hospitals with significant pediatric services, including Children’s Memorial Hospital.

“There are real advantages to participating, including access to like-minded colleagues with different ideas, and the opportunity to contribute to the knowledge of pediatric safety,” Soglin continues. “From a scientific standpoint, working with different hospitals with different characteristics has allowed us to figure out if the problems we identified were unique to one organization or an issue that all the institutions were experiencing.”

Along with two other doctors and a research assistant, and pulling in other staff as needed for different Consortium projects, he participates in bi-weekly phone calls and quarterly meetings. The busy chair says he wishes he could do more.

Still Going Strong

In its seventh year, the consortium has received three grants from Michael Reese Health Trust to continue its pediatric patient safety work, which now is focused on teaching member institutions how to develop and implement their own in-situ simulations to improve communication and teamwork and identify issues and challenges in existing organizational systems. Woods and Holl are pleased that the Consortium has continued to evolve and that the members are still committed after so many years.

“The Consortium members have been great colleagues throughout this process,” says Woods. “They have been very supportive on many dimensions because they see the true value not only in our work in Chicago, but also in the papers and presentations that spread the knowledge and learning.”

There are two current research projects funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that Drs. Holl and Woods believe have widespread potential. The first involves creating a national standard for critical communications to improve effectiveness, reliability, and safety when transferring seriously ill children from smaller referring hospitals to institutions with large pediatric services. The second project will build the capacity to conduct in-situ simulations to improve communication, teamwork, and the safety of organizational systems within the diverse Consortium institutions.

“Our work is so relevant to clinical practice,” Holl explains. “We realize it has spurred internal process improvement, putting pediatric patient safety on the Consortium hospitals’ radar screens and bringing different clinicians together to design improved safety processes and systems.”


Online Extra

Hertz Fellow Receives $250,000 Honor

Hertz fellow

Joshua Waitzman completed his first two years of medical school at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and passed his board exams. Now he is in his first year of graduate school, working intensely in a Feinberg lab that focuses on tiny molecular motors. He has six years of study to go before he receives his MD and PhD degrees.

Ultimately he would like to lead a biophysics research group while seeing patients.

Waitzman has learned that The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has named him a Hertz Fellow, an honor that provides $250,000 in no-strings-attached support for graduate studies.

He is one of 15 young student leaders in the applied sciences and engineering fields selected from a national pool of nearly 600 applicants. Recipients must display high academic achievement and the capacity to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the field.

Online Extra

Feinberg Student Wins AMA Foundation Award

Sebastian Lara, a second-year MD/MA student, is presented with an American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation 2010 Leadership AwarD by AMA President J. James Rohack.

Second-year Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine MD/MA student Sebastian W. Lara has been awarded an American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation 2010 Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service, and education.

Lara, one of only 20 medical students nationally to receive the honor this year, is very active in the Feinberg community. He teaches classmates as a coordinator of the Medical Spanish program, leads the Northwestern Catholic Medical Students Association, and is president of Northwestern University Alliance for International Development, a student group that sponsors medical service trips to the Caribbean and Central America and conducts multiple health projects for local Chicago neighborhoods.

Lara was presented with the award at a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C., where he received special training to develop his skills as a leader in organized medicine and community affairs. Award ceremony attendees included U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Surgeon General of the United States Regina Benjamin.

Training sessions at the conference included public speaking and effective communication. For Lara, the experience was incredible. The event complemented his experience at Feinberg and encouraged him to continue tackling major issues, he said.

“The award conference taught me that a leader is someone unafraid to think big and to think differently about a problem to be solved,” Lara said. “While the Feinberg community has taught me that a leader is someone who can find that solution in the team of short — or long — white coats sitting around him.”

Online Extra

Graduation 2010 Photo Gallery

To see, download, and/or order photos from Graduation 2010, visit

Online Extra

Faculty Recognition

Li-Qun Zhang, PhD, Named Clifford C. Raisbeck, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

From left: Clifford C. Raisbeck, MD, Michael F. Schafer, MD, and Li-Qun Zhang, PhD

On April 7, Li-Qun Zhang, PhD, was invested as the Clifford C. Raisbeck, MD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. Following an enthusiastic introduction by department chair and Edwin Warner Ryerson Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Michael F. Schafer, MD, it was time for Clifford C. Raisbeck, MD ’53, to take the podium. A dedicated alumnus, Dr. Raisbeck endowed this professorship to support the work of a promising faculty member at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Opening with a toast to education, Dr. Raisbeck shared his opinion that his time at the medical school especially prepared him to function well above the level of his peers when first starting out in the medical field. “I wanted to pay back some of my intellectual debt,” he said. “At Northwestern, we stand on the shoulders of giants—what a legacy.” He closed with a congratulatory nod to Dr. Zhang, under whose occupancy he is sure the professorship will soar.

As extoller, W. Zev Rymer, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and vice president for research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, lauded Dr. Zhang for his incredible energy, intellect, and overwhelming skill, saying that Dr. Zhang’s unbelievably productive research career is supplemented by his love and talent for teaching. Dr. Schafer also shared, “He brings passion to the department through his research and resident teaching, making a tremendous impact on the care of patients.”

When Dr. Zhang took the podium, the group experienced his fervor and aptitude for teaching firsthand as he launched into an excited discussion of his work: translational research to improve the treatment of elbow, ankle, and knee injuries, and the possible extension of these discoveries to help soldiers and military veterans. He closed the evening by highlighting the importance of collaborative work as a catalyst for helping patients.

Online Extra

Celebrating the Investitures of Drs. John R. Lurain III and Julian C. Schink

From left: Drs. Schink, Jameson, Lurain, and Mr. Irving Stenn Jr.

On Friday, April 30, friends, family, and colleagues celebrated the investitures of John Robert Lurain III, MD, as the Marcia Stenn Professor of Gynecologic Oncology and Julian C. Schink, MD, as the John and Ruth Brewer Professor of Gynecology and Cancer Research. Drs. Lurain and Schink were both toasted at a reception at The Peninsula Hotel.

Mr. Irving Stenn Jr. shared the emotional story of his wife Marcia’s battle with ovarian cancer, which eventually took her life in 1999. In 1991, the Stenn family created the Stenn Fund for Ovarian Cancer Research to support the Division of Gynecologic Oncology’s efforts to help patients and families suffering with ovarian cancer. In memory of his wife and in honor of Dr. Lurain — Marcia Stenn’s physician and former chief of the division — Mr. Stenn, along with family and friends, launched a fundraising initiative in 2008 to create the Marcia Stenn Professorship in Gynecologic Oncology.

Mr. Stenn described Dr. Lurain as “attentive, kind, and warm, but always direct and honest. Marcia and I spent 12 years — one third of our married life — with John, Nancy, and their entire team. Marcia would have been proud of the accomplishments of the fund under Dr. Lurain’s direction, and thrilled that Dr. Lurain is being honored for his medical skill and care of patients, and Nancy ….”

Dr. Lurain spoke of his interactions with Mrs. Stenn, describing her fight against cancer as graceful and determined. “Marcia translated a life of volunteerism into becoming an advocate for all women with ovarian cancer.”

Dr. Lurain pledged to continue his work to improve the lives of women with gynecologic malignancies through patient care, education, and research at Northwestern and beyond.

Following an effusive extolment, Dr. Schink was presented with his professorship medallion. His words of gratitude were extended to all those present, especially Drs. Lurain and Jameson, and his friend and extoller David Miller, MD, FACS, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He also acknowledged all of the generous benefactors who support gynecologic oncology research and education at Feinberg.

“Thanks to the tremendous philanthropic support of countless donors,” Dr. Schink said, “We are able to soar to incredibly great heights, and make accomplishments to improve health for the patients who inspire and challenge us.”

Pat Garcia Named to Presidential AIDS Council

Patricia Garcia, MD, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV-AIDS.

For the next three years, she will serve on President Barack Obama’s 24-member council (including researchers, service providers, and community leaders) to help reduce HIV-AIDS incidence, improve health outcomes, reduce disparities, and assure access to quality care.

Dr. Garcia believes her appointment comes at a critical time.

“Health care reform is incredibly important to those affected by HIV,” she said. “As money becomes tighter, states are being forced to weigh prevention versus treatment, and prevention is the key to the future.”

Garcia, who also chairs the board of the Pediatric AIDS Chicago Prevention Initiative, believes her appointment to the Presidential AIDS Council is a reflection of the progress the Chicago community has made in perinatal HIV prevention. Northwestern has a long history of collaborating with many organizations devoted to this cause, including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago.

“We’ve focused on providing services to pregnant women and prevention in both women and children,” said Garcia, director of the Perinatal HIV Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “I’m excited and enthused to address HIV issues on a national and international level.”

(information taken from Northwestern Memorial Hospital press release)