Oak Park residents, hospital honored during National Public Health Week

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By Community Editor

Courtesy David Powers

Four Oak Park residents and one local hospital were honored for their contributions to the health and well-being of Oak Parkers during National Public Health Week, April 1 - 7.

The Fitzsimmons Award for Excellence in Public Health is named in honor of Dr. William Fitzsimmons, a medical consultant to the Oak Park Department of Public Health from 1976-1992. A humanitarian who volunteered his services to the Village, Dr. Fitzsimmons is remembered for his compassion toward others, regardless of their race or socio-economic status, a deep love of medicine and dedication to public service.

The annual awards are presented by the Oak Park Board of Health and the Oak Park Department of Public Health. This year's winners are:

  • Ellen Barton, APN (advanced practice nurse), PCC Wellness Center, for the comprehensive care she provides to her patients including for their emotional health, social and academic needs, and spiritual concerns.
  • Janice Enloe, personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach, advanced health and fitness specialist and running coach, for her comprehensive approach to diet and exercise that ensures participants have every opportunity to transform their lifestyle.
  • Vanguard West Suburban Hospital, for going far beyond free health screenings, health fairs and informational lectures on health-related topics. The hospital offers free, ongoing, regularly scheduled exercise, tai chi and yoga classes to the community without restriction or obligation.
  • Sugar Beet Cooperative, a grass roots initiative, for its efforts in bringing healthier products from local farms to the wider community including a community-managed store scheduled to open in 2014 that will be a gathering place for residents to grow, cook, discuss and eat food together.
  • Tracy A. Vegeler, general manager, Oak Park Place Apartments, for her pioneering efforts and dedication in creating one of the first multi-unit residential properties in Oak Park to successfully transition to 100-percent smoke-free status. Tracy has generously volunteered her time to serve as a role model and mentor for other property managers in Illinois as part of the growing campaign to create smoke-free housing.

For more information on the annual Fitzsimmons Award, call 708.358.5480 or e-mail health@oak-park.us.

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