We are thrilled to announce that our 2019 Share the Care Ball award recipients will by Dr. Peter J. Smith and Commissioner Karen Tamley. Two remarkable people who have made a significant difference at Almost Home Kids and in their very distinguished careers.

Please join us at the Share the Care Ball to celebrate their acomplishments:
Date: October 25, 2019 at 6:30 PM
Location: Hotel InterContinental Chicago Magnificent Mile
Click here for tickets.

Share the Care Champion: Peter J. Smith, MD, MA
Dr. Smith is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Smith also a faculty member of the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago. Dr. Smith attended the University of Notre Dame for his undergraduate degree, Duke University for Medical School, and completed his Masters in Theology (Ethics) at Boston College.  He completed his general pediatrics residency at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (Washington University) and two fellowships at Boston Children’s Hospital (Harvard).  He is board certified in two subspecialties of pediatrics, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics (DBP).

Dr. Smith’s clinical service at Almost Home Kids has meant at least weekly rounds at the Chicago site since it opened, 24/7 telephone call for a large portion of that time, and countless hours of off-site clinical management (putting in orders, making phone calls, checking labs, and emailing other clinicians).  Almost Home Kids prides itself in working as a team, and Dr. Smith has been a crucial team member in Chicago since it opened.  Dr. Smith served on the AHK Board prior to the Chicago site opening and has been a very successful and effective spokesperson for Almost Home Kids, most recently testifying at both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees in Springfield for the successful Medicaid Rate increase request for Almost Home Kids Transitional Care program.

Previous to his work at AHK, he was Chief of the Medical Staff at La Rabida Children’s Hospital, which also serves children with medical complexity.  Along with being Medical Director at AHK in Chicago, he serves as Medical Director for two residential schools (the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School and at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education).  He also has busy outpatient clinics, currently at Comer Children’s Hospital, the Erikson Institute, and at Easter Seals of DuPage and Fox Valley.  Both families and colleagues respect him as a hard-working and passionate advocate for children with complex medical needs.

Dr. Smith is also a teacher.  He started and was the first Program Director for the first training program in the Midwest for pediatricians who want to become experts in the care of children with developmental and behavioral difficulties (a Fellowship in DBP).   He has also created and continues to develop the medical education program (for medical students, residents, and fellows) at Almost Home Kids and is in the process of creating a similar program for Nurse Practitioners.

Most importantly, Dr. Smith is a husband, father to four wonderful children, sibling to five brothers and one sister, and son to parents that taught & inspired him to serve others, especially children.

Share the Care Exemplar:  Commissioner Karen Tamley
Karen Tamley serves as Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) under Mayor of Chicago, Lori E. Lightfoot. Commissioner Tamley was first appointed to head the MPPD by Mayor Richard J. Daley and also served under Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. MOPD promotes the full inclusion of people with all types of disabilities and strives to make Chicago the most accessible city in the nation.

In her role as Commissioner, Ms. Tamley leads disability policy and accessibility initiatives in the areas of transportation, city infrastructure, technology, emergency planning, education, and employment. She also oversees the delivery of direct services including in-home supports, home accessibility modifications, and employment services to thousands of youth and adults with disabilities.

In 2016, Commissioner Tamley was appointed by President Obama to serve on the United States Access Board, which develops national accessibility guidelines and standards. In March of 2019, she was elected Chair of the Access Board.

Commissioner Tamley was instrumental in making it possible for Almost Home Kids to open in Chicago in 2012 by helping us connect and work with various city entities such as the fire department and building department and as an ardent champion of our program for children with medical complexities and their families, paving the way to bring our model of care to the city of Chicago. Throughout her life and career, she has been a tireless advocate for children and adults with disabilities and a resolute campaigner to ensure accessibility is seamlessly woven into everyday life, making a tangible difference both locally and nationally.

Ms. Tamley serves in a volunteer capacity on several Boards including co-chairing the Disabilities Fund Advisory Board of The Chicago Community Trust, and as a board member for Meals on Wheels Chicago, Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club and the Kohl Children’s Museum. Ms. Tamley has also been the recipient of numerous awards such as 2019 TaleBlazer Award (Tellin Tales Theater), 2015 Motorola Excellence in Public Service (The Civic Federation of Chicago), 2015 Leadership Greater Chicago Distinguished Leader Award (Leadership Greater Chicago), 2007 Athena Award Nominee, Athena International, (Women’s Leadership), 2006 Justin Dart Distinguished Citizen award (Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois), 2000 Edward V. Roberts Award and the Excellence in Independent Living Award (Illinois Network of Centers for Independent Living). Karen is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and a Fellow on the Leadership Greater Chicago organization.

Ms. Tamley earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she and her husband Kevin Irvine have a 13-year old daughter Dominika and live in Chicago’ Albany Park neighborhood.


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