Northwestern Memorial Hospital Honored for Commitment to Community
CHEF recognizes the collaborative efforts of two Northwestern leaders in community health for contributions locally and abroad
Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s longstanding commitment to serve the healthcare needs of Chicago and its surrounding community has been a hallmark of the organization for nearly 150 years. That commitment took center stage recently when the collaborative efforts of Daniel Derman, MD, president, Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group and Posh Charles, director, external affairs and community health, were recognized by the Chicago Healthcare Executives Forum (CHEF) with an honorable mention award. The two were recognized for their leadership and achievements in advancing healthcare initiatives throughout greater Chicago.
“We are proud to lead programs and initiatives that bring efficiencies to healthcare access, that broaden the scope of health education programming and, in turn, help to improve health outcomes in our community,” said Derman, who is also vice president, operations at Northwestern Memorial. “Service to the community has been part of Northwestern Memorial’s mission since the very beginning, and it is rewarding as a physician and administrative leader to be an extension of that legacy.”
“Northwestern Memorial has had partnerships at the community health level for more than 40 years,” said Charles. “That history of working together helps us hone in on areas of greatest need, like tackling chronic illnesses like diabetes and working with partners to donate health equipment overseas, as examples. It’s humbling to be recognized and to see our efforts come together to benefit so many people.”
Derman and Charles received honorable mention from CHEF for their success in establishing four key initiatives at the hospital.
• Diabetes Collaborative – The Diabetes Collaborative is a comprehensive program designed to identify and teach adult patients with type 2 diabetes how to better manage their chronic disease. It was established in 2006 through a partnership between Northwestern Memorial, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Near North Health Services Corp. with just 200 patients involved. Today, the Collaborative tracks more than 4,000 Near North patients who are engaged in their care and routine exams. Two years ago the program expanded to Erie Family Health, a federally qualified health center and Northwestern Memorial partner that adopted the Collaborative model as it works to improve health outcomes for diabetics in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. A centerpiece of the program is a compliment of health educational materials (currently in English and Spanish) designed to improve patients’ understanding of the disease, the role they play in proper diet and eating and the importance of routine checkups. In 2010, the Diabetes Collaborative was a key component in a Food Oasis program Northwestern launched in conjunction with Walgreens Corp. to help improve access to healthier foods in underserved communities, further supporting the fundamental principles of the Collaborative program.
• Asset donation – Derman and Charles established a domestic and international asset donation program in 2007 to provide gently used medical equipment, patient care beds and furniture to organizations in need. By 2008, Northwestern had donated more than $480,000 worth of medical supplies. A partnership with Mission Outreach was also developed in 2010 to support local, national and international organizations in their delivery of healthcare to needy communities.
• Medical Explorers program – Since 1996, Northwestern has hosted the Medical Explorers program, which offers high school students an advanced look at careers in medicine and emphasizes life skills, service learning, character development and leadership. Through internships, mentoring, networking and scholarships, students are able to learn about healthcare at a young age to help them identify future goals. Under Derman and Charles’ leadership, Northwestern Memorial’s high school mentoring programs have expanded to include programs like the Northwestern Medicine® Scholars Program, a medical pipeline and mentorship program launched at Chicago’s Westinghouse College Prep high school. Northwestern Medicine is the shared vision of Northwestern Memorial and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, a key partner in the Scholars program. Students applied for and were accepted into the program based on a declared desire to pursue careers as physicians and medical researchers. They start as high school freshmen and will take part in the program through their senior year. As a Northwestern Medicine Scholar, students take part in two-week intensive summer trainings; receive classroom instruction and observation opportunities; and get hands-on guidance throughout high school about ways they can begin to prepare for college and careers in medicine, surgery and health research.
• Chicago Cares Serve-a-Thon – In 2011, nearly 600 employees from Northwestern Memorial, Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine donated their time to volunteer for the 17th annual event, where Northwestern was named the year’s largest corporate sponsor.