Hektoen Institute for Medical Research was founded in 1943 by a group of prominent Cook County Hospital physicians as a venue for funding and conducting medical research and education. Over several decades, Hektoen researchers made significant contributions to medical science in many areas, including publication of more than 2,700 scientific papers. In the 1990s, the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the vast unmet needs faced by Chicago’s underserved populations prompted Hektoen to shift its focus to community care. Today, Hektoen continues to promote laboratory research and supports a variety of medical education programs, including an international medical humanities journal, though its primary role is administering funding for HIV/AIDS care and prevention, domestic violence, women’s health, and other public health programs benefiting Chicago’s most vulnerable communities.