On June 24, Kelly N. Michelson, MD, MPH, was formally invested as the Julia and David Uihlein Professor of Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Michelson has achieved local, national, and international recognition as a clinician-scientist. Her research focuses on communication and decision-making in the pediatri1c intensive care unit and pediatric palliative care settings. As an educator, Dr. Michelson has made a lasting impact on innumerable clinicians. Her mentorship of over 40 individuals has led to mentee grant funding and publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals.
“Northwestern has a long and rich history of education and scholarship in bioethics and medical humanities, and Kelly’s leadership of this program will strengthen that tradition and bring innovative dimensions to both Feinberg and Lurie Children’s,” said Joel E. Frader, MD, the A. Todd Davis Professor of Academic General Pediatrics at Feinberg and the director of the Pediatric Palliative Care Program at Lurie Children’s, who served as Dr. Michelson’s extoller.
Over the last 15 years, Dr. Michelson has succeeded multiple times in gaining research support from national organizations for her work in palliative care and end-of –life decision making. The NIH, the American Cancer Society, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and others have funded her projects. This work has focused on the human experience of patients, families, and professionals dealing with critical illnesses suffered by children. Kelly cares deeply about what happens to PICU patients and their families and how we can support them as they move through their ICU journeys. She has lead scholarly efforts to appreciate how to understand the beliefs, feelings, and interactions of the many actors in the PICU and negotiate the complicated and emotion-filled clinical encounters that often characterize the critical illness of a child.
Kelly has now enlarged her portfolio to include a focus on education and scholarship in bioethics and medical education across the Feinberg School of Medicine and the Streeterville medical campus. She will help coordinate and increase existing teaching and research programs in affiliated hospitals, institutes, and centers. This will be the first time a clinician will lead a coordinated program, embodied in the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, bringing an expanded vision and honor to Feinberg, Northwestern University, and Lurie Children’s.