UIC recognizes 2015 ‘Champions for Children’
Five people who provide extraordinary care-coordination for children with special healthcare needs received the Champions for Children award from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Division of Specialized Care for Children.
Specialized Care for Children has helped families for over 75 years and now serves thousands of families annually in all 102 Illinois counties, through a network of professional staff in 12 regional offices.
The 2015 honorees are:
- Rhonda Chaney Best has partnered with Specialized Care for Children in her role as a speaker for Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center in the northern region of Illinois. Best, who also provides advocacy services for children through the Educational Access Project for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services at Northern Illinois University, became active in child advocacy more than 30 years ago when her daughter Betsy was born with multiple disabilities. Interacting with multiple systems made Best aware that “without advocacy, Betsy would not get the help she needed.” She blends stories from her personal experiences during her presentations at Specialized Care for Children’s monthly parent support group.
- Kyle Childers has been creating beautiful smiles in southern Illinois for 25 years. As the owner of Childers Orthodontics, he works with Specialized Care for Children to meet the needs of children with special orthodontic challenges, providing positive, lifelong transformations. A believer in professional collaboration and giving back to the community, the native of Marion, Illinois, founded the southern Illinois chapter of Smile for a Lifetime (S4L), a nonprofit that provides orthodontic treatment to patients who otherwise would not receive care. He also offers academic scholarships each year to students in southern Illinois.
- Lindsey Hird-McCorry has worked at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago for 14 years, including the past three years as nurse-coordinator for the pulmonary habilitation program and transitional care unit. In this role, Hird-McCorry coordinates training for caregivers of patients on ventilators and serves as primary liaison between patients’ families, Specialized Care for Children coordinators, hospital staff, support services and home care agencies and equipment companies. Recipient of the 2014 Lurie Children’s Hospital Nurse Exemplar Award (Family Educator), Hird-McCorry works closely with Specialized Care for Children’s Chicago home care team, providing timely information and support at the hospital.
- Nancy Monica is director of TeleHealth in the McHenry County office of the Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. She has partnered with Specialized Care for Children to connect families of children with epilepsy to services in the community. Deeply rooted in the foundation since 1998, Monica has received numerous honors for advocacy, including National Advocate of the Year from the National Epilepsy Foundation, Chicago Volunteer of the Year from the Chicago Epilepsy Foundation, and the Motorola, Inc. TEAM Award. She is one of the three founding members of Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, which has raised over $32 million for epilepsy research.
- SJN Electric, located in Swansea, Illinois, has helped numerous medically fragile and technologically dependent children in St. Louis’ Metro-East area. SJN Electric provides the electrical modifications and system upgrades needed to support children served by Specialized Care for Children’s home care program. Owned by Steven Neumeyer, SJN has traveled great distances to provide services, allowing many children to avoid extended hospitalizations.
More information on the UIC Division of Specialized Care for Children is available by calling (800) 322-3722 or by visiting www.dscc.uic.edu.