leadership-NeilsonHarrisonAs August marked the end of another fiscal year, we were both privileged to take a break from our regular schedules to celebrate with faculty, staff and employees many achievements and accolades across the Northwestern Medicine academic health system and medical center. We maintained high rankings among America’s best hospitals and medical schools, were recognized for continued excellence in nursing, won a number of significant research grants and broke ground on a new biomedical research building. In short, there was much to celebrate for the 25,000 talented individuals who played an integral role in these accomplishments.

In U.S. News and World Report’s 2015 – 2016 America’s Best Hospital Survey, Northwestern Medicine hospitals continued to be well represented, and we are now nationally ranked in 14 specialties. Northwestern Memorial Hospital achieved Honor Roll status for the fourth consecutive year and continues to be ranked first in both Illinois and the Chicago Metro area. Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital both improved their standing in the regional results.

And for the eighth consecutive year, the Feinberg School of Medicine was rated as one of the top 20 research-oriented medical schools in the country in the survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report, with our women’s health program ranking 9th in the nation, internal medicine 13th and pediatrics 15th.

Essential to the clinical rankings is the caliber of our nursing care. Just this year Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital all once again successfully achieved Magnet® redesignation status. Only seven percent of hospitals nationwide hold this designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center; even fewer successfully achieve Magnet redesignation status. Along with Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, every hospital in our academic health system has Magnet status. This is an outstanding accomplishment and positions us to attract top nurses who are crucial to providing outstanding care.

In our research laboratories, the important work of our scientists and investigators, which requires ongoing funding to move forward, continues to be rewarded by multi-year grants, including:

  • a four-year, $27.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences to make treatments more accessible to patients;
  • a five-year, $17.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a multidisciplinary project to invent, develop and test an implantable drug delivery system to protect high-risk individuals from HIV infection; and
  • a five-year, $11 million competitive grant from the National Cancer Institute for the continued leadership of a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) in prostate cancer, one of only eight in the country.

In addition, we broke ground on the new Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, which represents a significant step in our expansion of the research enterprise. This would not be possible without the numerous benefactors who have supported the We Will campaign, including Louis Simpson and Kimberly Querrey. Their $75 million gift in support of this project shows how strongly they believe in the work we are doing at Northwestern. In the future, we envision that the new building will help us provide more opportunities, mentors and resources for trainees at all levels to conduct research and support the medical school’s efforts to recruit world-class physician-scientists to advance programs such as epigenetics, pharmacogenomics and precision medicine.

We do not take our recent accomplishments for granted and appreciate all of the hard work and dedication of the men and women who helped to achieve them. We also understand there is much more to do to attain our strategic vision to become a great academic health system and medical center. Thank you for your ongoing support.


With warm regards,


Eric G. Neilson, MD                                                          Dean M. Harrison

Vice President for Medical Affairs and                              President and CEO

Lewis Landsberg Dean                                                     Northwestern Memorial HealthCare