By Anna Lothson
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 earlier this month.
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 who was a humanitarian who volunteered his services to the village.
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."
• 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."
• Vanguard West Suburban Hospital, "for going far beyond free health screenings, health fairs and informational lectures on health-related topics."
• 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 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."