Chicago, IL — Former State Representative Julie Hamos, the director of the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services, was awarded the Victor Award by the social service agency Neumann Family Services.
Neumann Family Services is a Chicago organization that serves people with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. The Victor Award is extended to those remarkable individuals who provide inspiration and demonstrate outstanding support to the disability community.
In announcing the award, Neumann Family Services President and CEO Eileen Durkin said, "As a state representative, Julie served as chief sponsor for a number of key legislative initiatives that have had a huge impact on the lives of people with disabilities. Also, as the daughter of Holocaust survivors who escaped from Hungary with her family, she embodies courage, determination and the dream of a better life. For all of these reasons, we are proud to present Director Julie Hamos with the Victor Award."
"It is an honor to receive this recognition from an important partner in our common efforts to improve the lives of all Illinois residents," said HFS Director Julie Hamos. "I appreciate the acknowledgement, as well as the opportunity to work to expand access to health care and other services essential for people with disabilities to secure their rightful place as independent and productive members of the community."
As a state representative, Hamos served as chief sponsor for a number of key disability friendly legislative initiatives including the Children's Mental Health Act, the Rental Housing Program Act, and the comprehensive funding and reform of the transit system. In her current position, she manages the state's Medicaid and Child Support programs and a multi-billion-dollar budget.
"All of these initiatives plus so many others have had a huge impact on the lives of people with disabilities," Durkin said, "Most importantly, though, Hamos understands what it means to dream. She is the daughter of Holocaust survivors and escaped with her parents from her native Budapest, Hungary in 1956. That experience taught her about courage, determination and the dream of a better life."
Hamos was honored at a Neumann event September 30th that was emceed by Rob Johnson, news anchor for WBBM, Channel 2 television in Chicago.