IPHAM Bulletin
Northwestern University’s Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM) envisions a future where all people are able to realize their highest possible health and well-being.

IPHAM Director's Message


I write today to say that I share in the despair and outrage over yet another senseless killing of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of someone sworn to serve and protect. This act is a tragic addition to a legacy of so many countless other injustices spanning not decades, but centuries. It has sparked both activism and anger throughout our country, and now the world.

This is not an issue of a few bad people in positions of power but a much more fundamental flaw in the fabric of our society and its institutions. It is an issue of structural racism and is perhaps the greatest of all threats to public health. Certainly, one need look no further than the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, where across our country, black Americans have experienced disproportionately higher rates of illness and death.

Stark disparities in health for black Americans cannot be solved simply by expanding quality or access to health care. These disparities are deeply rooted in social inequities such as lower access to affordable housing, unemployment, flawed educational systems, community violence, pollution exposure, and the list goes on and on. Racism is a public health crisis, and it must be treated as such. It must come to an end.

Racism is a reality that people of color confront every day. George Floyd’s death has pulled back the veil to allow the rest of us to once again see its ugly face. How long will we look at it? Will we again turn our heads in sadness or out of the frustration that the challenges are for someone else to address or are just too big to tackle?

We must never let it out of our sight. We cannot. Our humanity depends upon it.

IPHAM stands together in support of the black community. We have a responsibility to support the communities we serve, acknowledge injustice, and walk the essential path of living up to our values of diversity, inclusivity, equity, and justice—not just today, but always.

I believe we must begin by recognizing that each and every one of us must play an active role in contributing solutions. We cannot simply voice with words our support of equity and justice and our commitment to “stand alongside” others who are fighting this battle. To not recognize our own role and the importance of our own actions is to perpetuate the problem.

As the days, weeks, and months pass, we all must continually work towards this common and essential goal. It is an immense challenge, and we must address it together.


Ronald T. Ackermann, MD, MPH
Director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine
Northwestern University

More messages from leaders at Northwestern and IPHAM

University Resources

Severe COVID-19 Illness Less Frequent In Children

Children with COVID-19 experience severe illness less frequently than adults, but the disease can still inflict a significant toll, especially in children with underlying medical conditions, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics.

These findings cut against the idea that children are safe from COVID-19, according to Dr. Katie Wolfe, instructor of Pediatrics in the Division of Critical Care, who was a co-author of the study.

“This study demonstrated that while the prevalence of illness and severe disease in pediatrics is lower than in adults, pediatric patients are absolutely not protected against this disease,” Wolfe said. “We found that children, especially those with comorbidities, were still at risk for severe disease and multi-organ system dysfunction.”

Read more

[Recording] IPHAM Webinar: The Chicago COVID-19 Comorbidities (C3) Cohort Study: Initial Findings

IPHAM Webinar: The Chicago COVID-19 Comorbidities (C3) Cohort Study: Initial Findings
Watch now

Masters degree in Medical Humanities & Bioethics offers a deeper look at medicine – at a discounted rate

The Master of Arts in Medical Humanities & Bioethics at Northwestern University is an interdisciplinary program that explores medicine and its ethical implications from all of the above perspectives and more. Each core course is devoted to one field within the humanities and is taught by a faculty member who is an expert in that area. Students get training in each discipline, focus on where it overlaps with medicine, and learn how its tools of the trade can be used to examine medicine.

At a time of deepening urgency and complexity in healthcare, graduates of the program learn applicable skills that prepare them to consult on hospital ethics cases, write on the contexts and the experience of working in medicine, create and revise ethics policy, and analyze the evolving ethical issues in their own practice.

This two-year, part-time program was designed to be manageable for working professionals. Classes meet in the evening, either online or on Northwestern’s downtown Chicago campus. A maximum of four hours of class time per week are expected. Students can take courses out of order and extend their studies beyond two years, to accommodate unpredictable schedules.

Tuition Discount: Northwestern is offering an automatic 20% tuition discount to all Chicago-area healthcare professionals, admitted to start in Fall 2020. Some additional financial aid is also available from the program for those with qualifying need.

Learn more

Surgical Outcomes & Quality Improvement Center Fellowship Program

Northwestern University’s Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC) offers a funded, two-year, on-site fellowship in surgical outcomes, health services and health policy research for surgical residents and post-doctoral trainees. SOQIC leverages a long-standing collaboration between the Northwestern Department of Surgery, the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research, the Department of Medical Social Sciences, Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center, the Digestive Health Center, Northwestern Medicine, and the American College of Surgeons. SOQIC’s research spans all surgical specialties and sub-specialties.

Learn more

More Public Health News, Media, and Research from Northwestern

Coronavirus Hospitalization: What Should You Expect? via AARP featuring Dr. June M. McKoy

Black Coronavirus Patients Land in Hospitals More Often, Study Finds via New York Times featuring Dr. Clyde Yancy

Could Massive George Floyd Protests Lead To A Resurgence Of COVID-19 Cases In Chicago? via WBEZ featuring Dr. Sadiya Khan

COVID-19 Has Killed Close To 300 U.S. Health Care Workers, New Data From CDC Shows via WBEZ featuring Dr. James Adams

Coronavirus testing: an updated guide on what’s available, what it does, what’s coming via Chicago SunTimes featuring Dr. Robert Murphy

Will Covid-19 Be a Turning Point in the Fight Against Racial Disparities in Health Care? via The Nation featuring Dr. Clyde Yancy

How COVID-19 might affect a pregnant woman's placenta via Live Science featuring Dr. Emily Miller

Work from home is here to stay, but it may put younger workers at a disadvantage via Business Insider featuring Hannes Schwandt

Study Finds No Benefit to Surgery, Radiation in De Novo Stage IV Breast Cancer via Cancer Network featuring Dr. Seema Khan

COVID-19 data 'shed light' on racial, socioeconomic disparities in rheumatic disease care via Healio featuring Dr. Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman

How to treat your anxiety as reopening begins via WGN featuring Dr. Stewart Shankman

Infecting people with COVID-19 could speed vaccine trials. Is it worth it? via Science News featuring Seema Shah

Reframe Stress via Psychology Today Blog featuring Judith T. Moskowitz

Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research May 2020 newsletter

Buehler Center for Health Policy & Economics newsletter: The Social vs. Medical End of Covid-19 

Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities newsletter: Collaborating, leading, and graduating during a pandemic

Events Listing

COVID-19 Response in Nigeria and South Africa: Lessons Learned and Emerging Knowledge
Friday, June 5 at 12 PM Central

CHETchat Spotlight Series featuring Dr. Dinee Simpson
Tuesday, June 16 at 12 PM

Virtual Discussion #4: Community-Engaged Research Partnerships During COVID-19
Tuesday, June 16 at 2 PM

Virtual Training: Introduction to Evaluation
Thursday, June 18 at 10 AM
More Events

Career Opportunities

Please see the IPHAM Careers page to see all current openings within the Institute for Public Health and Medicine. To apply for jobs, please go to the Northwestern Careers page. Select whether you are an internal or external candidate, choose the Advanced Search option and enter the appropriate job ID number. Contact Kara Pederson, Associate Professional Affairs Administrator, at with any questions.

Faculty Positions

Center for Education and Health Sciences

  • Director - Associate or Full Professor (Internal search)

Buehler Center for Health Economics and Policy

Center for Behavior and Health

Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP)

Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes

Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC)

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Staff Positions

Center for Applied Health Research on Aging (CAHRA)

Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research (CFAAR)

Center for Health Information Partnerships (CHIP)

Center for Health Services & Outcomes Research (CHSOR)

Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes

Center for Translational Metabolism and Health (CTMH)

Surgical Outcomes and Quality Improvement Center (SOQIC)

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