Press Release

May 20, 2009


State Public Health Department Recognizes Earl Field for His Excellence in Emergency Medical Services for Children

Earl Field honored posthumously with Lifetime Achievement award  

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – Dr. Walter J. Bradley, Senior Medical Administrator for the Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Response presented the family and coworkers of Earl Field with a special pediatric care award today for his contributions to childhood health 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.

“The emergency medical services community knew Earl Field as a true pioneer of and dedicated to pre-hospital medical services and dedicated to children and it is for these reasons that we are awarding Earl Field the Ron E. Lee Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Dr. Bradley.

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

  • Lifetime Achievement - Earl J. Field – Schiller Park
  • Lifetime Achievement – Charles Nozicka, D.O., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.E.M – Condell Medical Center
  • Clinical Excellence - Leslie Wilkans, R.N., B.S.N. – Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
  • Community Service - Zaida Nava, Pediatric R.N. – West Town Neighborhood Health Center
  • Community Service – Children’s Hospital of Illinois, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Peoria

Field was one of the first trained paramedics in Illinois and went on to create one of the first paramedic contracting companies, Paramedic Services of Illinois. He was integral to the development of several emergency medical services (EMS) systems in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Illinois State EMS Advisory Council Chairman and Lincolnwood Fire Department Chief Mike Hansen considered Field a mentor and recounted his lessons.

“Earl encouraged me to apply for a state grant, which allowed me to be trained on pediatric emergencies for an entire week at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington D.C. This was an eye-opening experience and gave me the confidence to handle any pediatric emergency. Earl, eager to listen, quickly determined that all our ambulances needed this specialized pediatric equipment, thus he put together our first Ped’s Bag and that became the standard for the entire company. He encouraged other employees to take this training and this D.C. program became the precursor to the Emergency Medical Services for Children and it is quite fitting that Earl became an original member of the EMSC Advisory Board.”

Earl Field passed away in March 2009 after a courageous battle with lung cancer.  People who worked with him, were mentored by him or were somehow touched by his leadership and dedication to EMS and to the service of children attended today’s ceremony.

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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