History of the Health Service

Below is a brief history of college health services at Northwestern University. Additionally, the article "History of the Student Health Service" (PDF) by Leila V. Phillips, RN from the Quarterly Bulletin, Northwestern University Medical School - Chicago (1952, Vol. 26, No. 4, Page 305, Winter Quarter) provides details on the early history of college health services at Northwestern University on the Evanston Campus.

Here is also photographic history slideshow:

1912   -  The first organized Northwestern University Student Health Service, located at Morse House, 615 Clark Street, Evanston, Illinois, begins with the appointment of the first resident nurse, Marie Petersen.

1915   -  The Board of Trustees provides for the appointment of an assistant professor of hygiene and a director of student health for the College of Liberal Arts.   Dr. C. T. Roome holds this appointment on a part-time basis from 1916 – 1927.

1923   -  A women’s infirmary is established in Roland Hall, 1740 Orrington Avenue.  Dr. Dorothy Grey is appointed instructor in physical education and hygiene and as physician for women.

1926   -  Dr. Don C. Sutton becomes part-time director, organizes the Health Service for men, and establishes Spencer Hall Infirmary.

1927   -  Dr. Mary Pope succeeds Dr. Dorothy Grey as part-time physician for women.

1929   -  Dr. Samuel J. Lang succeeds Dr. Don C. Sutton as part-time director.

1936   -  Spencer Hall Infirmary is abandoned.  Outpatient departments are maintained for men in the basement of Foster House and for women at 1903 Orrington Avenue.  Infirmary patients are hospitalized at Evanston Hospital.

1941   -  The separate men’s and women’s Health Services are reorganized and combined under a single director, Dr. Samuel J. Lang.  The new unit is housed at 625 Emerson Street in the former residence of Dr. Irving Cutter, Dean of the Medical School.

1942   -  A proposal is made for a new Health Service for the outpatient department and a 30-bed infirmary.

1945   -  Dr. Richard Young is appointed the first full-time director.

1946   -  Dr. Richard Young resigns and is succeeded by Dr. Robert Beech as acting director.

1947   -  Dr. Arnold Wagner succeeds Dr. Robert Beech as acting director.

1950   -  Dr. Leona B. Yeager becomes director.

1945-1950   -  A diagnostic laboratory is added to the basement of 625 Emerson, a pharmacy is squeezed into a closet, and the Mental Hygiene Unit is initiated.

1951   -    A 25-bed infirmary is opened on the fifth floor of Willard Hall Dormitory.

1960-1961   -  The Health Service moves to Searle Hall at 633 Emerson Street, a newly- built Health Service facility made possible by an $800,000 gift by John G. Searle, then President of G. D. Searle and Company and Vice President of the Northwestern Board of Trustees.  The building houses a 44-bed infirmary, outpatient department, full laboratory, pharmacy, and radiology suite.

1963   -  The Health Service is accredited for the first time by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO).

1975   -  Dr. Helen Wilks succeeds Dr. Leona B. Yeager as director of the Health Service.

1991   -  Dr. Mark Gardner succeeds Dr. Helen Wilks as director of the Health Service.

1992   -  The number of infirmary beds is reduced to 16 and the infirmary is relocated to the west end of the 2nd floor.

1994   -  The Mental Health Unit is restructured as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

1996   -  CAPS becomes a separate organization from the Health Service under the direction of Kathy Reese, Ph.D.

1996   -  The number of infirmary beds is reduced to six.1998   -  CAPS develops and implements it’s first pre-doctoral internship training program in psychology and receives full accreditation from the American Psychological Association.

2000   -  Health Service credentialing transitions from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) to the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

2001   -  Dr. Mark Gardner departs on a leave of absence and is replaced by Dr. Pengwynne Blevins as acting director.

2002   -  Dr. Pengwynne Blevins is succeeded by Dr. Joanne Connolly and Dr. John Alexander as acting co-directors.

2003   -  Dr. Donald Misch is appointed executive director of the Health Service.

2003   -  A program statement for the expansion of facilities at the Northwestern University Health Service is published.

2003   -  The infirmary is closed and the Health Service moves from a walk-in urgent care model of operation to an appointment-based office/clinic model of operation.

2005   -  John Dunkle, Ph.D. succeeds Kathy Reese, Ph.D. as Executive Director of CAPS.

2007   -  The Health Service converts from paper charts to a fully electronic medical record.

2007   -  A gift of $1 million from The Searle Funds at The Chicago Community Trust is made toward renovation / expansion of Searle Hall.

2008   -  OWP&P/Cannon Design Architecture and Pepper Construction Company are awarded contracts to expand, renovate, and reconfigure Searle Hall.  Construction begins on the addition to Searle Hall.  The addition replaces a parking lot to the east of Searle Hall, the former site of the 1941 Health Service building.

2009   -  Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) moves to temporary facilities in the Foster-Walker Complex.

2009 - The name of Health Education was changed to Health Promotion and Wellness.

2010  -  Dr. Donald Misch resigns as executive director of the Health Service and is succeeded by Dr. John Alexander as interim executive director.

2010  -  The Health Service moves into the new Searle Hall addition during the 2010 winter quarter.  Renovation of the original building is completed and in fall quarter 2010, the Health Service and CAPS take occupancy of the expanded and renovated Searle Hall.

2011 - The Center for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE) for vicytims of sexual violence was established under Health Promotion and Wellness upon receipt of Northwestern's first Department of Justice - Violence Against Women grant to address sexual violence on campus.

2012 - Dr. John Alexander accepts the permanent position of Executive Director.