Dyson Day Examines Link between Education and Health of Children

Mar. 6, 2011
William Cala, former Fairport schools superintendent to be featured speaker

The 11th annual Anne E. Dyson Memorial Grand Rounds on Wednesday, March 9, will feature outspoken educator, William Cala, Ed.D., former interim superintendent of the Rochester City School District (RCSD) and former superintendent of Fairport schools. The often-controversial children’s advocate founded Joining Hearts and Hands, Ltd., which rebuilds schools and provides scholarships for secondary school students in villages in the Lake Victoria area of Kisumu, Kenya. But what makes Cala controversial is his stance on the obligation of every resident of Monroe County to improve the lives of the county’s poorest and most at-risk children.

“My vision for Rochester is for us as a community to think about rescuing our children. Saving our children will rescue the Rochester city schools,” Cala said in a speech to Metro Justice last year. “This cannot be done without putting children at the center of our efforts. The RCSD cannot do this alone. This absolutely must be an effort of everyone in the community.”

Cala will address the issues he sees within the city schools during his 8 a.m. Grand Rounds at the University of Rochester Medical Center, titled, “What does education have to do with the health of children: Creating school environments that foster healthy development and successful life trajectories for children.”

Following Grand Rounds in the Class of ’62 Auditorium will be an informal reception and brunch with residents, Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC) faculty and staff and other community leaders. Residents from the Child Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track will present their community projects as part of the poster session during the reception.

The PLC Program was founded in 1996 as a resident education program in community health and child advocacy. Each academic year, pediatric, medicine-pediatric, family medicine residents and nurse practitioner students participate in a two-week community-based rotation. During this rotation, residents and students learn first-hand about critical community factors affecting child health, while interacting with medical and non-medical providers at more than 50 community-based organizations (CBOs) to provide health care and education for under-served children and families in Rochester. The rotation serves as a connection between the residents/students and the community they serve.

In 2000, the PLC Program and Golisano Children's Hospital were awarded a grant from the national Dyson Foundation which allowed the program to expand resident education to include the CARE Track. The CARE Track has facilitated additional partnerships between second and third year residents and the community, developing critical skills for residents while also benefiting children in Rochester as each resident works on a two-year longitudinal project.