Vital Signs - November 2003

May 2005

Wilmot Cancer Center Launches $42.5M Campaign for New Building

Cancer Center

A new building that doubles the amount of clinical and research space, the addition of 25 oncology faculty positions, and an intensive effort to capture National Cancer Institute designation as a comprehensive cancer center are the cornerstones of a $42.5 million comprehensive campaign just launched by the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center.

"Our vision is clear: We will take a leadership role in finding cures for cancer. All of our plans for the future of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center are driven by that singular goal," says Richard I. Fisher, M.D., director of Wilmot Cancer Center and director, cancer services, Strong Health.

The Cancer Center has experienced dramatic growth recently, posting 15 to 20% gains over the past several years for all services. Last year, it provided care to approximately 6,500 patients, and performed more than 32,000 outpatient procedures.

"With a state-of-the-art facility and top-tier oncologists, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center will continue to provide the best possible care for people in Rochester and the northeastern U.S.," says C. McCollister Evarts, M.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. "In addition, collaboration with researchers throughout the University of Rochester Medical Center will flourish in this new facility, custom-built for basic science and clinical cancer research."

The five-year campaign includes construction of a 163,000-square-foot, four-story building planned for the corner of Crittenden Boulevard and East Drive, as well as the recruitment of 25 additional clinicians and scientists specializing in various oncology areas (some positions have already been filled). The new building doubles the space for clinical programs and translational research, and allows for consolidation of medical and radiation oncology areas, which are now spread throughout the Medical Center. It also provides larger, more private space for patients and their families, and translational research labs to foster collaboration between clinicians and scientists.

The Flaum Eye Institute, which constructed a new third-floor clinical area last year above the current cancer center, will eventually move more of its clinical specialties and research labs into the space left vacant by the cancer center's relocation.

Strategic Vision

The campaign is core to the Cancer Center's $65 million strategic plan, which outlines the expansion of clinical and research programs, recruitment of more scientists and oncologists, and the establishment of an endowment for the cancer center – all aimed to capture the National Cancer Institute designation as a comprehensive cancer center.

To date, $15 million has been raised from community benefactors to support the effort, which is being led by Judy Wilmot Linehan and Jim Ryan, Jr.

"Our cancer center primarily serves the 16-county region to the east and west of Rochester," says Fisher. "However, people from throughout the Northeast seek the expertise of our oncology specialists when they're faced with this life-threatening disease."


Dentistry Residency Programs Receive Full Accreditation

Eastman Department of Dentistry's five advanced education programs at Eastman Dental Center (EDC) received full accreditation status from the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), the body that accredits all dental education programs nationwide. The programs were granted the accreditation status of "approval without any reporting requirements," along with a number of commendations.

The five programs evaluated were the advanced dental education programs in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics; pediatric dentistry; periodontics; prosthodontics; and advanced education in general dentistry. The visiting committee from CODA focused on a number of areas including institutional commitment and program effectiveness, program directors and teaching staff, curriculum and program duration, and quality and quantity of resident research.

"It is significant that these five programs received full approval from CODA and there were no citations," said Cyril Meyerowitz, D.D.S., M.S., professor and chair of the Department of Dentistry and director of Eastman Center. "It's most unusual that all elements in five programs are approved and it reflects the hard work of the program directors, faculty, residents, and staff."

Specific commendations from CODA called out the following:

  • The outstanding and high-level resident research focus in the Orthodontic Program
  • The Pediatric Dentistry Program was applauded for incorporating a superior clinical outreach program at School 17 into its extramural requirements
  • The Periodontic Program was recognized for actively preparing and encouraging all graduates to seek and complete board certification
  • The Prosthodontic Program's newly renovated dental laboratory was recognized for providing an outstanding educational environment for residents
  • The Advanced Education in General Dentistry Program was commended for completing well over 100,000 patient visits each year

The five programs join two others in Dentistry, oral/maxillofacial surgery and the general practice residency programs at Strong Memorial, that now have full accreditation.


Divisions Take on New Names

Two areas in the Medical Center have recently changed their names to better identify and capture the emphasis of their work.

Department of Imaging Sciencesxray
On May 1, the Department of Radiology became knows as the Department of Imaging Sciences. This new name more accurately reflects the breadth and depth of the many services offered by the Department while focusing on the central core of its practice – imaging.

In the past two years, the Department has undergone significant expansion across the Strong Health enterprise, adding both new capabilities and expanding existing ones. From upgraded and expanded MRI and CT capabilities to a new PET-CT scanner outpatient facility opening in early June, the Department continues to post double-digit gains in most modalities. This growth is expected to continue to rise as technology improves and furthers the ability to diagnose and treat disease through imaging.

Along with renaming the Department, its clinical services throughout the community will also be renamed to provide a unified brand identity among these many locations:

  • University Imaging at Strong Memorial Hospital
  • University Imaging at Highland Hospital
  • University Imaging at Science Park
  • University Medical Imaging

Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research
The Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatric Disease is now called the Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research. During the past year, much thought has been given to the ongoing and future research directions of the Center. Based on discussions with Center faculty and leaders of research in related basic science departments and centers, the Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research was chosen. This change in name better reflects the major goal of the Center: to conduct basic and translational research to expose the mechanisms of pediatric disease.


Long-Time Employees Honored

Medical Center faculty and staff with 10 to 50 years of service will be recognized next month for their hard work and contributions made over the years. Medical Center staff with 25 through 45 years of service will be honored at a dinner on June 9, while all staff with 10-50 years will be recognized at a reception in Helen Wood Hall on June 2. Below is a listing of those Medical Center faculty and staff with more than 25 years of service.

45 Years
Joyce Frederiksen
Faye M Watkins

40 Years
Robert A Allen
Mary A Hipp
Laura Mae Robinson
Gladys Scott

35 Years
Ruth Mae Alford
Annie Ree Anderson
Constance L Anglin
Christine Blazey
Michele Bonyak
Alberta Brown
Halin Cebula
Patricia Ann Corbett
Geraldine E Holmes
Charles A Jones
Mary M Kelly
Judith Kennedy
Alberta King
Gail Suzanne Lerkins
Gloria Lightle
Starlene O Loader
Mary F Ramos
Maxine Reaves
Ethel Reed
Jane Reid
Nettie Mae Reynolds
Cynthia O Richards
John L Roberts
Mattie Session
Clare Shaffer
Laurie A Smith
Donna M Speers
Barbara Spohn
Elizabeth Spreng
Ann Marie Stoll
Juanita Wilson

30 years
Patricia A Beato
Joann A Belle-Isle
John Bernfield
Joan Bertolami
Mary Bolognino
Henrietta Bowen
Joan C Brisbane
Mary Lou Brunner
Laura Lee Butler
Wanda K Clements
Janet Ksionzyk Cometa
Giuseppa Defeo
Maryann DeSantis
Susan M Feller
Angel Miguel Figueroa
Ann Ford Fricke
Irenita Flynn Gardiner
Joanne Carol Haines
Michele Heckler
Axel Kairies
Darby B Leyden
John E Loughner
Linda Loverde
Rosemarie P Martin
Maryanne M Matejcik
Thampi Mathai
Nancy A Merriman
Sarah J Miller
Steven J Mitchell
Sharon Montgomery
Reade B Nimick
Catherine Pelliccia
Rita Pullano
Lillian Reynolds
Donna Jean Riley
Joann Rising
Michele Roberts
Mary Ellen Ross
Martha E Sandler
Maureen P Scahill
Kathy England Scherer
Maethonia Scott
Deborah S Sheedy
Joyce Sizer
Ann Dengler Smith
Elizabeth M Smith
Toni C Smith
Peggy Stockmeister
Sadie Thomas
Shirley A Tracey
Debra Tucker
Sheila R Vanhouten
Porfirio Vargas
Carol C Veltre
Patricia A Weber
Rhonda L Wert
Richard J Whitman
Patricia A Witzel

25 years
Susan R Abbott
Susan M Bansbach
Mardell Brabant
Christine Deitrick
Kathleen DellaPorta
Michael A Delski
Aartje Dewaard
Betsy Dey
Dolores Dicesare
Barbara Digregorio
Ronald E Dockstader
Judith R Eaton
Laurie D Felice
Katherine M Flynn
Carol J Foxenburgh
Marilyn Gaines
Mark Gallagher
Irene Georgantas
Mary Gleichauf
Donna M Hayes
Martin K Hoose
Enid Hymes
Katherine Ippolito
Elaine Jones
Maureen E Kiernan
Patricia Kolomic
Patricia K Lamarche
Mary S Lang
Carolyn Lariton
Lauren Lentine
Jean Houle Livingston
Linda Lord
Rocco Mastrangioli
Terri L McDonald
Kathleen McGrath
Ernest James Myers
Perry S Nemechek
Patricia L Pecoraro
Nancy Peek
Deborah Pratt
Christina K Reed
Jean M Reitzel
Yvonne Routly
Joan C Schmitt
Susan R Schoen
Melinda Sciera
Lynne Sculli
Melinda Sigalow
M Elizabeth Smarcz
Melinda Spry
Sherry D Steinmetz
Emma Gean Stewart
Patricia A Titus
Edward L Vaczy
Hermanna J Vanderhorst
Karen Vannorman
Birgitta Varandani
Laurie Jeanne Walker
David L White
Carol L Williams
Joann Wowkowych
Shirley Zelazny
Jerriann L Zimmerman


Faculty Spotlight

Media Clips


ABC World News Tonight featured a 2-minute news segment on the expansion of Ken McConnochie and Neil Herendeen’s Health-e-Access telemedicine program. The story also was carried by dozens of media outlets nationwide including (May 4), (May 5), and The LA (May 5).

Kathleen King spoke with the Washington Post about the symptoms experienced by women who have heart attacks. (May 3)

Research by Ron Epstein and colleagues on the power of drug advertising, which was published in JAMA, was covered by the Washington Post (April 27), WebMD (April 26), and other outlets. Reporters from the Post (April 27) also held a Web chat to discuss the findings.

Ann Falsey and Ed Walsh’s research on respiratory syncytial virus, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, was covered by the Washington Post Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Scripps Howard News Service (April 27), FOX News (April 28), and several other outlets.

National Geographic News (April 27), (April 29), and several other outlets quoted Shanna Swan in a discussion about pollutants and infertility.

Shanna H. Swan was featured in an April 27 episode of a four-part National Geographic TV series, Strange Days on Planet Earth where she spoke about the association between low sperm counts and farming chemicals.

Newsweek turned to pediatrician Jeffrey Kaczorowski for a quote to wrap up its story on how family matters can influence a child’s health, and vice versa.(April 25

Concerns about purported links between vaccines, mercury and autism were addressed by Phil Davidson on the Fox News web site. (April 25)

The Canadian Press quoted John Treanor in a story about a possible flu pandemic. (April 25)

Steve Schwid spoke with Reuters Health about the challenges of treating the fatigue caused by multiple sclerosis. (April 22)

Reuters Health covered research by Barbara Gracious on anti-depressants and pregnancy. (April 13)

Steve Goldman discussed the use of stem cells to treat disease with the New York Daily News (April 13). He also reviewed a book about stem cells for Nature (April 11).

The molecular details of why muscles weaken with age were discussed by Steve Welle in an article posted by, Health Day, Forbes (April 11), and several other Web sites.

Rick Phipps’s research on the effects of cox-2 inhibitors on the immune system was covered by Reuters. (April 7)

An Associated Press story about a new device designed to lower blood pressure ran in more than 200 outlets around the world, including MSNBC News (April 1), the Boston Globe,, and the Miami Herald.

Timothy Quill’s comments on the Terri Schiavo case, and how doctors cope with dying patients, were carried by dozens additional outlets, including Newsday, and New Scientist (April 1) and Health Day (March 31).

Michael Perlis discussed child-rearing and insomnia in Psychology Today. (March 31)


The Livingston County Board of Supervisors and the Livingston EMS community recently honored Strong’s Trauma and Emergency Medicine teams for their expertise and timely response to the deadly Windsor Wildcats bus crash that killed four and injured another 19 this past January.

Three Medical Center programs and/or faculty recently were honored by the Environmental Protection Agency for leadership roles in protecting children from environmental risks. The first annual 2005 Children’s Environmental Health Excellence Awards highlighted 113 programs around the country. Michael Weitzman, M.D., executive director of the AAP Center for Child Health Research, was recognized for his work with ERACE Secondhand Smoke. The Department of Environmental Medicine was cited for its My Environment, My Healthy, My Choices project, while its ongoing work with the community for Get the Lead Out was also recognized.

The NIH's National Advisory Dental and Craniofacial Research Council has awarded James E. Melvin, D.D.S., Ph.D., director of the UR Center for Oral Biology, a $2 million MERIT Award in recognition of his research record and scientific achievements. Melvin, a professor of Dentistry and Pharmacology and Physiology, is a leader in the field of salivary gland function. The MERIT Award allows scientists to receive NIH grant extensions and additional funding without having to submit a traditional competing renewal application.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) recently elected Julia F. Sollenberger, director of the Edward G. Miner Library and assistant professor of Medical Informatics, to Fellow status, a distinction awarded to only five MLA members each year. Fellows are selected for sustained and outstanding contributions to health sciences librarianship and to the advancement of the purposes of MLA.



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Last updated: 11/06/2009 11:43 AM