Amita health center earns award from Arlington Heights
The winner of this year's annual Arlington Heights award recognizing a business that employs people with disabilities also has the distinction of helping those they serve find jobs in the community.
Amita Health Alexian Brothers Center for Mental Health this week received the 11th Disability Employment Awareness Award, presented by the village's Commission for Citizens with Disabilities.
The center, which has operated in the village for 58 years and is now at 3436 N. Kennicott Ave., currently employs a doctor who has muscular dystrophy, but he's still able to see patients for psychiatric care thanks to computer-based tele-health equipment at his house and the center.
The facility also employs a full-time clinical therapist who is visually impaired and requires the aid of a guide dog.
And, for some three decades, the center has offered a vocational rehabilitation program where those seeking treatment for mental illness can find work opportunities in the area. Some 50 people are placed in jobs annually, officials say.
Mayor Tom Hayes and members of the commission presented the award at a village board meeting Monday to Rick Germann, an associate vice president who runs the center.
"You judge a village for how it cares for its most vulnerable members," Germann said. "The village of Arlington Heights gets it. We work with cities and villages across the northern part of Cook County. Arlington Heights goes a step beyond. They practice what they preach."