ST. LOUIS (March 1, 2021) – Michael McMillan and Congressman Rodney Davis have committed their personal and professional lives to improving the community and providing resources to support children in their city, state, and region. In recognition of this important work, they will receive St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s 2020 Advocacy Awards.

Michael P. McMillan, President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, oversees the largest and highest rated Urban League affiliate in the country. The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis annually provides services to nearly 100,000 residents through 30 programs with 225 staff in 12 locations, providing support in the form of jobs, economic opportunity, education, community empowerment, civil rights and advocacy programs. More recently, the Urban League coordinated massive weekly food distribution events across the region when COVID-19 hit our community, providing approximately 3,000 families each weekend with food, toiletries and cleaning supplies. McMillan estimates about 60,000 families have received goods valued at a total of about $3.5 million since the giveaways began at the start of the pandemic.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital has long partnered with the Urban League. The Children’s Healthy Kids Express mobile health van has historically served the eight Urban League Head Start early-learning centers by providing required hearing and vision screenings. McMillan formerly served on the Children’s Board of Trustees and was a member of its Community Benefit Committee.

U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (R-IL 13th District) is currently serving his fourth term in Congress serving the 13th District of Illinois, a 14-county district covering both urban and rural areas of central and southwestern Illinois. During his time in Congress, Rep. Davis has established himself as an effective lawmaker who is able to work with his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation. He has fought to ensure priorities of the 13th District are represented in Washington. 
Rep. Davis has been on the forefront of recognizing the importance of research and development as part of the health care continuum. As such, he has been part of a group of influential legislators who have been successful in funding the National Institutes of Health to its highest level in fifteen years, ensuring precious research dollars are being well spent in fighting chronic diseases and finding cures. In this vein, Rep. Davis has visited Children’s Hospital several times to learn more about its innovative cancer initiatives and treatments at Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He also introduced the Jonny Wade Pediatric Cancer Research Act that would better earmark and allocate funds directly to pediatric cancer research. 

“During the turbulence of 2020, we are profoundly grateful to Mr. McMillian and Rep. Davis for their work to care for and protect children across Missouri and Illinois, their passion for collaboration and partnership.  Their passion for collaboration and partnership, and their leadership is making our community a better place for kids and their families,” said Trish Lollo, president of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. 

Established in 1994 by St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Advocacy Award recognizes local and state leaders who leverage their positions, resources and influence to do what’s right for kids. Other recipients have included Dr. Art McCoy, Missouri State Representative David Wood, Dr. Reverend Starsky Wilson, Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt and Dr. Kelvin Adams.