The second annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards will be presented by the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Center for Community Health at 5:45 p.m. tonight (Monday, March 21) in the Class of ’62 Auditorium.
In their second year, the community health improvement awards distinguish individuals who have made significant contributions to community health in the greater Rochester region through research, education, clinical services and outreach efforts. The awards reflect URMC’s mission to continue to develop and expand university-community partnerships that support participatory research and interventions that reduce health disparities and improve the community’s health.
The awards are named in honor of the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, who completed his residency at URMC in the 1970s. Satcher has gone on to become a leading voice in the field of public health and has dedicated his career to improving public health policy.
“We are extremely proud to count those recognized with the 2011 awards as partners in our quest to make our community one of the healthiest in the nation,” said Nancy M. Bennett, M.D., director of the Center for Community Health. “Their commitment to Rochester’s health, and their limitless energy to work hand-in-hand with community allies who share that same vision, will continue to make a difference, increasing community services and community-based research to improve health one person, one program, and one policy at a time.”
“The individuals and partners honored this year are shining examples of the spirit of academic and community collaboration,” said Bradford C. Berk, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center. “We are pleased to recognize the work that has made such a significant impact on our region.”
The Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards recipients for 2011:
- Moira Szilagyi, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Pediatrics at URMC and medical director of Starlight Pediatrics, is recognized statewide and nationally for more than 20 years serving Monroe County’s children in foster care and pioneering the concept of advanced medical home that has become a model of foster care for the nation. Szilagyi’s primary partners are the Monroe County Department of Health and Human Services, and she has collaborated with biological and foster parents, caseworkers, lawyers, judges, schools, pediatric specialists, therapists and developmental experts to provide care for children in the foster care system. She founded REACH, a program to secure necessary care and protection for children who may be victims of physical or sexual abuse. She was influential in building a state-of-the-art facility for children in foster care that co-locates Starlight Pediatrics, the Visitation Center for children requiring supervised visits, Behavioral Health, and other key providers under one roof. In 2009, Szilagyi obtained a $3.5 million grant from New York state to fund the building and a $1.3 million translational grant from the CDC to bring evidence-based clinical, mental health, and parenting services under one roof. Due to Szilagyi’s commitment, health costs are lower and health outcomes for children in foster care in Monroe County are measurably better than elsewhere.
- Stephen Cook, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of Pediatrics at URMC, is recognized for his tireless work in childhood obesity prevention, working with multiple community partners: Healthi Kids led by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency, YMCA of Greater Rochester, American Heart Association, WXXI, the Children’s Institute and Rochester Childfirst Network. Cook was instrumental in designing the Healthi Kids initiative and its policy change agenda to reverse childhood obesity in Monroe County, focusing on better school food, safer neighborhood play areas, improved food standards at child care centers, and increasing physical activity in schools, with the notable success of substantial improvement in nutrition quality of school meals in the Rochester City School District. His Greater Rochester Obesity Collaborative has become a model of practice improvement for pediatric providers in the delivery of nutrition and healthy lifestyle behaviors for children and adolescents and by engaging pediatricians to serve as champions in their own practices. He advances obesity prevention on the state and national stage as chairman of the Childhood Obesity Committee for the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, serves on state and national committees of the American Heart Association and the National Advocacy Task Force of the Obesity Society.
- Karen Knauf, B.S., program coordinator for the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Rochester, has worked for URMC for 25 years in Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, focusing on community outreach and education. Since 2004, she has directed the Injury Free Coalition, establishing connections with community partners such as school districts, fire and police departments to help reduce the incidence and severity of injury for the children of Rochester. Knauf has coordinated a number of projects over the years, including the community building of playgrounds in Maplewood Park and in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood, where the incidence of pediatric pedestrian injury was high. She has also worked closely with the Rochester Safe Crib and Car Seat Coalition and Habitat for Humanity to visit homes with young children and provide individualized injury prevention information and equipment.
The awards event also features a special grand rounds lecture by the University of Illinois’s Cynthia (Cee) Barnes-Boyd, R.N., M.S.N., Ph.D., one of the most innovative thinkers in the field of community health. Her talk, “Keeping it Real: Creating and Sustaining Authentic University/Community Partnerships,” relayed her unique perspectives on maintaining vibrant university/community interventions to address health needs, disparities and barriers.