The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 11, 2014

Program receives 'Charitable' award

DANVILLE — I Sing the Body Electric has won its second national honor for its efforts at giving back to the community.

I Sing the Body Electric, an outreach program of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center, was among 10 programs from across the country to be named a “Program of Excellence” by the Hospital Charitable Services Awards, a national program sponsored by Jackson Healthcare.

The 10 programs to receive awards were commended for exceptional work in setting new standards for giving back to their communities in sustainable ways. Each winning program was presented with a $10,000 investment toward their growth.

“We’re extremely honored to have I Sing the Body Electric recognized at this level,” said Dottie McLaughlin, program coordinator. “I truly believe that this program makes a difference in the lives of our area youth.”

I Sing the Body Electric asks Vermilion County youth to identify the top health risks they face. The program then issues a report on the results of that survey. Program workers enlist art teachers in area high schools to work with teens who develop art projects illuminating the risks.

I Sing the Body Electric takes those art pieces on tour throughout the community to get young people talking about the issues they face or are likely to face — including depression, teen pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse, bullying and smoking — and help them understand the potential consequences of the choices they make.

McLaughlin traveled to Atlanta last week with Jim Anderson, vice president of development for Presence United Samaritans, for the National Hospital Charitable Services Conference and banquet.

However, they didn’t know that I Sing the Body Electric was one of the top winners until then.

Mike Brown, former regional president and CEO at Presence, nominated I Sing the Body Electric for the award. Then McLaughlin submitted an application. She learned in October that the program was one of 40 finalists out of 178 nominees from across the country.

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