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Published on October 30, 2006

Dr. Edwin Carey Named Rural Physician of Excellence

October 30, 2006

Dr. Edwin Carey Named Rural Physician of Excellence

Dr. Edwin J. Carey receives his
2006 Rural Physician of
Excellence Award from (left)
Illinois Lieutenant Governor
Pat Quinn, and (right) Pat
Bickhoff, Illinois Rural Health
Association President.

Dr. Edwin J. Carey was honored by the Illinois Rural Health Association in Springfield on Tuesday evening, October 10. The award, Illinois Rural Physician of Excellence, honors physicians who go beyond the call of duty to care for rural citizens and help build a foundation for health care infrastructure in their communities.

Dr. Carey’s nomination, by Valley West Community Hospital administration and staff who witnessed his contributions for more than 46 years, cited his unselfish caring for generations of families, including delivering hundreds and hundreds of infants, making house calls to senior patients -- sometimes for years, the free care he provided for so many, and his contributions to the success of Sandwich Community and Valley West Community hospitals.

His service to Sandwich High School athletics, attending school games and administering free sports physicals for over 25 years was noted, along with his ready availability for victims of motor vehicle, industrial, skydiving, train, and farm accidents. With his training in surgery and in burn care at Chicago’s Cook County Hospital, Dr. Carey came quickly and rendered lifesaving help to local citizens. In the ’60s, ’70s and ’80’s, 90% of the Sandwich Community Hospital’s local trauma patients were cared for in Sandwich, close to their homes and families, before other regional hospital trauma centers were established. As a general surgeon, he performed orthopedic, abdominal, gynecological, ENT, and obstetrical procedures and cared for trauma cases. Dr. Carey was a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Also highlighted were Dr Carey’s contributions to the training of EMS personnel. As project Medical Director for 17 years beginning in 1974, Dr. Carey oversaw the teaching of the first Emergency Medical Technicians in the 15 rural communities that surrounded Sandwich Community Hospital. Eventually, every community got its own ambulance and the education of the certified staff continued, frequently by Dr. Carey in the emergency room during continuing care of the patient the ambulance staff had transported.

The Illinois Rural Physician of Excellence awards were first presented in 2005. This year’s recipients represent towns with populations of 1,000-27,000.

The awards were presented by Illinois Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn and Pat Bickhoff, Illinois Rural Health Association President. Among the sponsors of the event are the Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Hospital Association, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Rural Health Initiative, and The National Centers for Rural Health Professions.

Among those present for the award were Dr. Carey’s eight children: Susan Otterstrom and her husband, Dave, of Peoria; Candy Carey of Benton, Arkansas; John Carey of Sandwich with his wife Lori; Carolyn Carey Knoebel and her husband,Tim, of Oswego; Jane Carey Nasharr and her husband Dan of St. Charles; Ed Carey and his wife Pam of Sycamore; Andy (Lori) Carey of Indianapolis, Indiana; and Scott Carey of Naperville.

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