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Advocate Christ Medical Center news

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Chicago Public School Selected for Area's 2nd Dr. Ben Carson Reading Room

World-Renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon to Attend Two Days of Celebration for Local Students, in Partnership with Advocate Christ Medical Center

Oak Lawn, Ill. – Dr. Seuss once said, “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you will go.”

Children at Durkin Park Elementary School in Chicago are prepared to do just that – learn and go places – because they will soon have at hand a plethora of books that will help promote and expand a love of reading. Durkin Park is only the second school in the Chicagoland area to be opening a reading room for students, thanks to a partnership between Advocate Christ Medical Center and noted pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson.

The new reading room will give school administrators and staff the ability to offer their students hundreds of books that can generate in them an enthusiastic and long lasting passion for reading and learning.

An opening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the reading room are set for Thursday, April 11. The featured guest of the ceremony will be Dr. Ben Carson himself, along with his wife, Candy Carson. Others who will be present include representatives of the Carson Scholars Fund and Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, the two organizations whose support have helped make the reading room possible.

Daniel Redmond, principal of Durkin Park Elementary School, said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to open the Dr. Ben Carson Reading Room here at Durkin Park Elementary, because it will be a place where children learn the joy of reading.  It will be a place of tranquility in a world of motion, where they can be at ease to experience the worlds and thoughts they will encounter in the pages of their books.”

“Reading is the key to success.  Durkin Park Elementary School is the second school in Chicagoland to reap the benefits of a Ben Carson Reading Room and we are excited to expand to more schools in the future.  Our partnership with Advocate Christ Medical Center is ensuring young minds are developing the skills necessary to promote lifelong learning.  “When a child opens up a book, he opens a world of possibilities,” said Dr. Carson.

The Ben Carson Reading Project was launched by Dr. Carson, professor of neurosurgery, oncology, and pediatrics, and the director of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Institutions. Dr. Carson gained international recognition for being the first surgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head in 1987.  He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

Dr. Carson and his wife formed their foundation to build inviting reading rooms in schools where children can discover the joy of independent, leisure reading.

The reading room at Durkin Park Elementary, located at 8445 S Kolin, Chicago, will be a safe haven for students. Currently, the school lacks space and resources to explore the worlds that live within the pages of a book. The new reading facility will give students a calming, comfortable place to sit back and read.

Advocate Christ Medical Center formed a partnership with the Carson Scholars Fund to help support  the reading room, while, at the same time, providing grant money to enable more than 20 local students to receive scholarships through the Carson Scholars Fund.

In addition to the reading room, the medical center also has donated scholarships to students who excel academically and serve the community. The chosen students will be celebrated at the Chicago Carson Scholars Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 10 at the Oak Lawn Hilton. Dr. Ben Carson will attend the event to salute the “best and brightest” students.

“Our medical center is dedicated to providing patients with high quality and compassionate care, but also devotes resources to serving the community beyond the hospital walls. We are proud to support the Carson Scholars Fund in opening the second reading room at Durkin Park Elementary,” said Ken Lukhard, president of Christ Medical Center. “Books have the power to benefit children in myriad ways; the reading room at Durkin Park will promote reading in a comfortable setting.”

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About Advocate Christ Medical Center
Advocate Christ Medical Center is part of Advocate Health Care, which is one of the nation’s leading health care networks. A not-for-profit, 694-bed, premier teaching institution with more than 1,000 affiliated physicians, Christ Medical Center is a leader in health care and one of the major referral hospitals in the Midwest in a number of specialties, including cardiovascular services, heart and kidney transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, orthopedics and women’s health. The hospital also has one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in Illinois providing emergency care for more than 90,000 patient visits annually and is a leader in breakthrough technologies, including eICU® (electronic intensive care unit) monitoring, robotic da Vinci Surgery System® and CyberKnife® Radiosurgery.  In both 2012 and 2013, the medical center was named to the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals®, while U.S. News & World Report ranked the medical center among the nation’s leading providers for cardiology and heart surgery and for geriatric medicine and ranked it fourth overall among hospitals in the state of Illinois. The hospital is also recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) as a Magnet Center. Magnet status represents the highest honor in the nursing profession. To obtain more information or to visit our newsroom, log on to:

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