The Hektoen Institute for Medical Research was founded in 1943 by a group of prominent Cook County physicians as a venue for funding and conducting medical research and education. Over several decades, Hektoen investigators have carried out research in many different areas of medicine and made seminal contributions to the fields of liver disease, gastroenterology, urology, cardiology, and renal diseases; resulting in the publication of more than 2,700 scientific papers. It also has advanced medical education through lectures, symposia, and fellowships. Through the Morris Friedell mentorship, it enabled young talented persons from the inner city of Chicago to work in its laboratories and later enter successful careers in medicine, physiology, science, and even space travel. Emphasis shifted in the 1990s with the advent of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, prompting efforts to address the vast unmet needs faced by Chicago’s underserved populations and support research in HIV treatment and epidemiological aspects of the disease. Today, Hektoen continues to promote research though its primary role in administering funding for HIV/AIDS care and prevention, domestic violence, women’s health, and other public health programs benefiting Chicago’s most vulnerable communities. It also carries out a variety of medical and nursing education programs, including an international medical humanities journal, supporting the activities of voluntary clinics and of other programs designed to improve the care of the sick.