Illinois Department of Public Health Recognizes Patricia Casey for Excellence in Pediatric Care

Ron W. Lee, M.D. Pediatric Care Award – Community Service

SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program are honoring Patricia Casey, EMT-P 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.
Patricia Casey is a long-time paramedic dedicated to improving emergency care for pediatric patients with complex medical needs. 
“As a pediatrician, I know the importance of recognizing the specific needs of children in emergency situations and that medical care for children may look different from the care for adults,” said IDPH Acting Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Working with children with complex medical needs takes great dedication and compassion and I am honored to award Patricia Casey with the Ron W. Lee, M.D. Excellence in Pediatric Care Community Service Award.”
Patricia Casey designed the Special Needs Tracking & Awareness Response System (STARS) Program.  She and her team work with local ambulance districts to enroll children with special medical needs into the STARS Program.  Ambulance companies then receive pertinent medical histories for STARS enrolled children so that first responders have access to crucial medical information and can be better prepared when they arrive on scene. 
“As an EMT for 20 years, Patricia Casey, the Illinois/Missouri Coordinator of the STARS Program, knows how intimidating it can be for a first responder to walk into a home that in many ways looks like a hospital room,” said HSHS St. Elizabeth’s Hospital Emergency Services Manager Brad Perry, AS, EMT-P, FP-C.  “Children with special health care needs can require many different types of in-home medical equipment that first responders are often not familiar
with.  The STARS Program aims to make the job of the first responders easier while making
children  with medical needs and their parents more comfortable with ambulances in case they need to be transported in one.  I have personally observed Patricia’s passion for these kids.  Her drive to make sure that everyone knows about ‘her’ patients in addition to the education related to treating sick children makes Patricia Casey a candidate for such recognition.”
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 currently a collaborative effort between IDPH and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.  It was established in 1994 to ensure the emergency medical care needs of children are adequately addressed.