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URMC Community Advisory Council

The Center for Community Health & Prevention and University of Rochester Medical Center seek to promote health equity and improve health by combining community expertise and academic knowledge. The community voices are critical to identifying priority health needs and, in collaboration with academic partners, developing successful strategies that address these needs and reduce health inequities.

The Community Advisory Council (CAC) was created in 2006 to represent the community and to guide and support the University of Rochester Medical Center's missions of Education, Research and Patient Care.

Wade Norwood, CEO Common Ground Health

  Wade Norwood

Scott Benjamin, president, Charles Settlement House

  Scott Benjamin

Wade Norwood, Chief Executive Officer at Common Ground Health (formerly known as Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency), and Scott Benjamin, President and CEO of the Charles Settlement House and Community Place of Greater Rochester, serve as co-chairs of the CAC.

CAC Membership focuses on those organizations and institutions that represent or serve historically marginalized segments of the population. The CAC has representation from health and social services agencies, the faith community, local government, the city school district, and media. In addition, key leaders within the Medical Center serve on the Community Advisory Council.

The CAC serves in an advisory capacity to the University of Rochester Medical Center, Center for Community Health & Prevention, and University of Rochester Clinical & Translational Science Institute.

The functions of the CAC are to:

  • Act as a resource to URMC to strengthen community partnerships with an aim to reduce disparities and improve access to health care and services
  • Contribute to the assessment and identification of community health-related priorities
  • Promote constituent engagement in community health improvement initiatives
  • Review community-engaged projects and research, as requested

Since its inception, the CAC has contributed to building an infrastructure for the URMC’s community engagement activities, and produced the following documents, which serve as a resource to researchers conducting community-based research:


Questions? Contact Laura Sugarwala, MBA, RD, director of Community Partnerships, at

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