Landmark Gift Creates Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Heart Hospital
The Bluhm Family Foundation gift further expands access to world class cardiovascular care throughout the Chicagoland area
CHICAGO -- February 14, 2022 — Chicago philanthropist Neil G. Bluhm and the Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation announced a $45 million gift to establish the Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Heart Hospital at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. The gift expands cardiac care capacity and addresses health equity by providing greater access to Northwestern Medicine’s world-class cardiovascular care, which is consistently ranked as the top heart program in Illinois and among the top in the country for cardiology and heart surgery.
“The success of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute has exceeded my dream of bringing a top-tier cardiovascular program to the city of Chicago, the city we all love,” said Neil Bluhm, founder and president of JMB Realty Corporation and Chairman of Rush Street Gaming and Rush Street Interactive. “Watching Dr. Patrick McCarthy and team push the field of cardiovascular medicine to new heights has been one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Expanding access to care and moving the needle on health equity in Chicago is critically needed. I am proud to continue my support of Northwestern Medicine and to help address inequity with the establishment of the Bluhm Heart Hospital, which will bring new discoveries and innovative treatments to more patients across Chicagoland and around the world.”
The Bluhm Heart Hospital will expand to 140 beds and modernize cardiovascular services on Northwestern Medicine’s Chicago campus. The gift will also support collaboration with community partners in under-resourced Chicago communities to develop outreach and education efforts to support heart health and address the social determinants of health. Bluhm Family Foundation Director Meredith Bluhm-Wolf added, “We hope that our family’s gift will encourage other philanthropic leaders and foundations to increase funding for expanding access to health care for all Chicagoans.”
“We are grateful to Neil for his vision, leadership and ongoing philanthropy in support of building the country’s premier cardiovascular program at Northwestern Medicine,” said Dean M. Harrison, president and chief executive officer of Northwestern Memorial HealthCare.
Mr. Bluhm’s initial gift in 2005 facilitated the recruitment of renowned cardiothoracic surgeon Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, a world leader in mitral valve repair and surgery for atrial fibrillation, and created Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, with the goal of building a world-class heart and vascular program accessible to all Chicagoans.
“This is a gift for patients in the city, state and throughout the country who need access to the highest quality cardiovascular care,” said Dr. McCarthy, executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. “We give our sincerest thanks to Mr. Bluhm for his relentless support. Countless lives have been saved and improved by cardiovascular research, innovation and patient care because of his philanthropy.”
“Our mission is simple: to provide world class care to all patients with a particular focus on those who have had limited access to this care in the past,” said Clyde W. Yancy, MD, chief of cardiology at Northwestern Medicine and vice dean of diversity. “When we achieve health equity, our patients benefit, our healthcare centers benefit, and our city benefits. The gift by Mr. Bluhm and the Bluhm Family Foundation is not just a gift to Northwestern Medicine, it is a commitment to the City of Chicago that we can craft a stronger, healthier community. For this magnanimous gift, we are deeply grateful to Mr. Bluhm and the altruistic spirit of the entire Bluhm Family.”
The Bluhm gift will help fund novel research projects and therapies for heart and vascular conditions including the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute Center for Artificial Intelligence, which was founded in 2018. The first-of-its-kind center accelerates the clinical applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to advance the study and treatment of cardiovascular disease and offers a unique fellowship providing specialized training in computational thinking and AI to the next generation of physician investigators.
“Mr. Bluhm’s prior gifts allowed us to pioneer the use of transcatheter treatments instead of open heart surgery, which has proven to be safer than open heart surgery for many patients. We have many more innovations in development, and his new gift will allow us to develop more therapies that are just being conceived,” says Charles J. Davidson, MD, clinical chief of cardiology at Northwestern Medicine and vice chair of clinical affairs.”
Today, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is an innovative powerhouse in developing the latest, safest advances in cardiovascular care. Anchored in downtown Chicago, it has expanded and integrated into seven Northwestern Medicine hospitals and is actively integrating cardiovascular services in the south suburbs at Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital.
Since the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute was founded in 2005:
“The Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute has many innovations in development, and Mr. Bluhm’s latest gift will allow us to develop more therapies that are just being conceived,” says Charles J. Davidson, MD.
Northwestern Medicine welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with you in caring for your patients.