SPRINGFIELD– The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program are honoring Rebecca Bolluyt, a paramedic with the Chicago Fire Department, 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.
“Rebecca Bolluyt used her expertise as a paramedic to develop a video and program to teach elementary students and adolescents how to perform CPR and how to use an AED,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “With the help of the volunteers she recruited, she has taught more than 2,500 students CPR and how to use an AED. I am happy to award her with the Ron W. Lee, M.D. - Excellence in Pediatric Care Community Service Award.”
“This was all done above and beyond her scope of normal duties and continues to be an all-volunteer program, which in and of itself, is huge. Each of the courses that she gets requests for are coordinated and overseen by her along with the photocopying of certificates, roster completion, management of instructors, and keeping the program running,” said Mary “Mo” Otting, a nurse with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital. “The work that Rebecca has and continues to do with teaching CPR and AED utilization to children and adolescents is truly providing a service to her community above and beyond normal duties.”
“Rebecca could have easily spent all of this energy training high school students or adults. However, she recognized that the younger kids are not only eager to learn, but they are also eager to teach. In this pay-it-forward model, the kids, will then teach their parents and other loved ones in their lives. The ripple of resuscitation becomes a tidal wave,” said Teri Campbell, a nurse and Director of Illinois Heart Rescue. “It is truly an immeasurable gift. We will never know how many lives that Rebecca’s passionate service has saved. How many parents, how many kids, how many wives, husbands, sons, and daughters will be able to once again return to their families because of the immensely generous time, talent, and treasure that Rebecca has chosen to share with our blessed community.”
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.