Dyson Day Lecture to Address Child Poverty, Links to Health Care

Feb. 24, 2015

Half of Rochester’s children — more than 25,000 boys and girls under the age of 18 — live in poverty, but Edward J. Doherty thinks that health care providers can help.

Doherty, former Vice President for Community Programs at the Rochester Area Community Foundation (RACF) and author of a series of special reports on the area’s poverty issues, will speak at the Fifteenth Annual Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Forum at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, in the Class of ’62 Auditorium at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The Dyson Day lecture, hosted by the Hoekelman Center, will explore Doherty’s recent reports for RACF. The first, published in 2013, detailed the levels of highly concentrated poverty in the Rochester area, and revealed the city to be the fifth poorest in the country. A second report, published earlier this year, followed up on those findings and further explored the level of extreme poverty and child poverty in the city, while benchmarking Rochester against cities with similar demographics.

“Rochester’s extreme levels of poverty are issues that everyone who lives or works here should care about,” said Andrew Aligne, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at UR Medicine’s Golisano Children’s Hospital and executive director of the Hoekelman Center. “Poverty in childhood is one of the major determinants of disease throughout the lifespan. This is everyone’s problem, and we’re doing our part to make sure it’s something that physicians are fully aware of.”

Doherty will present highlights from the reports, providing perspective on how Rochesterians can help break the vicious cycle of poverty and illness.

Mark Hare, a former columnist for the Democrat & Chronicle who wrote extensively about income inequality in the Rochester area and beyond, will introduce Doherty at the lecture. After the lecture, from 9 to 11 a.m., residents from the Child Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track, along with Hoekelman Center faculty and staff, will present their community projects in a poster section in the Flaum Atrium.

Both events are free and open to the public. The Class of ’62 Auditorium and Flaum Atrium are on the Medical Center’s ground floor, near the entrance to the School of Medicine and Dentistry. For more information, call (585) 273-3737.