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Everyday Heroes

CCDPH is celebrating Everyday Heroes of the COVID-19 response. Everyday Heroes are people living, working, or volunteering in suburban Cook County who are helping each other during these extremely difficult times. To see more Everyday Heroes, please see this page.

Hero of the Week

Angela Tillis puts a smile on people’s face, even over the phone

Here at the health department, many staff have taken on duties that are very different from our everyday work. Our Everyday Hero this week is Angela Tillis, who responds to voicemails that Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) receives from the COVID-19 hotline. Angela is usually a vision and hearing technician for the CCDPHIn normal times, she spends her workday visiting daycares, preschools, and elementary schools to screen young children for vision and hearing issues.   

One critical part of CCPDH’s COVID-19 response has been establishing a hotline for community members to ask for COVID-19 information. When the hotline started, CCPDH was receiving over 100 calls a day, and Angela and a colleague would come to work on Mondays with over 50 voicemails waiting for themPeople calling the hotline have questions on a wide range of topics, including where to get testedwhere to file complaints about employers not adhering to social distancing guidelines, and how the virus is transmitted. A few callers just wanted to hear a friendly voice.  

Community members are often pleasantly surprised to receive a return callAngela, has been told, “I didn’t think I would get a call back!” or “Thank you for returning my message!” many times. 

Angela says she connects easily with people, especially older adults. “They just feel comfortable with me, even over the phone.” Angela mentioned that a community member that called the hotline gave her the nickname ‘Angie’, because they felt an instant connection! 

Angela has been willing to lend a hand wherever help is needed, and always with an upbeat attitude. She likes to stay busy. When she’s not returning calls, she also assists with COVID-related data entry. “Angela has gone above and beyond with the work and has kept a great attitude from the start,” says Regional Health Officer Dedra Ries, who oversees the hotline. “In these stressful times she has really stepped up to the plate. 

Angela has been with CCDPH since 2015. Before she started working at the health department, she worked in customer service for 20 years“I smile while I am on the phone,” says Angela, because people can feel that positive energy when you are speaking.” 

To connect with COVID-19 operator, please call 708-633-2599. The hotline is open Mondays through Fridays from 9am to 4pm. If you call after hours or on the weekends, you can leave a voicemail and Angela or someone else will call you back. 

How to nominate an Everyday Hero

  1. Fill out the web form below, or:
  2. Send an email with the subject “Everyday Heroes” in the subject line and provide:
    1. Your name: (required)
    2. Your email: (required)
    3. Your phone number: (optional)
    4. Your organization: (optional)
    5. Your Everyday Hero’s name:
    6. Describe in 2-3 sentences why you think this person is an Everyday Hero

Nominate an Everyday Hero by filling out the form below

Updated January 19, 2021, 2:55 PM