Ryans donates $ 25 million to nominate and endow the Robert J. Havey, MD, Institute for Global Health

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Northwestern University Trustees and Alumni Patrick G. Ryan and Shirley W. Ryan donated $ 25 million to nominate and endow the Robert J. Havey, MD, Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The Ryan donation will ensure that the institute has resources in perpetuity to improve the health of billions of people in low- and middle-income countries around the world.

Robert J. Havey, ’80 MD, ’81, ’83 GME, clinical professor of medicine and new assistant director Robert J. Havey, MD, Institute for Global Health.

“As a physician and friend, it has been my great privilege to know Pat and Shirley over the years, and I am incredibly touched and energized by their dedication to the institute’s mission. Through their investment, we have a foundation to expand our work in global health to find solutions to the health problems that affect more than half of the world’s population, ”said Robert J. Havey, MD 80, 81, 83 GME, Deputy Director of the Havey Institute for Global Health , clinical professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and geriatrics, and long-time general internist at Northwestern Medical Group.

The donation is part of a historic $ 480 million donation, the largest in Northwestern history. The Ryans’ far-reaching philanthropy has supported athletics, research, facilities, scholarships, scholarships and chairs in addition to this new donation to global health. Mr. Ryan is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ryan Specialty Group, Founder and Former CEO of Aon Corporation, and a widely respected entrepreneur and insurance leader. Ms. Ryan is a national leader in the early detection and intervention of movement, sensory and communication problems in infants and children. Together, the Ryans co-founded Pathways.org, which merged with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the # 1 rehabilitation hospital in the United States for 21 consecutive years.

This wonderful gift from the Ryan family supporting these five biomedical initiatives is an absolute change. It’s imaginative support like this that speeds up the pace of discovery of some of society’s most important health issues. We are very grateful for their commitment to science in medicine. “

Eric G. Neilson, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Dean of Lewis Landsberg

Become world leaders in health

In 2008, Havey created the Global Health Initiative (GHI) to expand global health experiences for medical students in the Northwest. “I thought our students needed to see what it’s like to work in low-tech environments, where you can’t just get a scan or order a test or go to the pharmacy,” Havey recalls. “I felt our medical students would better understand their own responsibilities as future physicians if they spent time in these resource-constrained areas.

Today, Northwestern has a higher percentage of medical students taking internships in global health than any other medical school in the United States. Students return to Chicago inspired and, in many cases, determined to pursue primary care, a significant benefit of the institute’s medical student travel program as the United States – and the world – faces a severe shortage of primary care physicians.

Over the years, the work of the GHI has expanded to include much more than student travel. In 2019, he combined strengths with Northwestern’s existing Center for Global Health to form the institute, and the depth of his work increased rapidly. The new institute has expanded its training programs and clinics for scientists and health care providers in low- and middle-income countries and has funded hundreds of innovative research projects studying everything from infectious diseases like tuberculosis and the coronavirus to global oncology, cardiology, surgery and pathogens. genomics.

“We know that billions of people do not have access to basic primary care or to modern surgical, pediatric, oncology or obstetric care,” Havey said. “It is much more than a humanitarian crisis. It is also a threat to the global economy and to the social stability of the world. People in poor health often become prematurely disabled. They become unable to work and provide for a living. needs of their families and communities, perpetuating a cycle of disease and poverty that is almost impossible to escape. “

Havey said he believes the institute’s work in training and building healthcare infrastructure will give citizens a chance for a better life. While other organizations visit developing countries to provide temporary or one-time care, the institute prioritizes sustainable and scalable efforts that can lead to better health outcomes for entire populations over the long term.

Robert Murphy, MD, ’81 ’84 GME, Executive Director of the Havey Institute and John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases.

The institute offers programs in low- and middle-income countries to train local students and scientists in biomedical engineering, epidemiology, and basic medical research so that they can help their own communities build health systems. modern. These newly trained doctors and scientists can make scientific discoveries that benefit people all over the world.

Institute members have many other ongoing projects around the world: in India and Nigeria, they are teaching clinicians how to identify and treat hypertension and test polypills to enable people with low literacy to manage multiple drugs. In Rwanda, they teach surgeons how to prevent, diagnose and repair obstetric fistulas. In Nigeria, they are studying resistant tuberculosis. The institute has also partnered with universities around the world to help eliminate preventable neonatal mortality in eight low-income countries by 2030. And across Africa, they are studying the development of COVID-19 variants. . In fact, the institute’s Center for Pathogen Genomics isolated one of the first known variants of the virus in March 2020, just as the pandemic had just begun.

Philanthropy fuels growth and impacts humanity

“Advancing scientific discoveries, especially in the area of ​​human health, has been a long-standing priority for our family,” said Shirley Ryan. “Northwestern’s world-class scientists and innovative, interdisciplinary approach to research have enormous potential to advance treatments and tools that can improve the lives of people in the United States and around the world.”

The road ahead for the more than 200 members of the institute will be long, difficult and expensive, but Havey said he is firmly committed to it. He has dedicated his time over all these years to global health, while caring for his own patients at Northwestern.

Many of these patients have supported the institute, not only to thank Havey for their care, but also because they came to share his passion for global health. This is certainly the case for the Ryans.

“What Pat and Shirley have done for this city, country and the entire world is incredible. They approach difficult situations with a positive attitude and incredible confidence that makes everyone they work with feel like no task is there. is too big and that talented teams can accomplish great things, “Havey said.” I am honored by their confidence in myself and my colleagues at the institute. We are all deeply grateful for their gift and know that we will accomplish even greater things thanks to their generosity.

The Ryan Family Center for Global Primary Care will be established within the Havey Institute.

“Ryan’s extraordinary philanthropy will open new doors for the Robert J. Havey, MD, Institute for Global Health at a time when investing in global health is crucial. Their donation will allow us to expand our research, our programs. travel and our relationships with scientists and clinicians around the world, ”explained Robert Murphy, MD, ’81 ’84 GME, Institute Executive Director, John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases and Havey’s partner in this work. . “Together, we give our fellow citizens the tools to fight against heart disease, diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, but also HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. We really can’t do it without philanthropy. “


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