Dr. Teresa Riech is medical director of the Pediatric Emergency Department at Children's Hospital of Illinois. She is triple board-certified in pediatrics, internal medicine and emergency medicine, with certifications including Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Neonatal Resuscitation Provider, Advanced Trauma Life Support and International Trauma Life Support. She also holds a master’s degree in public health. Her expertise was recognized with the 2013 Ron W. Lee, MD – Excellence in Pediatric Care Award for Clinical Excellence from the Illinois Emergency Medical Services for Children.
Since becoming director of the Peds ED in 2011, Dr. Riech has kept a close eye on patient data, tracking the number of pediatric patients and how quickly they are seen. As a result, she has made many small changes for more efficient care, from improvements in the triage process to adjustments in the location of rooms.
Her commitment to high-quality, family-centered care, combined with her patience and ability to build long-lasting collaborative relationships, can be seen in her instrumental role obtaining Child Life services for the department, which provide distractions during procedures and offer support to parents. She has also collaborated with her colleagues in developing a protocol to address issues triaging patients with sickle cell disease. All of her efforts have resulted in a more collegial relationship between physicians and staff, facilitating prompt evaluation and improved care of pediatric patients.
Not only is Dr. Riech a champion for children, she serves her country as a lieutenant colonel and F-16 fighter jet flight surgeon in the Air National Guard. In her 19 years of service, Riech has served multiple tours overseas, including deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. She is also a Department of Defense flight surgeon for NASA, coordinating emergency medical response for space shuttle landings at Edwards Air Force Base in California. She and her husband have two children and are expecting their third. iBi