Press Release

May 31, 2012


State Public Health Department Recognizes Dr. Kay Saving for Excellence in Pediatric Care

Ron W. Lee, MD Excellence in Pediatric Care Awards - Lifetime Achievement

PEORIA – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and The Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program today honored Kay Saving, MD with a special pediatric care award for her contributions to childhood care. The Ron W. Lee, MD – 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.

Dr. Saving is the Medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Illinois at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Mary Draeger Schultz, MD, also at Children’s Hospital of Illinois, wrote in the nomination application for Dr. Saving, “Since her arrival in Peoria more than 25 years ago, she has shown herself to be a passionate advocate for children, as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist and through her interest in areas such as children’s mental health, child abuse/neglect and palliative care.” “She brings a knowledgeable, compassionate and innovative perspective to the arena. Clinicians throughout Illinois admire Dr. Saving. Her medical competence in palliative care and oncology demand respect; yet she is sensitive and supportive to clinicians and organizations developing novel palliative programs,” wrote Pat Ahern with the Greater Illinois Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition.

Over the years, Dr. Saving has:

  • established the Pediatric Resource Center, a child-centered, multi-disciplinary effort to provide comprehensive education, evaluation and treatment in the areas of sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect of children;
  • sat for and passed the American Board of Pediatrics’ first certification exam in Child Abuse Pediatrics and been considered to be an expert in child abuse treatment;
  • secured a grant to establish Children’s Hospital as an Injury Free Coalition for Kids site with programs involving care seats, bicycle safety helmets and injury prevention;
  • helped develop the pediatric emergency department within the new Children’s Hospital building;
  • obtained a grant from the Illinois Children’s Healthcare Foundation to fund the community collaborative project Resource Link, which focuses on the mental health needs of children and adolescents in central Illinois;
  • created a physician training module for sickle cell disease, similar to Resource Link, for the Illinois Sickle Cell Action Network’s Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Demonstration Project.

“Among her many accomplishments to benefit the pediatric patients of this region, her greatest triumph is her ability to unite programs, care systems, and individuals to the common goal of providing the most child-centered, quality care possible. She certainly embodies the tireless dedication that the Clinical Excellence (Lifetime Achievement) Award is designed to recognize,” wrote Teresa Morrell Riech, MD, MPH, OSF St. Francis Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department director.

The Ron W. Lee, MD 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.

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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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