Press Release
 May 12, 2014
Melaney Arnold (217) 558-0500

Illinois Department of Public Health Recognizes Dr. Deborah Gulson for Excellence in Pediatric Care

Ron W. Lee, MD Pediatric Care Award – Community Service

LAKE FOREST – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program today honored Dr. Deborah Gulson 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. Gulson’s dedication to quality pediatric care and injury prevention can be seen by her Bicycle Helmet Initiative, passion for teen suicide prevention and work with medical students,” said IDPH Director LaMar Hasbrouck, MD. “For going above and beyond the scope of her normal practice in all endeavors, I would like to congratulate Dr. Gulson with a Ron W. Lee, MD – Excellence in Pediatric Care Award.”

Dr. Gulson is currently the Director of Medical Education for the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital (NLFH). She is also the chair and founder of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative, which collaborates with schools, hospitals and communities to instill the importance of wearing bicycle helmets.

“Dr. Gulson has gone to many of the schools in the area and beyond with a creative program that includes dropping cantaloupes from the roof without helmets, and with helmets, to visually show how much a difference a helmet can make,” said Dr. Misha Garg, a NLFH pediatric hospitalist. “She is quite engaging with the children and parents alike.”

“In addition to her clinical endeavors, Dr. Gulson has a great commitment to community as evidenced by her tireless work with local schools to help educate families on the important role bicycle helmet safety plays in reducing pediatric head trauma,” said NLFH Department of Emergency Medicine Vice Chief Dr. Trevor Hamilton.”

As a member of the Teen Crisis Task Force, formed in response to multiple suicides in the Lake Forest area, Dr. Gulson serves as the pediatric expert assuring that efforts are age appropriate and collaborative with activities organized within schools and community centers.

“Through these tragedies, Dr. Gulson helped the hospital to work with the community to improve its understanding of the stresses of adolescence and to curtail these events,” said NLFH Director of Emergency Service Beverly Weaver McLaughlin, MS, RN, NE-BC.

Dr. Gulson is also a preceptor for Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine physician assistant and medical students. She has developed a comprehensive rotation, allowing students to participate and expand their pediatric experience.

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 IDPH and Loyola University Medical Center. It was established in 1994 to ensure the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.

IDPH continues to implement its Five Year Strategy 2014-2018 to maximize IDPH’s effectiveness, influence and value for promoting wellness, health equity, safety and improved health outcomes. Strategic plan priorities include developing and expanding partnerships; improving data utilization; reducing health disparities; improving regulatory compliance; and branding, marketing and communicating IDPH’s value.

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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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