Located in the Illinois Medical District, the Hektoen Institute of Medicine was founded in 1943 by a group of prominent Cook County physicians as a venue for funding and conducting medical research and education. It was named after Ludvig Hektoen, professor of pathology at Cook County Hospital and Rush Medical College, who made many advances in science and was considered to be one of the first to devote himself prominently and consistently to the science of medicine.

Today, Hektoen is a nonprofit health service and research organization that administers grant awards on behalf of community organizations, independent investigators, and institutions working to improve care and resources for the underserved. Hektoen’s sponsored programs address some of the most pressing health concerns facing underserved populations in Chicago and throughout the world, including: domestic violence, substance use, and mental health; HIV care and support services; community oncology; early intervention; healthcare reform; and a diverse array of other research and services.

The Institute also engages in a series of educational programs, publishing Hektoen International, an online journal dedicated to advancing the medical humanities, and supporting several other programs whose goal is to improve health-care and education in the Chicago area.