NorthShore’s quarterly Connections magazine shares stories of real people in our community who have benefited from the superior clinical care, exceptional patient experiences and innovative research at NorthShore. Did you know that charitable donations to NorthShore help power all of this, while also assisting our underserved neighbors who can’t afford healthcare?

Learn here about the how philanthropy has impacted care for the patients you read about in Connections.


Summer 2019

After experiencing alarming episodes of rapid heart rate during strenuous exercise, college lacrosse player Charlie Hildestad turned to NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute’s Mark Metzl, MD. The interventional cardiologist employed an innovative wearable device called an AliveCor KardiaBand, which—functioning like a mobile EKG—enabled Dr. Metzl to diagnose Hildestad with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT). Once he made the diagnosis, Dr. Metzl scheduled the athlete for a minimally invasive ablation procedure, which corrected the condition and allowed him to return to the lacrosse field for a conference-winning season. Dozens of grateful patients and family members invest in NorthShore Cardiovascular Institute’s research and clinical programs every year, supporting diagnostic and treatment innovations that save lives.
A NorthShore multispecialty care team helped Edna Molina lose 40 pounds, reversing her nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition that can be life-threatening if not treated. Liver Specialist and Hepatology Section Chief Claus Fimmel, MD, and Preventive Cardiologist David Davidson, MD, head of NorthShore's Weight Loss Management Program, treated Molina. She and her husband both benefited from the program’s recommended lifestyle changes, which include a well-designed diet, exercise, and sometimes medication to manage related factors like high blood pressure and cholesterol. Now both feel younger with more energy to devote to activities like boating on Lake Michigan. Donor support has been critical to helping NorthShore promote healthy lifestyles through this and other programs.
Retired computer programmer Dan Carlson knew he might be at higher risk for developing an age-related brain disorder like Alzheimer’s disease because of his mother’s memory problems. His physician advised him to make an appointment with the Center for Brain Health at NorthShore Neurological Institute to learn about ways to offset any predisposition to age-related memory problems. The Center’s clinicians—including Neurologist Chad Yucus, MD—provide patients like Carlson with a personalized plan to reduce their risk for neurodegenerative diseases. Often their recommendations include things such as genetic testing, nutrition and physical fitness counseling, cognitive exercises, and lifestyle coaching. The Auxiliary of NorthShore and numerous grateful patients have helped make the Center for Brain Health’s programs possible.


Spring 2019

Randy Gladstone beat his Stage IV throat cancer and found his voice again thanks to NorthShore’s expert head and neck cancer care. Grateful patients of Head and Neck Cancer Surgeon Mihir Bhayani, MD, help advance research that’s improving care for patients like Randy through philanthropic gifts. Thanks to these generous donors, Dr. Bhayani and his team have built a biorepository to help study the biological behavior of individual cancers, better predict prognoses, guide therapy and monitor response to treatment. Another group of grateful patients, HeadStrong Voices for Healing, has also rallied to raise additional funds for this important research.
Julia Hollenbeck, a 10-year-old from Evanston, faced her orthopaedic surgery with minimal anxiety thanks to a new virtual reality (VR) technology available at NorthShore. The Child’s Play Charity, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Sigma Sigma Sigma Foundation provided funding to purchase VR headsets, giving NorthShore’s Child Life Specialists a powerful tool to ease patients’ fears. Today, our young patients can choose from more than 25 immersive experiences, including playing games, hang gliding and walking through London.
Rebecca Marsalli has taken control of her breast cancer risk now that genetic testing at NorthShore’s Mark R. Neaman Center for Personalized Medicine identified her BRCA1 gene mutation. As a young mom, she knows how important her health is to her son’s future, so she’s working with her primary care physician to implement a regular schedule of breast exams, MRIs and mammograms to closely monitor her breast health. Philanthropic gifts from dozens of generous donors is driving availability of genetic testing for patients like Rebecca by providing crucial funding for the new DNA-10K program currently offering 10,000 eligible patients free comprehensive genetic testing with their annual physical.


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