Dear Fellow Alumni:

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Northwestern Medicine Magazine! You will note that the joint message from Eric Neilson, MD, and Dean Harrison establishes the rationale for a new branding that is consistent, with a firm integration foundation. There will still be ample space for an alumni section that is being named “Ward Round News.”  I encourage each of you to read this and to contribute updates about your personal and professional lives.

Another disappointing Northwestern football game loss aside, your Alumni National Board had a congenial and fruitful weekend of activities November 15 and 16. Our Board attended a reception for the late Cliff Raisbeck, MD ’53. We bid a fond farewell to Ginny Darakjian and later enjoyed In Vivo, the annual medical student comedy/variety show that has been in existence for 35 years.

We got down to business on November 16 with our Board meeting. I reported to you in my last message that our Executive Committee held a retreat last August. The product of that retreat was an agenda for our Board meeting focusing on new directions. We observed that our by-laws were outdated and developed a mission statement and strategic objectives.

Our new mission: “The purpose of the National Alumni Board of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is to foster, among its members, a spirit of loyalty, professional interaction, mentoring and philanthropy so as to help ensure the continued success of the School as a leader in education, patient care and research.”

As a retreat follow-up and to help us realize our vision, Vice Dean Alan Krensky, MD, and staff presented new directions for our alumni that identified a construct of four pillars, which are taking the form of four committees and subcommittees:

  1. Engagement, headed by Paloma Toledo and co-chaired by Melani Shaum, will broaden the base of alumni involved in the life of the medical school, with a focus on diversity, specialty-targeted outreach and young alumni. Specific strategies will include hosting regional meetings, redesigning Alumni Weekend to increase attendance and utilizing our publications and website.
  2. Fundraising, chaired by Jim Hill and co-chaired by Gary Rusk, is charged with increasing alumni giving and identifying prospects with the potential for major gifts. This will be accomplished by increasing present donor contributions, participation in planned gifts and emphasizing the need for dramatically expanded philanthropy to support the long-term goal of a Tuition-Free Medical School.
  3. Mentoring, led by Bonnie Typlin and medical student co-chair Paul Devlin, will evaluate and improve current programs, build on the problem-based learning educators program, organize peer networking meetings and conduct regional outreach to identify interested mentors in a variety of specialties and work situations, such as entrepreneurs and non-clinical settings.
  4. Strategic Initiatives, under Bruce Scharschmidt, will be challenged to determine and achieve volunteer buy-in for Global Health under Jeff Lawrence and Paul Bonucci; Support Our Students with Doug Carr, Patricia Merwick and Howard Schuele; and MD’s in Business/Industry Relations with Carla Hightower, Bruce Scharschmidt and Jim Kelly.

I realize that this is an ambitious vision, but I am confident that with our Boards’ outstanding talent and dedication, and with your support, we can succeed. We welcome participation from other alumni to help infuse our activities with new ideas and opportunities.


All the best,


David Winchester, MD ’63

Alumni Board President


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