Alumni honored at reunion ceremonies
The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry has cited alumni for career achievements and service in ceremonies during the October reunion weekend.
Ruth Anderson Lawrence, M.D. (M ’49, R ’58), received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which recognizes outstanding and widely recognized achievement, particularly in one who exemplifies the standards and objectives of the School of Medicine and Dentistry through personal conduct, professional accomplishments, and community service.
Richard M. Hodes, M.D. (M ’82), received the School’s Humanitarian Award, which is given to an alumnus who has provided unique, compassionate care to patients who have special needs because of specific afflictions, poverty, or living conditions that lack resources. The recipient has devoted a significant portion of his or her medical career to this type of care.
Frederick B. Parker Jr., M.D. (BA ’58, M ’62), received the John N. Wilder Award. Established in 2008, the award honors an individual, family, corporation or foundation whose commitment to build a greater University of Rochester inspires others in the tradition of philanthropist John N. Wilder, the first president of the University board of trustees.
Robert A. Scala, Ph.D. (MS ’56, PhD ’58), received the School’s Alumni Service Award, which honors a graduate who has furthered the interests of the School and the Alumni Association through significant support and commitment.
A preeminent international expert on lactation and on poison control, Lawrence, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical Center, also is an exemplary role model for women in medicine. She quickly rose through the ranks of academia when it was still an exception for women to work outside the home, let alone become doctors.
A highly recognized authority on neonatal nutrition, she helped create the region’s first neonatal care unit and its first pediatric intensive care unit. One of eight doctors who helped the American Academy of Pediatrics draft its official policy statement supporting breastfeeding, she has led countless advancements in the field. She is the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession, a textbook that has been translated into several languages and is widely used by health professionals around the world.
An authority on clinical toxicology and poison control, she developed the second regional poison center in the nation and shaped it into a model that is emulated by medical centers across the country.
Hodes is the Ethiopian medical director for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a position he has held for 25 years. He also supervises a clinic for severely or terminally ill patients at Mother Teresa’s Mission for Sick and Dying Destitutes in Addis Ababa.
Twenty-five years ago, Hodes initiated a project to send Ethiopian children suffering from heart disease and congenital spine disease to the United States for specialized surgeries at no cost to the patients. He also manages a program that provides free medication to patients with Hodgkin’s disease who cannot afford to pay.
In 1996 and 1997, Dr. Hodes directed the health care for 50,000 Rwandan refugees at a camp in Goma, Zaire, while also serving as medical director for up to 10,000 refugees at a camp in Kigoma, Tanzania. Hodes has adopted five Ethiopian children, the maximum allowed. He also provides a home for up to 20 Ethiopian children with special medical needs.
Parker is a dedicated member of the University of Rochester alumni community. As class agent for the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Class of 1962, he developed a special giving program with a goal of raising $1 million for the School between the 45th and 50th class reunions. He also is a charter member of the George Eastman Circle, the University's leadership annual giving society.
Parker, professor emeritus and former chairman of surgery at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, was a pioneer in cardiac surgery. He has devoted his career to educating and training surgeons in upstate New York, including most of Central New York's cardiac surgeons.
“His dedication to philanthropy helps build an ‘Ever Better’ University and inspires his peers and others to give back to the School and support future generations of medical students,” Parker’s award citation states.
Scala is the former senior scientific advisor of Exxon Biomedical Sciences Corp., where he developed and supervised testing programs, established a state-of-the-art toxicology laboratory, and advised management and operating organizations worldwide.
He also has served as adjunct professor at the Institute of Environmental Medicine at New York University, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey at Rutgers University and as an adjunct associate professor at the Medical College of Virginia.
Throughout his career, Scala remained closely connected to the Rochester university community. He served from 2002 to 2009 on the School of Medicine and Dentistry’s Alumni Council, including three years as president. He is currently a member of the University-wide Alumni National Council.
Scala and his wife, Janet (Eddy) Scala, a 1955 graduate of the School of Nursing, have established three scholarships, the Scala Nursing Scholarship in the School of Nursing, the Scala Endowed Scholarship in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, and the Scala Medical Graduate Studies Scholarship in Environmental Sciences.
Simulation and Medical Education
Linda Spillane, M.D., assistant dean for medical simulation at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, discusses the value of simulation in medical education and its future at the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
School of Medicine and Dentistry students who want to improve their language skills and expand their knowledge of Latino culture to develop the skills necessary to work with Spanish-speaking patients can choose a unique certification program, the Latino Health Pathway, which includes electives, community outreach activities and research projects.
An alumnus and his camera with soldiers in Afghanistan
Barry M. Goldstein, M.D., Ph. D., (M ’81, PhD ’82), has become a student of soldiers under pressure, recording what he sees with his camera. See his most recent collection of photos called Battle Mind, from a stay in Afganistan with a reserve unit that oversees mental health caare for soldiers on deployment.