Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Medicine Preventive medecine turns 50 this year. The department commemorated the occasion earlier this fall by hosting a reception in the Potocsnak Family Atrium of the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Center for Biomedical Research. More than 150 people, including current and former department leaders, faculty and staff, attended the event.
Originally founded in 1972 as the Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, the team was led by Jeremiah Stamler, MD. What started as a small group of less than 10 people has grown to include seven divisions with 285 faculty and staff.
The studies that Stamler and his team performed in the early years established the fields of cardiovascular epidemiology and prevention and defined the major causative risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including smoking, physical inactivity, poor diet, overweight, and high cholesterol. blood pressure and blood sugar, said Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, ScMPresident and Eileen M. Foell Chair in Preventive Medicine in the Division of Epidemiologyof Medicine in the division of Cardiology and of Pediatrics.
Since its inception, the department has made broad and profound contributions to health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan in the areas of nutrition, biomedical informatics, public health, behavioral medicine, biostatistics, epidemiology and cancer prevention. In recent years, the department was the first such department nationwide with funding from the National Institutes of Health.
It was Stamler himself who reminded his colleagues that the milestone was coming. Unfortunately, he passed away at the age of 102 before the anniversary event. Although he was unable to attend, his memory has been honored by those who worked closely with him as well as by the generations of scholars and employees he continues to inspire.
Three videos were released during the event. They can be viewed here:
- Origins of prevention: A look back at the early years of the Department of Preventive Medicine and the legacy of its founder.
- Growth and evolution: Reflecting on the growth and evolution of the Department of Preventive Medicine over the past 50 years.
- embrace the future: Explore how the Department of Preventive Medicine will continue to have an impact on improving human health through the research contributions of its faculty and staff.
The department has also produced a book titled “50 Years of Public Health Impact, Prevention and Training”, which is available as PDF.