Neighbors in the News: Arlington Heights nurse receives prestigious DAISY award
• Registered Nurse Kathleen Sciacca of Arlington Heights-based Center of Illinois Home Healthcare, Inc., was honored with the DAISY Foundation's DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses.
The award is part of the foundation's programs to recognize the superhuman efforts that nurses perform every day.
Sciacca, who joined the Center of Illinois family in 2013, is a skilled and compassionate nurse, whose patients praise her and her care.
"Kathy is the nurse that we all want to take care of our family when they need care," said Louisa Wolter, director of Clinical Services for Center of Illinois Home Healthcare, Inc.
"She is not only highly skilled, she is compassionate and listens when patients just need to talk."
The nonprofit DAISY Foundation was established by family members in memory of J. Patrick Barnes, who died at the age of 33 in 1999 from complications of Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a little known but not uncommon autoimmune disease.
• Grayslake resident Niccole Rietveld, a nursing student at College of Lake County, was awarded scholarships from American Legion Auxiliary Unit 281 and American Legion Post 281 of Waukegan. The scholarship awards will be used for tuition.
Rietveld will graduate from CLC in December 2023 with an associate degree.
Currently, Rietveld works at Advocate Condell Medical Center through an internship, where she is gaining valuable experience in the nursing field. She hopes to eventually become an emergency room nurse.
Upon receiving the scholarships, Rietveld stated she is "very, very grateful for the assistance from the American Legion family. It is really making a huge difference."
• Ken Adkins, a Maine East High School Career and Technical Education teacher, was named a finalist in the 2023 Harbor Freight Tools for Schools Prize for Teaching Excellence.
The competitive process resulted in Adkins being named one of 50 finalists across the country. He is now in the running for receiving one of 25 prizes totaling $1.5 million. The winners will be announced this October.
Adkins is entering his 17th year teaching in District 207. His subjects include automotives and engineering at Maine East.
As a finalist, he is one of just two finalists from Illinois in the competition.
"Having been named a Top 50 finalist is an incredible honor," Adkins said. "I believe it validates the rigor of our curriculum. I am proud to embrace these learning opportunities so that students can practice developing the skills to work through obstacles and grow stronger in a supportive and collaborative environment."
Harbor Freight started the Tools for Schools prize in 2017, with a mission to "advance excellent skilled trades education in public high schools across America."
• Glenview resident Mary Bak was named District Governor of Rotary International District 6440, which spans Chicago's North, Northwest and many Western suburbs. She will lead Rotary's 65 clubs and 2,000 members during the 2023-2024 year.
Bak, who has been an active member of the Rotary Club of Glenview Sunrise since 1991, holds a bachelor's degree from Loyola University, Chicago, and a juris doctorate from DePaul University. She retired from the village of Glenview in December 2013, where she served as director of Community Development/special counsel. Currently, she is development services manager for Kinzie Real Estate Services.
In District 6440, Rotary clubs support worthy causes and engage in hands-on service projects to benefit their communities.
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