ENH and University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine create a new academic affiliation

ENH and University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine Create a New Academic Affiliation

July 14, 2008

Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) and the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine have agreed on an academic affiliation that will place medical students, residents and fellows from the University of Chicago Medical Center at the three ENH hospital locations in Evanston, Glenbrook and Highland Park for a portion of their educational experience.

The Pritzker School of Medicine is one of the most selective medical schools in the United States, with a long tradition of close interaction between students and their mentors, the full-time medical school faculty. Although students and residents participate in several small programs for clinical training off-campus, the majority of medical student training has always been centered at the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC). That will not change.

This new affiliation, however, will make the ENH hospital locations the primary off-site learning environment for Pritzker students and residents.

Leaders at both organizations believe the fit is a natural, bringing together Pritzker, one of the premiere medical schools in the country, with ENH, one of the nation's leading teaching hospitals. Both share a commitment to the highest levels of patient care and medical research, yet they expose students and residents to different patient populations, operational systems, and an urban-academic-medical-center vs. suburban-community-teaching-hospital patient care setting.

"With an abundance of combined yet very different experiences and a shared commitment to medical education, clinical investigation, and the effort to connect patients to the very best treatments, ENH and the University of Chicago Medical Center will usher in a new generation of healthcare on the North Shore and beyond," said Mark R. Neaman, ENH President and Chief Executive Officer.

"The partnership takes our medical school, one with a top national reputation and highly ranked programs, and makes the educational experience that much stronger," said James L. Madara, MD, Dean of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine and CEO of the University of Chicago Medical Center. "Both organizations have many similarities across their missions of teaching and research. But we also have a variety of differences in our enterprise strategies that actually complement rather than compete with one another."

The ENH system is one of the most fully integrated, multi-hospital, research and primary care organizations serving northern Illinois. ENH has an established reputation for its emphasis on advanced information technology and the highest quality of health care. UCMC, meanwhile, has a sharp focus on complex care and biomedical science, with many distinguished programs that draw patients from around the country.

The affiliation became effective July 1, 2008, and includes a one-year transition period. In July 2009, medical students and residents from Pritzker-sponsored training programs will begin to gain clinical experience at ENH, working closely with physicians who are part of the ENH-based faculty.

"Health care takes place in a variety of different settings," said Holly J. Humphrey, MD, Dean for Medical Education at the University of Chicago. "Medical schools achieve a diversity of settings by linking up with affiliates, in addition to their own teaching hospitals, to give students a richer variety of patient care experiences. That kind of broad educational exposure is incredibly robust."

"One of the most important elements is the quality and excellence of the physician faculty," she added, "and ENH's physician faculty are among the very best in the country."

The ENH-UCMC affiliation will create opportunities for collaborative research projects that take advantage of each institution's respective strengths, particularly in the areas of clinical outcomes, clinical trials, oncology and imaging.

ENH and UCMC also intend to mirror efforts in community service. UCMC has a longstanding, deeply-rooted commitment to its community on the South Side. Already among the leading providers of Medicaid in Illinois, the Medical Center recently stepped up its efforts to increase physician access for area residents. It recently embarked on a model for delivering community health, the Urban Health Initiative. That effort represents a collaboration with multiple South Side hospitals and clinics, forming a coordinated network of care so that patients are appropriately seen in the least invasive and least costly setting for their maximum benefit.

"Similarly, as part of this new affiliation agreement," said Neaman, "ENH will oversee an expanding program to establish a health initiative in Lake County, IL, that parallels UCMC's efforts on the South Side of Chicago, in order to improve access to quality health care in underserved areas."

ENH serves a patient base from dozens of communities. It is recognized as a leader in implementing information technology to improve the safety and quality of patient care. Hospitals and Health Networks magazine has named ENH one of the "Most Wired" healthcare organizations in the nation. ENH is also the top 5 percent of all institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health and among multi-specialty independent research hospitals, it ranks 9th in the nation.

The University of Chicago Medical Center, a national destination for patients with the most serious diseases, is in the top one percent of all institutions that receive funding from the National Institutes of Health and is fifth in the nation in NIH grants per faculty member. UCMC serves a diverse patient population. It has made a substantial and increasing commitment to providing care for underserved populations on the South Side of Chicago, establishing a series of partnerships with other South Side institutions to improve health and access to health care.

About Evanston Northwestern Healthcare

Located in Chicago's northern suburbs, Evanston Northwestern Healthcare (ENH) is an integrated healthcare system that includes Evanston, Glenbrook and Highland Park Hospitals, ENH Medical Group (comprising 65 medical offices and facilities), ENH Home Services, ENH Research Institute and ENH Foundation. ENH is the only Illinois hospital named a 15 Top Major Teaching Hospital by Thomson Healthcare®, and one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® 12 times.

At Evanston Hospital, two major construction projects are underway. One is a complete makeover of the 12 operating rooms to create state-of-the-art facilities for patients and surgeons. The other is an expansion of the Kellogg Cancer Care Center, including a new 5-story building on the Evanston campus to serve the increasing health care needs of cancer patients and their families.

About the University of Chicago Medical Center

Located in Hyde Park, on the South Side of Chicago, the University of Chicago Medical Center (UCMC), is ranked 17th out of more than 5,000 U.S. Hospitals, according to U.S. News & World Report, and is the only area hospital ever included on the Best Hospitals "Honor Roll." A nationally recognized leader in numerous areas of specialty care, UCMC is fifth in National Academy of Science membership per faculty. Eleven winners of the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology have been associated with the University. The Pritzker School of Medicine is the area's highest rated medical school and has risen faster through the rankings than any other medical school in the nation according to U.S.News & World Report. Two of its programs, evolutionary biology and paleontology, are ranked number one in the country.

As part of its history of commitment to the medical and scientific community, the Medical Center funds research and education each year in an amount exceeding $50 million. The Medical Center and the University are the largest employers on the South Side of Chicago. UCMC is one of the state's largest providers of care for those covered by Medicaid. 

UCMC will break ground in 2009 on a $700 million, 10-story, 1.2 million-square-foot New Hospital Pavilion (NHP), designed by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly to provide the optimal setting for patient care and collaborative clinical research with the flexibility to adapt to and drive forward the rapid changes sweeping through medicine. The NHP will connect to both the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital, which opened in 2005, and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, the Medical Center's outpatient care facility. It will be adjacent to two new, cutting-edge research facilities: the 430,000 square-foot Gordon Center for Integrative Science, which opened in 2005, and the 330,000 square-foot, 12-story Knapp Center for Biomedical Discovery, to open in 2009.