This year’s political and economic events reinforced the need for the Medical Center to reach beyond our walls and work with our partners in the community to improve the health of our citizens and build a strong regional economy.
The Medical Center’s community health mission – first articulated by George Eastman in his founding gift to the School of Medicine and Dentistry – takes on greater importance in an era of health care reform and economic hardship. The pressure to reduce costs while increasing access to health services creates a new imperative for prevention and early detection. It also reinforces the need to advocate for and develop incentives, policies, and an environment that promotes healthy living. To this end, URMC launched several initiatives focused on chronic disease management, diabetes prevention, obesity, and oral health in cooperation with our community partners.
While 2011 marked yet another year of turbulence for our country’s economy, Rochester stood in contrast, outperforming much of the nation in economic growth. Over the last 30 years, Rochester has successfully reshaped its economy from one that was reliant on large-scale industrial manufacturing to one that is more diverse and stable, based on a multitude high technology companies. Optimism for Rochester’s economic future was underscored during the development of a regional economic strategic plan, which affirmed the key role that health care, university-based research, and higher education play in this ongoing economic transformation.