Press Release

May 21, 2009


State Public Health Department Recognizes Leslie Wilkans for Her Excellence in Pediatric Care

Nurse honored with Clinical Excellence Award  

BARRINGTON, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and The Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (ESMC) program honored Leslie Wilkans 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 IDPH and ESMC 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.

“Leslie Wilkans has created several emergency care programs with children and their families in mind. Not only does she provide excellent medical care, but Leslie provides emotional support and comfort during emergency situations and is richly deserving of the Ron W. Lee Clinical Excellence Award,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director.

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

  • 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
  • Lifetime Achievement – Charles Nozicka, D.O., F.A.A.P., F.A.A.E.M – Condell Medical Center
  • Lifetime Achievement - Earl J. Field – Schiller Park

Wilkans is an emergency department nurse, regional chair of the Emergency Department Approved for Pediatrics and a Clinician III working on her final step for Nurse Clinician IV. Some of her projects include:

  • Pediatric Bereavement Program – standardized program to help families who have experienced the death of a child
  • Pediatric Comfort Coping Cart – entertainment unit as a means to promote positive coping behaviors in children during stressful events
  • Pediatric Dosing Tool – standardized tool for calculating appropriate drug dosages for sedatives, analgesics and reversal agents in the emergency department

“Leslie’s passion for excellence in pediatric care has made her a valuable part in helping us with projects in pediatric bereavement, mock pediatric code blue drills, creating a pediatric coping cart and pediatric medication management. She is a leader with great vision and determination. Her tenacity has allowed these projects to move forward,” said Dr. Joseph M. Giangrasso, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine Director. “Leslie is an asset to her profession, both on the clinical and administrative end of nursing. She is adored by patients, respected by her peers and admired by those who have had the pleasure to work alongside her.”

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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