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Memorial Oct. 7 for Helen M. Wilks, M.D.

October 2, 2008 | by Judy Moore
EVANSTON, Ill. --- A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 for Helen M. Wilks, M.D., former director of Northwestern University's Student Health Service.

The remembrance ceremony will be held in the Jeanne Vail Chapel. A reception will follow in Parkes Hall, Room 122.

Dr. Wilks, 79, a long-time Evanston resident, died Sept. 18 in Evanston Hospital.

Prior to joining Northwestern University, Dr. Wilks practiced internal medicine in Chicago and was on the faculty of Northwestern's Medical School (now the Feinberg School of Medicine). In 1975 she left Chicago and her private practice to become director of the Student Health Service at Northwestern. She continued on the Medical School faculty as a clinical assistant professor and joined the staff of Evanston Hospital. During these years she was involved with the American Diabetes Association, and she served as president (from 1975 to 1977) of the Diabetes Association of Greater Chicago and Northern Illinois Affiliate. She retired in September 1991.

"During Helen's 15-year medical career at Northwestern, she was an extraordinary advocate for our student population," said Brian Druley, director of administration and information technology of Northwestern's Health Service. "Among her achievements, Dr. Wilks was responsible for the development and advancement of peer health education programs that focused on the needs of Northwestern's students and promoted better awareness of health and wellness issues."

Dr. Wilks completed a residency in internal medicine at the former Passavant Hospital in Chicago and later specialized in the study of diabetes. Being interested in the treatment of diabetic children, she organized a summer camp program and for 20 years spent her summer vacation in charge of children at camp.

At age 16, she entered Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick where she completed her pre-med program. She attended Dalhousie University of Medicine in Halifax, Nova Scotia and graduated with her medical degree in 1955.

Dr. Wilks is survived by her cousin Phillip (Gael) Page and family in Nova Scotia.

Her ashes will be interred in the Wilks family plot at Mount Hermon Cemetery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Memorial donations may be made to the American Diabetes Association, 30 N. Michigan Ave, Room 2015, Chicago, Ill. 60603 or charity of choice.
Topics: People