State Public Health Department Recognizes Safety Village of Western Springs Board for
Excellence in Pediatric Care
Ron W. Lee, MD Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards – Community Service
WESTERN SPRINGS – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and The Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program today honored the Safety Village of Western Springs Board with a special pediatric care award for its contributions to childhood safety. The board consists of Amy Satkamp Avakian, Lise Braithwaite, Melissa D’alise, Lee Rosenberg, Katie Sperry and Mandy Satkamp Wichman. The Ron W. Lee, M.D. – Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards are given annually by IDPH and EMSC 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.
Safety Village of Western Springs is a summer camp where 5 and 6-year-old children learn safety and injury prevention in a fun way. Children practice making 9-1-1 calls; ride in a fire truck, police car and ambulance; escape from a fire department safety house; practice safe bus procedures; and have classroom time for movies and small group learning.
The Western Springs Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services nominated the board members of Safety Village of Western Springs for the Ron W. Lee Excellence in Pediatric Care Award because of the program’s life-saving impact. Western Springs Fire Chief Patrick Kenny says it is difficult to measure the impact of Safety Village because how do you count something that has not happened.
“To date, I can state I am not aware of any similar tragedies occurring in our Village, but I can say I am very aware of examples told by parents to me after the education is provided,” said Chief Kenny. “In those conversations they related instances that illustrate the fact that due to safety awareness, such as knowing their address, all the way to water safety, a tragedy involving their child was averted.”
In 2009, five women – Amy Satkamp Avakian, Lise Braithwaite, Melissa D’alise, Lee Rosenberg and Mandy Satkamp Wichman – began organizing Safety Village of Western Springs. The concept behind Safety Village originated 30 years ago when 7-year-old Katie Satkamp was killed in a tragic bus accident. The Satkamp family, including Katie’s two sisters, Amy and Mandy, has been involved in child safety initiatives ever since – starting the Safety Village of Hinsdale 29 years ago and Safety Village of Western Springs three years ago.
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.
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.