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Local Surgeon To Be Honored For Work In Haiti

CHICAGO (CBS) - A surgeon who rescued two badly injured Haiti earthquake victims has been honored by the National Association of Social Workers.

The group's Illinois chapter picked Chicago-area surgeon Dr. Daniel Ivankovich as its Public Citizen of the Year.

Ivankovich helped airlift the two patients to Chicago. Both had suffered paralyzing injuries.

One patient, Josette Delisca, 52, had been left a quadriplegic when her home fell on her. The other, a 28-year-old student Suy Bazelais, had suffered a crushed spine, after the building he was in collapsed.

Both endured months of medical treatment for severe spine injuries at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Bazelais learned to walk again and returned with Ivankovich to Haiti in July. Delisca returned home later.

Dr. Ivankovich was also part a 15-member team that arrived in Haiti with 3,000 pounds of medical supplies to Haiti and he helped treat dozens of victims there.

In honoring Ivankovich, the social work group noted that he has worked with under-served patients for years.

The Croatian-born Ivankovich played basketball as a college student at Northwestern University, but was sidelined by an injury. He later became known as a blues guitarist and musician known as "The Right Reverend, Doctor D," before attending medical school. His biography calls him a "bluesman, healer, shaman and philosopher."

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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