URMC Programs Among First to be Funded by New Foundation

January 17, 2007

Five University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) programs have been tapped by the Greater Rochester Health Foundation (GRHF) for its inaugural Opportunity Grants.  These are the first awards distributed by the Foundation which was created out of the merger of health insurers Preferred Care and MVP Health Care.

“The University of Rochester has a proud history of creating innovative community health programs and we are honored that the Greater Rochester Health Foundation has chosen to support these efforts,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of URMC.  “This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long and productive partnership between the University, the Foundation, and the community to address the many urgent health problems we face in the region.”

URMC received more than $1 million from the Foundation and awardees include:

Pediatrician Stephen Cook, M.D., for a collaborative project involving the Department of Pediatrics, the Rochester Community Pediatricians and the Children’s Institute to develop a Childhood Obesity Report Card to track the county-wide prevalence and distribution of obesity among children and adolescents;

School of Medicine and Dentistry Dean David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., to convene a community-wide symposium – co-hosted by Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield – to discuss rising health care costs and quality issues;

Orthopaedist Michael Maloney, M.D., to develop and disseminate a program of exercises and stretches in Monroe County schools designed to reduce the incidence of Anterior Cruciate Ligament injuries in female athletes;

Pediatrician Peter G. Szilagyi, M.D., for a collaborative program with urban primary care practices and school-based health centers to overcome health system barriers that result in low rates of immunization and preventative health visits for urban, primarily poor and minority adolescents;

Rheumatologist Darren Tabechian, M.D., for a unique training for primary care physicians focusing on musculoskeletal examination and common treatment procedures for rheumatoid arthritis

GRHF was created in 2006 and is one of the area’s largest health foundations with assets of $200 million.  The foundation is governed by a community-based board of directors and its major focus is to improve the health status of all residents of the greater Rochester community including people whose unique health care needs have not been met because of race, ethnicity or income. 

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