Press Release

May 30, 2008


State public health director presents excellence award to Children’s Memorial Hospital EMS coordinator

Nurse, educator, coordinator and role model dedicated to pediatric care  

CHICAGO, Ill. – Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, presented Children’s Memorial Hospital EMS Coordinator Mary “Mo” Otting with a special pediatric care award today during the Chicago Fire Department’s Safety for Life Fair at Cellular Field 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 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.

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

  • Lifetime Achievement – Leslee Stein-Spencer, 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

“Mo has worked hard to ensure that pediatric trauma patients receive the very best care. Her peers call her a special nurse and role model,” said Dr. Arnold. “Mo is a dedicated nurse who is always striving for the very best care for children. She definitely goes above and beyond and has devoted herself to caring for and advocating for children.”

Mary Otting began her career as a staff nurse and worked as a traveling nurse across the country for six years. She came to work in the Emergency Department at Children’s Memorial Hospital 15 years ago, became the Pediatric Trauma Coordinator and is currently the EMS Coordinator at Children’s.

As the Pediatric Trauma Coordinator, Otting began conducting educational sessions related to pediatric trauma to emergency department staff as well as the pediatric inpatient and pediatric intensive care unit nursing staff. She expanded her teachings to other hospitals in the Chicagoland area and Chicago Fire Department personnel to promote best practices and ensure better preparedness in their management of the pediatric trauma patient. Then when she became the EMS Coordinator, she advocated for more pediatric training for Chicago Fire Department EMS personnel. As a result – during 2006 and 2007, Otting was able to coordinate pediatric education activities that were attended by more than 1,800 Chicago Fire Department EMT and First Responder personnel.

“Mo is respected by the EMS field personnel for her ability to communicate, in simple terms, the rationale and or pathophysiology of pediatric illness and injury. She is insightful and respected by all her peers, the EMS community and management. Mary is always willing to assist her peers, even when she is busy or overwhelmed. She has excellent listening and communication skills, which makes her invaluable as she can anticipate the needs, expectations and interests of staff and colleagues,” said Cathleen Shanahan, Director, Emergency Department, Transport Team, Trauma and EMS, Children’s Memorial Hospital.

Otting also serves on multiple committees at both the local and state level. She is a long-time member of the Illinois State Council of the Emergency Nurses Association and serves as the Chair of its Pediatric Committee. In addition, she participates on both the Illinois Medical Emergency Response Team (IMERT) as well as the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), which is a federal disaster team. Otting has been deployed a number of times to assist with disaster related event within the United States, including assisting during Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

The Illinois EMSC program is a collaborative effort of the Illinois Department of Public Health and Loyola University Medical Center. It was established in 1994 to ensure the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.

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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