Meet Dr. Silver: Philanthropy Champion

Dr. Richard Silver

Dr. Richard K. Silver

Ask Richard K. Silver, MD, what he’s most proud of in his roles as Chairman of NorthShore’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Chief Academic Officer, and Clinical Professor and Associate Dean of the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and he immediately shines the spotlight on his staff and their accomplishments.

To him, it’s all about that team spirit, whether it’s working together to give hope and comfort to a high-risk obstetric patient, diagnosing and treating a woman whose unborn fetus has anticipated health problems, or ensuring that the fellows, residents and medical students receive the superlative teaching that his faculty are capable of providing.

Dr. Silver is very pleased that philanthropy provided seed money to establish key programs in his department including the Perinatal Depression Program at NorthShore, which serves as a model for the State of Illinois and has screened almost 40,000 pregnant women for depressive symptoms.

“This is a program that continues to distinguish us nationally,” he says. Ten percent of pregnant women have depression, equally common before and after delivery, so NorthShore has screening in place to identify those women and get them help through the assistance of a free 24/7 hotline established through generous donations and now funded in partnership with the State of Illinois. The hotline receives over 700 calls annually and is an essential safety net for these vulnerable women.

He is also proud of the gynecologic sub-specialty programs at NorthShore—including gynecologic oncology, urogynecology, reproductive endocrinology and pelvic pain/minimally invasive surgery—that have also benefited from philanthropic support.

It’s clear philanthropy is important to him professionally—and personally. “The Foundation is a wonderful partner,” says Dr. Silver, a donor himself who has supported the Center for Maternal-Fetal Health, the Infant Special Care Unit at NorthShore Evanston Hospital and most recently, the Department of Neurology’s DodoNA project. “We’ve been able to work together to establish endowed chairs (the highest form of recognition afforded to a physician-researcher) and identify programs that need funding to present to donors and grateful patients who want to help.”   

“It’s very easy to stay and work here,” he says of the more than 25 years with the organization. “In addition to the continued opportunity to work with a great group of professionals, I am fortunate to have witnessed our integrated system grow and mature. It’s just a compelling place to be.”

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