Dr. Bernard Heilicser Celebrates 30 Years as Head of South Cook EMS
Congratulations to Bernard Heilicser, D.O., who is celebrating 30 years as the Medical Director of the South Cook County EMS System.
A familiar face at Ingalls Memorial Hospital for several decades, Dr. Heilicser practices emergency medicine at the hospital and the Flossmoor Family Care Center, heads the hospital’s Medical Ethics Team and chairs the Ethics Committee.
In his EMS role, Dr. Heilicser also serves as Deputy Commander and Deputy Medical Director of the Illinois Medical Emergency Response System Team (IMERT), and the lead physician and medical manager of the Illinois Task Force 1 Urban Search and Rescue Team. He has been an active fireman for more than three decades.
A renowned expert on medical relief work, Dr. Heilicser has volunteered for numerous natural disasters, including Hurricane Katrina, where he helped set up the world’s largest temporary hospital, the Quincy, IL, floods and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. During his trip to Haiti, Dr. Heilicser and his group ran a make-shift emergency department on the grounds of a heavily damaged hospital, treating up to 500 patients a day in medical tents in extreme heat.
He returned to Haiti in 2011 to serve as medical director of a United Nations Pre-hospital Trauma Life Support class. “It’s one world, and we have to help each other,” he explains. “If another human being needs your help and you can do it, you should do it.”
Dr. Heilicser graduated from the Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and has Master of Science degree in Neuroanatomy from the Hahnemann Medical College. He completed a fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
He is a member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physician Ethics Committee and is a much sought-after publisher and national lecturer on emergency medicine, EMS and medical ethics issues.