Press Release

May 17, 2007


State public health department recognizes Dr. W. Robert Elghammer for his excellence in pediatric care and childhood injury prevention initiatives 

Pediatrician honored with Lifetime Achievement award  

DANVILLE, Ill. – Illinois Department of Public Health Office of Preparedness and Response Medical Director Dr. Sam Gaines presented W. Robert Elghammer, M.D. with a special pediatric care award today for his contributions to childhood 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.

“Dr. Elghammer has spent 54 years taking care of more than 380,000 children in the Danville area while also contributing greatly to the medical resources available in eastern Illinois,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. “Generous with his time, talents and resources, Dr. Elghammer’s medical service to the children and adolescents in the Danville and Vermilion County community is well-deserving of the Lifetime Achievement award.”

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

  • Lifetime Achievement – W. Robert Elghammer, MD – Elghammer Family Center, Ltd., Danville

  • Clinical Excellence – Colleen Bingham, MD – St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital, Effingham

  • Clinical Excellence - Susan Fuchs, MD – Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago

  • Community Service - School Health LINK, Inc., Rock Island

W. Robert Elghammer, M.D. began his service as a pediatrician in Danville in 1953. That same year he assisted in the formation of the Vermilion County Mental Health Center on the 5th floor of Lake View Hospital; this center continues to provide mental health care for children, adolescents and families in the county today. In 1956, Dr. Elghammer spearheaded the Vermilion County polio drive as its director. Volunteering to inoculate all of the county’s children, Dr. Elghammer administered polio vaccine to thousands of children through visits to schools around the county. The drive charged 25 cents per vaccination, which Dr. Elghammer collected and donated 100 percent of the drive proceeds to the two nursing schools in Danville. In 1971, Dr. Elghammer established the Intensive Care Nursery at Danville’s Lake View Hospital. He also designed the equipment and developed the procedures for the nursery including florescent lighting for infants with high bilirubin, catheterization procedures and laminar flow and hyperalimentation procedures for infants who required intensive IV nutrients.

Well aware of the educational and social needs of children as well as the medical, Dr. Elghammer served on the founding Head Start board of Danville and Vermilion County and continues to serve as the Vermilion County Head Start pediatric consultant. In 2005, Dr. Elghammer contributed funding to provide for further phonics training for Head Start students to improve their early pre-reading skills.

Dr. Elghammer has served as a member of the Vermilion County Task Force subcommittee on decreasing the dropout rate. He is currently working on a proposal for a formal study in collaboration with the Danville public schools to research the educational and social impacts of an organic diet on children.

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 that 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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