Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Program in Public Health

Letter from the Editors

We are incredibly thrilled to welcome you to the inaugural edition of the Northwestern Public Health Review (NPHR). The NPHR was created to provide a platform for students, alumni, professors, physicians, and residents at Northwestern to communicate public health news, projects, histories, and opinions to the Northwestern public health community.

The public health community at Northwestern is diverse. It encompasses faculty and students from the medical school, business school, law school, engineering school, and more. Our objective is simple: to stimulate interdepartmental public health discussion and the cross-pollination of public health ideas.

Historically, Northwestern has been deeply engaged in public health innovations, from identifying salt as a cardiovascular disease risk factor to managing and caring for the earliest HIV patients. Even today, Northwestern faculty and students continue to push the boundaries of public health care in the U.S. and around the world. Our hope is that this publication will serve to highlight these public health efforts.

When the NPHR was first envisioned, one question persisted: “there are a lot of public health reviews out there—what’s the need for another one?” The answer is that the NPHR provides a behind the scenes look at the story of public health at Northwestern and in the wider world—the story behind the story.

In this inaugural issue, we strive to do just that: take you behind the scenes of how public health works and why public health matters. Specifically, we investigate the operations of the Illinois Department of Public Health, the creation and evolution of the Framingham heart study, the earliest recorded HIV cases in Illinois, and the potential implications of recent budget cuts to mental health care in the state. Finally, we share research, reflections, and introspections from eminent Northwestern faculty and students, past and present.

Although this journal started out as a small idea for a web-based publication, it has taken on a life of its own, and there are many people to thank for this. First, we would like to thank Dr. Rebecca Wurtz and Dr. Rahul Ganatra, who both worked tirelessly to conceptualize the purpose and framework of the NPHR. We specifically want to thank Dr. Rebecca Wurtz for her incredible financial contribution that provided the seed grant for this project.

We also want to thank Dr. Anna Fenton-Hathaway and Carolyn Silva for their editorial and technical support.  

We are deeply indebted to the Program in Public Health and The Graduate School of Northwestern University, whose catalyst grant and financial support made this project a reality. We also want to thank Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, Dr. Steve Anderson, Katie Watson, and Dr. Anagha Loharikar for their constant guidance and unwavering support and commitment. Lastly, we would like to give special thanks to all of the contributing authors and artists who have breathed life and substance into this inaugural issue.

We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed working on it.


Osefame Ewaleifoh and Celeste Mallama,

Founding Editors NPHR

About the Editors

Osefame Ewaleifoh


Osefame Ewaleifoh is  a second year PhD/MPH student in the Driskill graduate program at Northwestern University.

Celeste Mallama


Celeste Mallama is a third year PhD/MPH student in the Driskill graduate program at Northwestern University.