Over $1.2 million raised by Digestive Health Foundation at 2016 inaugural Envision Gala for gastro-intestinal research at NM Digestive Health Center and for Stephen B. Hanauer Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis)

DonorEmailHeaderThe inaugural benefit of the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Foundation on May 7, 2016, raised more than $1.2 million to fund research projects, research fellowships, and educational offerings at the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center.

Research will focus on the prevention and treatment of digestive disorders, including colon, pancreatic, and esophageal cancers; ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; celiac disease; food allergies; esophageal diseases; and liver diseases.

Big night: The event at the Ritz- Carlton was themed “Envision a New Future for Digestive Health,” reflecting the Center’s focus on helping patients with digestive ailments regain quality of life. The benefit was chaired by Andi and Jim Gordon of Chicago and emceed by WGN’s Cortney Hall. Nearly 400 attendees danced to the music of Chicago’s own John Vincent backed by the band M2.

Guests of honor: Honorees of the evening were Dr. Stephen B. Hanauer, an internationally recognized gastroenterologist who serves as the Center’s medical director, and his wife, Jayne, for their more than 35 years of dedication to treating and managing digestive diseases. The Hanauers received a 100-page scrapbook of photographs and notes of gratitude from current and former patients.  A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be used to establish a fellowship in Dr. Hanauer’s name.

Funds at work: The Foundation has already put its money to work by underwriting four research projects focusing on disparate aspects of digestive health. Researchers will study:

  • A new device for diagnosing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Optimization of immunosuppressive medication dosages in liver transplant recipients based on patient genetics
  • Standardization of clinical training for high-resolution esophageal manometry (HREM) used to diagnose certain disorders of the esophagus
  • Strategies to assist youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in transitioning to adult gastroenterology care.

Major success: One in five Americans suffers from some kind of digestive ailment. Thanks to the hard work of the board and the generous support of attendees, the first annual Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Foundation benefit will help the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center pursue its mission of advancing the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these diseases through a multidisciplinary approach of improved patient care.