Patient Care

Residents Compete in Apprentice-Style Public Service Project

Aug. 5, 2009
Future Pediatricians Learn to be Child Advocates with Boys & Girls Club
When future doctors learn how to care for children at Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center, they don’t just learn about ear infections, asthma and broken bones. They learn how to advocate for children’s needs in the community. 


“We have a long tradition of what we call ‘community pediatrics’ in Rochester. Pediatricians realized that they couldn’t help children live healthy lives by treating them only in exam rooms. They needed to collaborate with the community outside the hospital and practice walls to make the most difference for children,” said Andrew Aligne, M.D., assistant professor of Pediatrics and co-director of the Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC) Program, which gives the residents hands-on experience with collaborating with community agencies.

All pediatric residents at Golisano Children’s Hospital participate in the PLC experience, working for a two-week community-based rotation early in their training. They work with a variety of providers at more than 30 different community sites to provide health care and education and to learn how to best help underserved children and families. Some of these residents opt for advanced leadership training in community health by participating in the Child Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track, which begins with an intensive two-week community-based rotation.

More than a dozen residents in the middle of their two-week rotation were surprised with an Apprentice-style challenge on Aug. 7: Make a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) for the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester. They met with Dwayne Mahoney, executive director of the club, and learned from him what he wanted in a PSA. Then, they went out into the community with hand-held video cameras to make it happen within a few hours. The next day, Monroe County District Attorney Michael Green, a long-time supporter of programs like Boys & Girls Club, helped to judge this friendly competition.

One video was aimed at recruiting more teenagers to get involved in the club, and the other promoted the annual garage sale, both for donations and attendence. Both hit the mark very well, according to Green and Shawn Brown of the Boys & Girls Club. Both teams won and earned the Boys & Girls Club donations in their honor.

"There are no losers when you're helping the community," Brown said.


The mission of the Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC) Program is to improve the health and well-being of children in the Rochester community through collaborative efforts among pediatricians, community leaders, and pediatric trainees with all activities dedicated to service, child advocacy, and related evaluation. The program is helping create a model of pediatrics in which pediatricians work with community-based organizations to assure the health of all children and advocate for their needs.