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Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards

Photo of David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.
Learn about Dr. Satcher

Established in 2010, the Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards recognizes University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) faculty and staff for significant contributions to the health of our communities through research, teaching, practice, and/or service programs.

The awards reflect the mission of the Center for Community Health & Prevention and the URMC to develop and expand community-university partnerships that support community-engaged research and interventions that reduce health inequities and improve communities' health. Awards are made based on work done in the greater Rochester area and Finger Lakes region.

Efforts to improve the health of the Rochester community are deeply rooted in the history of the University of Rochester. It started in the 1920s, when the Medical Center’s original benefactor, George Eastman agreed to fund a medical school with the caveat that the school use its skills and talents “to make Rochester one of the healthiest communities in the world.” His vision has shaped an enduring legacy of commitment to improve the health of the Rochester community.

The Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards are typically held in person with a keynote speaker, but for the last couple of years, due to the pandemic, awardees have been recognized and shared their commitment to community health improvement virtually.

Presented virtually on April 4, the 13th annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards honored three URMC faculty and staff for their contributions to advancing community health and health equity in our region.

Sidney Hankerson, M.D., M.B.A., associate professor and vice chair for Community Engagement in the Department of Psychiatry and director of Mental Health Equity Research in the Institute for Health Equity Research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, presented the keynote address for the event.

Hankerson’s presentation “Leveraging Community Engagement to Promote Mental Health Equity” focused on reducing racial and ethnic disparities in mental health treatment by partnering with faith-based organizations. He is a nationally-recognized expert in faith-based mental health services research. The National Academy of Medicine recognized Hankerson as a “Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine,” an honor bestowed upon only 10 health care professionals annually. 

View the full presentation.

This year's awardees:

Senior Faculty Awardee

Catherine Cerulli HeadshotCatherine Cerulli, J.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry; Director of the Susan B. Anthony Center; Director of the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization

 A licensed attorney, Dr. Cerulli has worked on issues surrounding domestic violence and child abuse for more than three decades.

In 2016, with the help of community partners and survivors, she co-founded the Health, Education, Advocacy and Law (HEAL) Collaborative, an innovative medical-law program at the University that integrates services for victims of intimate partner violence. Dr. Cerulli is also a founding board member for the Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester, Inc., a grass roots organization providing emergency respite care for greater Rochester area families with young children.

Dr. Cerulli’s work involves collaborating with a number of community partners, including The Center for Youth, the Willow Domestic Violence Center of Greater Rochester and the New York State Office of Court Administration.

Junior Faculty Awardee

Suzie Noronha headshotSuzie Noronha, M.D.

Associate Professor of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology; Director of the pediatric sickle cell program at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Dr. Noronha has dedicated her career to improving the lives of children and young adults with sickle cell disease, helping develop a collaborative program to assist young people with the disease to transition their care to the adult health system. Dr. Noronha is also the co-founder of The Roc-City Sicklers and serves as their medical advisor.

Dr. Noronha’s primary partner in her work with Rochester’s sickle cell community is The Roc-City Sicklers.

Staff Awardee

Kelly McDermott headshotKelly McDermott, M.S.

Community Liaison for The Hoekelman Center at Golisano Children’s Hospital

Kelly McDermott plays an integral role in pediatric resident physicians’ Community health and Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track. She collaborates with a variety of community-based organizations, connecting them with residents for new project partnerships. Kelly helped develop a new function of the Center that will turn more CARE projects into sustainable programs for the Greater Rochester community.

Kelly’s community partners include the Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County, Cameron Community Ministries and the Maplewood Family YMCA.

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Past Events

The 12th annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards were held virtually in 2021. Eugenia C. South, M.D., M.S.P.H., physician at Penn Medicine and assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, presented "Making Black Lives Matter through Investment in Black Neighborhoods."

The 2021 award recipients were:

Senior Faculty Awardees (awarded jointly)

Laura Jean Shipley headshotLaura Jean Shipley, M.D., FAAPprofessor of Clinical Pediatrics and vice chair for Population and Behavioral Health in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She is also the Associate Medical Director for Maternal Child Health at Accountable Health Partners

Jeffrey Kaczorowski headshotJeffrey Kaczorowski, M.D., FAAPprofessor and vice chair for Community and Government Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Junior Faculty Awardee

Angela BrAngela Brancheanche, M.D.assistant professor at the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and the co-director of the NIH-funded UR Vaccine Treatment and Evaluation Unit.


Watch the keynote presentation and award ceremony.

Past Recipients 

See a full list of former Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement awardees.

Questions: If you have any questions, please contact us at or call the Center for Community Health & Prevention at (585) 602-0801.