Press Release

May 17, 2010


State Public Health Director Recognizes Dr. Dennis Vickers for His Excellence in Pediatric Care

 Ron W. Lee, MD Clinical Excellence Award

CHICAGO, ILL. – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and The Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program honored Dr. Dennis L. Vickers 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 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.

“Dennis Vickers has worked in pediatrics since 1985, not just here in Illinois, but also in Ohio and California. His dedication and commitment to children is evidenced not only by his distinguished career, but also by his staff and other health facilities’ pediatric staff,” 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 – Dennis L. Vickers, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics, Sinai Children’s Hospital
  • Community Service – Illinois Poison Center, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
  • Lifetime Achievement – To be announced

Dr. Vickers is currently the chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Sinai Children’s Hospital. His nomination for the clinical excellence award was actually submitted by professionals from another hospital. Nearby South Shore Hospital does not have a pediatrics department, so the hospital has a transfer agreement with Sinai Children’s Hospital. Children who come to the emergency department at South Shore Hospital are sometimes sent to Sinai for treatment. Staff recounts one incident in particular involving Dr. Vickers and the care of a chronically ill child with a terminal diagnosis. After arriving at South Shore’s emergency department, a transfer to the hospital where the child’s personal physician was on staff was not possible, yet the mother was unsure about transferring her son to Sinai.

“Dr. Vickers was contacted and talked with the mother. He spoke with her with the knowledge of a physician and addressed the plan of care, but most importantly he spoke to her as one parent to another with a sick child. He assured her he would do all he could for her son. The mother agreed to the transfer. The next day we received a call from a very happy and excited parent expressing her thanks,” said Angie Aguilan, a registered nurse at South Shore Hospital.

“He goes the extra mile in facilitating transfers of our pediatric patients, going over and beyond his call of duty. He is very compassionate, considerate and most helpful, especially towards the parents and families of our pediatric patients,” said Lynette Ariza, from South Shore Hospital.

“Dr. Vickers’ caring, compassionate and emphatic manner are rarely seen in this day and age of “drive-thru, doc in the box” medicine,” said Barbara Harper, a registered nursing the emergency department at South Shore Hospital.

Dr. Vickers stays active in professional medical organizations and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a member of the Academic Pediatric Association, the American College of Physician Executives, and the American Public Health Association. He is currently the President-Elect of the Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics.

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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