Local baby doctor honored

By Anna Yee

June 2, 2012 Updated Jun 2, 2012 at 6:21 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- What Dr. Mary Draeger Schultz says makes her smile is her job, or should we say jobs?

Dr. Schultz is the Director of OSF St. Francis Medical Center's newborn nursery.

That goes hand-in-hand with her duty as clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

"I really love teaching residents," said Dr. Schultz . "When I came here, I came from an academic program, and this is an academic program, and so I really wanted that to be a part of my career in some way."

She has made that a big part of her career, winning numerous teaching awards over the years.

Dr. Schultz is also the Director for Quality and Safety at the Children's Hospital of Illinois, going the extra mile for her newborn patients.

She has developed safety policies, like the bilirubin protocol, which helps prevent serious complications from jaundice.

She also keeps co-workers on their toes. Dr. Terry Lynch, the Medical Director of OSF Sisters Community Healthcare, is one of the handful who nominated Dr. Schultz.

"Just having day-to-day conversation with her, you learn so much about life, about being a physician, about being a mom, just tons of things," said Dr. Lynch. "She's just amazing in every way."

Did we mention, Dr. Schultz is also a wife and a mother?

She says her latest task is finding more of a balance between family life and work, the two things that keep her going.

"I think it's really the chance to touch people's lives and show them what my career has been like," said Dr. Schultz, "and if they want something like that, then they can have that for themselves and try to do that balancing act."

It's acts like these that make Dr. Schultz the winner of this year's professional award.

Tune into WEEK this Sunday, June 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the Children's Miracle Network Telethon.

You can make a pledge to help out the local Children's Hospital of Illinois.