Northwestern names Health Services executive director

Zachary Elvolve, Reporter

After serving as interim executive director of Northwestern University Health Services since 2010, John Alexander can officially claim his title this year.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress on a lot of fronts,” Alexander said. “We’ve been operating very, very well for the last two years.”

When Alexander was named interim executive director two years ago, he became instrumental in the overall design and building of the new NUHS facility located in Searle Hall. Alexander joined NUHS as a staff physician in 2002 and was named the medical director in 2006, he said.

Now with his official title as executive director, Alexander said he hopes to make further improvements.

“Hopefully we will make our services accessible,” he said. “Our job isn’t just treating illness but preventing it.”

NUHS has made several advancements in the last two years, including expanding the flu vaccines, improving outreach and broadening health and wellness programs, he said. 

Being a permanent rather than interim official has brought new responsibilities, such as internal reviews of the organization, that Alexander said means he will have less time to practice medicine.

“I like seeing patients,” he said. “I’ve always been interested in patient care, and I hope to still be able to see patients at least one afternoon a week.”

Alexander said patient care is why he became a physician in the first place, after receiving his medical degree in 1997 from the Feinberg School of Medicine. He previously earned an MBA in 1975 from the Kellogg School of Management and worked as an engineer.