Press Release

May 24, 2010


State Public Health Director Recognizes
Kathleen Ferket for Excellence in Pediatric Care

Ron W. Lee, MD - Clinical Excellence Award

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program honored Kathleen Ferket with a special pediatric care award today for her 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 or Community Service.

“Kathleen Ferket has dedicated her career to pediatric care. She has brought a special touch to many programs, including serving as a hospital pediatric bereavement committee chairperson where she developed a service that brought dignity, compassion and closure to grief stricken families,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director. “Kathleen Ferket has devoted her time to caring for and advocating for children and I am honored to present her with the Excellence in Pediatric Care, Lifetime Achievement Award.”

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

  • Lifetime Achievement – Kathleen Ferket, RN, MSN, APN, Director of Children’s Services, Northwest Community Healthcare
  • Community Service – Illinois Poison Center, Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council
  • Clinical Excellence – Dennis L. Vickers, MD, Chairman of Pediatrics, Sinai Children’s Hospital

Ferket began her nursing career as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Unit at Augustana Hospital in Chicago. She moved to the Special Care and Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Rush Medical Center where she became a member of the pediatric intensive care unit and transport team. From there transferred to Lutheran General Hospital. In 1993, Ferket joined Northwest Community Healthcare working as a Clinical Nurse Specialist and Advanced Nurse Practitioner until 1999, when she became the Director of Children’s Services.

“As the pediatric service line director, she has crafted “the gold standard” of community based pediatric programs in the Chicago suburban area. It has been her wisdom and passion that has taken a community hospital with limited pediatric services, to a developing pediatric center with pediatric subspecialty services, an excellent pediatric inpatient unit, and a separate pediatric emergency department staffed by advanced practice pediatric nurses and board certified pediatric emergency physicians,” said Dr. Chuck Nozicka, who nominated Ferket for the award. “Kathy’s passion, focus, professionalism and commitment to excellence over her career have impacted the lives of hundreds of children. Her example and mentoring has inspired scores of excellent nursing professionals that continue to carry her mantra.”

Ferket has published articles related to her field, been involved in co-founding the Chicagoland Nursing Research Consortium for hospitals pursuing magnet status, and co-founded the Northwest Community Healthcare Nursing Research Fellowship. She also stays active in several professional nursing organizations, including the Society of Pediatric Nurses, the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners, the Emergency Nurses Association and the Illinois Organization of Nurse Executives.

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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