Our Center began in 2011 with a generous gift from the estate of Ruth M. Hillebrand, who personally experienced the need for more compassion in medicine.  A physician she had met only once delivered her terminal cancer diagnosis in a brief, late night phone call, then abruptly hung up. Ruth’s story shapes our mission and offers a reminder of why the work we do is critically needed.  

At Notre Dame, premedical preparation includes a foundation not only in traditional sciences, but also the science of compassion, and it is our center’s mission to train future healthcare professionals in this science.  This work is even more important as our world recovers from a global pandemic. Our goal is to provide healthcare providers with not only cutting-edge practices from the science of compassion that will help them to give excellent patient care, but also with practices that will help them sustain that compassion and protect the providers from burnout. Healthcare providers’ work requires that they focus on a patient's need during what may be the worst moments of a patient's life. Research has shown this can often be a difficult time for healthcare workers as well. 

Many of the 1,000+ ND alumni and students who have taken our courses are now working in healthcare-related training or graduate schools. Whatever their path, as men and women of Notre Dame they are actively trying to be a force for good in the world by advocating for compassionate care in medicine.

There is still more important work to do as we advance our program and continue our mission to fight for compassion in medicine. Thank you for considering a financial contribution to partner with the Hillebrand Center. Each financial gift allows us to expand our impact by training undergraduate students, offering continuing education opportunities to the ND alumni network, and responding to requests for help in the field of compassionate healthcare both locally and nationally.

To support the Hillebrand Center, make a secure gift today!