Press Release
May 8, 2013
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500

State Public Health Department Recognizes Patricia O’Connor for Excellence in Pediatric Care

Ron W. Lee, MD Pediatric Care Award – Clinical Excellence

WHEATON – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program today honored Patricia O’Connor RN, M.Ed, ILCSN 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.

Sheila Grogan nominated Patricia O’Connor for her practice as a Registered Nurse over the past 36 years and for her dedicated work with children in DuPage County public schools as a Certified School Nurse for the past 21 years. Patricia currently coordinates with families, physicians and local emergency medical services the daily care of students in Wheaton School District 200. She has developed emergency care plans for students with special needs, allergies, seizure disorders, asthma and many other chronic conditions. Through the Illinois Association of School Nurses, Patricia has served on the Illinois Terrorism Task Force Pediatric Preparedness Workgroup, Statewide Pediatric Disaster Surge Plan Committee, as a member of the Illinois Brain Injury Association, and as a representative to the planning committee for the School Nurse Emergency Care Course.

“I want to thank Patricia O’Connor for her dedication to pediatric care through her clinical work, health promotion advocacy, prevention efforts, scholarly activities, and policy, protocol and program creation. “Nurse Pat” exemplifies clinical excellence and is very deserving of the Ron W. Lee, MD Pediatric Care Award,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.

Emergency Nurses Association Nursing Education Editor Marlene Bokholdt writes of Patricia, “It is rare to encounter the professionalism, dedication, and genuine enthusiasm that Pat exhibits every time we’ve worked together. She has a heart for the children in her school and a passion to teach others what she has learned.”

Certified School Nurse and Co-Chairman of Community United School District 200 Health Services Kris Fontanarosa also writes, “To me, the light in the eyes of understanding, trust, and hope that I see reflected in Nurse Pat’s students, parents, staff, and community stakeholders she works with is a testimony to the exemplary care she has spend a lifetime in providing her students and community.”

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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