SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program are honoring Elizabeth DeLong, M.S.N., R.N., C.E.N., the trauma/emergency preparedness coordinator at Riverside Medical Center, with a special pediatric Community Service Award 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, and Community Service.
“Elizabeth DeLong used her expertise in trauma and emergency preparedness to establish the Distracted Driving Program and Pre-Prom Program in Kankakee County and surrounding communities in an effort to help save young lives,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “By helping teens understand the consequences of texting and driving, she is making a direct impact on communities and I am happy to award her with the Dr. Ron W. Lee Excellence in Pediatric Care Community Service Award.”
“While this program is focused primarily on the adolescent population, it is important to remember that these new drivers are driving their brothers and sisters around, and are behind the wheel and in traffic with people of all ages. For this reason, the choice to put the phone down and wait to text impacts everyone – from age zero to 100,” said Riverside Emergency Services Nurse Manager Christine Langellier, M.S.N., R.N., C.N.L., C.E.N.
“Mrs. DeLong has inspired me and has guided me along the way. She has expanded this program and reached many children. The message that is given during these presentations really hits home to the students. I have heard wonderful remarks from the students themselves after the presentations. I fully believe that Mrs. DeLong is reaching these students at a vulnerable time and making a difference in their lives,” said Dana Arseneau, R.N., T.C.R.N. with Riverside Medical Center.
The Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care awards are presented each May. Dr. Lee was the medical director for the Division of Emergency Medical Services and Highway Safety at IDPH, as well as 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 between IDPH and Loyola University Chicago. It was established in 1994 to ensure the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.