Press Release

May 22, 2008


State public health director recognizes Leslee Stein-Spencer for her excellence in emergency medical services for children

Stein-Spencer honored with Lifetime Achievement award  

CHICAGO, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, presented Leslee Stein-Spencer, R.N., M.S. with a special pediatric care award today for her contributions to childhood care. The Ron W. Lee, M.D. – Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards are given annually by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program to recognize those dedicated to pediatric emergency care and childhood injury prevention initiatives. Individuals or organizations can be nominated in one of three award categories - Lifetime Achievement, Clinical Excellence and Community Service.

“Leslee Stein-Spencer has been dedicated to emergency medical services for more than 30 years and has worked tirelessly to make sure children had a voice when plans for emergency medical services were drafted. Leslee realized there was a gap in emergency medical services for children and as the Chief for the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety for the Illinois Department of Public Health, worked with Dr. Ron Lee to implement the EMSC program in Illinois. Leslee’s dedication is a proven asset to emergency medical services in Illinois,” said Dr. Arnold.

This year’s recipients of the Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards are:

  • Lifetime Achievement – Leslee Stein-Spenser, R.N., M.S. – Manager of Quality Assurance for the Medical Administration of Regulatory Compliance Division of the Chicago Fire Department.
  • Clinical Excellence – Mary “Mo” Otting, R.N. – EMS Coordinator for Children’s Memorial Hospital
  • Community Service - Winnebago County Health Department

Stein-Spencer began her career in an emergency department providing patient care. She became the EMS Coordinator at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center and worked with Dr. Ron Lee, EMS Medical Director. From there Stein-Spencer began her career in the public sector in 1986 at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

During her time at IDPH Stein-Spencer developed and implemented the following systems, programs and teams:

  • Revised the Illinois EMS Act and corresponding rules and regulations
  • Enhanced the Statewide trauma system
  • Statewide medical disaster plan
  • EMS for Children and Domestic Preparedness Programs
  • Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) and Illinois Nurse Volunteer Emergency Needs Team (INVENT)

“Leslee is viewed as an advocate for children. One of her major contributions is the work she did in bringing EMSC to the state of Illinois in collaboration with Loyola University Medical Center in 1994,” said Annie Moy, R.N., M.S. “Her contributions for EMSC have definitely impacted the care rendered to children across the state.”

Stein-Spencer has not only been involved with EMS in Illinois, but also in the nation. She was the President of the National Association of State Emergency Medical Directors in 2004, is currently the Policy Advisory on Domestic Preparedness for the National Association of State EMS Officials, Homeland Security Consultant and on the Nationwide Plan Review Assessment Team with the Department of Homeland Security to name a few.

“Over the years Leslee has developed a national reputation in emergency response and preparedness. She has always been a strong advocate for the consideration of the needs of children in that preparedness,” said Dr. Steven Lelyveld, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

The Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care awards are presented each May. Dr. Lee was the director of emergency medicine at Loyola University Medical Center and was instrumental in establishing and fostering the EMSC program in Illinois. He passed away in 1998.

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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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