August 23, 2012
The Honorable Rahm Emanuel
Mayor, City of Chicago
121 N. La Salle Street, Floor 406
Chicago, IL 60602
Dear Mayor Emanuel:
On behalf of the Lupus Foundation of America, Illinois Chapter, I am writing to strongly support Northwestern University’s plans to build a new medical research facility on the site where old Prentice Women’s Hospital is located. A modern, state-of-the-art building will enable Northwestern to continue to conduct groundbreaking biomedical research into the causes and cures for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and other urgent medical problems.
We are an organization that is deeply committed to advancing new scientific discoveries for the benefit of generations of people. We recognize that breakthroughs come from the dedicated efforts of physicians and scientists who launch their studies in laboratories. Biomedical discoveries and new knowledge inform patient care and are crucial in tackling the continued existence of diseases for which we have no answers.
Construction of a new medical research building at the old Prentice location will attract an additional $150 million a year in grant research money on top of the $300 million annually that Northwestern University attracts for biomedical research now. This will give Chicago an opportunity to become a global leader in medical research and enable Northwestern University to continue on its path to becoming one of the leading academic medical research centers in the world. The new center would attract some of the best medical researchers to Chicago and house some of the best clinicians to help those struggling with disease.
At a time when economic activity is still sluggish from the Great Recession, this project, when completed, will bring in an additional $390 million annually in net economic impact for Chicago and its citizens.
This project is critically important to the Lupus Foundation of America, Illinois Chapter. Therefore, we respectfully request that the city of Chicago not give landmark status to the old Prentice Women’s Hospital building and instead approve a request for demolition of that building, once Northwestern makes that request. We are eager for this project to begin as soon as possible, and we ask your full support.