Our Mission

The Digestive  Health  Foundation  generates  critical  resources  to  accelerate  medical  discoveries  aimed  at  transforming  digestive  disease  into  digestive  health  for  patients  and  families  at  Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center.

Dr. Hanauer’s Vision for the Future

Along with GI physician leaders, Drs. Pandolfino and Strong, Dr. Stephen Hanauer launched the Digestive Health Center with a specific vision of a better future for digestive health patients and families. In this presentation, you will learn where the Digestive Health Foundation finds its inspiration- from the DHC’s tireless commitment to the highest standards of patient care, achieved through a collaboration of the best physicians, researchers, and staff working together with every patient for a better tomorrow.


About Northwestern Medicine

Based on its outstanding clinicians and reputation, the Digestive Health Center is ranked #7 in Gastroenterology and GI Surgery in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Hospital Rankings.

A New Era for Digestive Health

The Digestive Health Foundation raises funds to support the cutting-edge medical research, physician training and education at Northwestern Medicine’s Digestive Health Center. With help from DHF, the Digestive Health Center is an industry leader in scientific discovery and provides top-quality GI care for patients around the world.



The Digestive Health Center (DHC) houses a comprehensive program that brings together some of the best academic and clinical minds to help improve the future of digestive health. Since our inception in 2015, DHF has raised nearly $20 million and funded 82 independent research studies by physician scientists at the DHC. Additionally, DHF has provided signature awards to underwrite two exciting initiatives – the Artificial Intelligence in Mathematics project and the DHF BioRepository – both of which allow the team at the DHC to react to prognostic, diagnostic and treatment realities for patients as quickly and effectively as possible.



The DHF is also dedicated to establishing the next generation of leading physician scientists in gastroenterology as well as community health care efforts. We are proud to support:

  • The Stephen B. Hanauer Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Advanced Physician Fellowship
  • The Deborah and Martin Elrad Fund for Hereditary Digestive Diseases
  • The Steven J. Stryker, MD, Gastrointestinal (GI) Surgery, Education and Research Endowment
  • The Michael A. Ruchim, MD, Fellowship Director in Digestive Health
  • Advanced sub-specialty fellowships for aspiring digestive health clinicians
  • The Elizabeth Blackwell Fund for independent female GI researchers in honor of the first U.S. woman to earn a medical degree
  • I Am Abel MCAT Prep Program for under-represented students preparing for the Medical School Admission Test
  • A DHC Community Health Colon Cancer screening program affiliated with the Erie clinic which provides colonoscopy screening and follow up care for underserved patients

The DHF is advised by Dr. Stephen B. Hanauer, co-founder and medical director of the DHC; Dr. Scott Strong, chief of the Divisions of Surgical Oncology and Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Surgery, and co-director of the DHC; and Dr. John Pandolfino, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

The Digestive Health Foundation is proud to support the expansion of the Digestive Health Center and its cutting-edge research, education and community efforts. Together, we are transforming digestive disease into digestive health.

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