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Pediatrics / Welcome to the Department of Pediatrics / History of the Department

History of the Department


University of Rochester founded


School of Medicine and Dentistry founded as the first medical school whose curriculum was developed utilizing the principles recommended by the 1912 Flexner Report on Medical Education. Dr. Samuel W. Clausen (Johns Hopkins), well known for his research on vitamin A metabolism, appointed as the first Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.


Strong Memorial Hospital opens with one full-time faculty member (Dr. Clausen) and three pediatric house officers; Dr. William L. Bradford was the first Chief Resident in Pediatrics.


Dr. William L. Bradford (Washington University) later became the Department's second Chair. He made important contributions to our knowledge of the causes and treatment of pertussis.


Dr. Robert J. Haggerty (Cornell) became the third Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Haggerty had been at Boston's Children Hospital. He is known for his contributions to community health care, the recognition of the new morbidities in children and their families, and the institution of health services research in pediatric practice.


The new Strong Memorial Hospital opens.


Dr. David H. Smith (Rochester) became the fourth Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and returned to Rochester from Boston's Children's Hospital. His research led to the development of the Hemophilus influenzae, type b, vaccine, which has virtually eradicated the morbidity related to infections caused by this organism.


Dr. Robert A. Hoekelman (Columbia) became the fifth Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. A general pediatrician who practiced 12 years before joining the full-time faculty, he founded the Department's Division of General Pediatrics and its General Pediatrics Academic Fellowship Training Program.


The Strong Children's Research Center was established to bring together all University of Rochester faculty engaged in research directed to the causes, prevention and treatment of diseases of infants, children and adolescents to collaborate in their research and in the training of future physician scientists.


Dr. Elizabeth R. McAnarney (Syracuse) became the sixth Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. She directed the Department's Division of Adolescent Medicine for twenty years and established patient care and research programs directed to adolescent pregnancies and their outcomes.


The Children's and Adolescent Ambulatory Health Care Center opens in the Strong Memorial Hospital's $83 million Ambulatory Care Facility; the Pediatric Service at Strong Memorial Hospital becomes Golisano Children's Hospital (a children's hospital within a hospital).


Strong Children's Hospital is named Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong in honor of B. Thomas Golisano, local entrepreneur and philanthropist, who donates $14 million to the children's hospital. Mr. Golisano is founder, chairman, president, and CEO of Paychex, Inc. His donation is the single-largest gift given to the University by a living donor.


There are 49 categorical pediatrics residents, 30 medicine/pediatrics residents, and 38 pediatric subspecialty fellows in training. The faculty consists of 127 M.D.s, Ph.D.s, or M.D./Ph.D.s with primary appointments in the Department of Pediatrics, and 111 physicians from other departments with secondary appointments. The Department remains in the top 20 nationwide for National Institutes of Health funding for department of pediatrics and was named one of America's top pediatric hospitals for 2003 by U.S. News and World Reports.

Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong has embarked on a multi-million dollar 5-year strategic plan to enhance all aspects of our academic programs: faculty recruitment, and renovation of clinical, research, and teaching space. We shall recruit 20 new pediatric faculty, build a 22-bed Pediatric Intensive Care Unit/Cardiac Care Unit and a state-of-the-art Surgical Suite; we are, also, renovating all inpatient floors and will be expanding our ambulatory space. Research enhancements include centers of excellence in several areas: neonatal and pulmonary biology; genetics, cardiovascular disease; infectious diseases and vaccine biology; and child health services research.


Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., became the seventh Chair of the Department of Pediatrics. She is nationally recognized for her research on neuroblastoma (the most common tumor of the nervous system in children), and degenerative disease and oxygen radical damage in the nervous system. Dr. Schor was recruited from the University of Pittsburgh where she held the Carol Ann Craumer Endowed Chair for Pediatric Research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Chief of the Division of Child Neurology, Director of the Pediatric Center for Neuroscience, and Associate Dean for Medical Student Research at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Priorities for the future include updating of the clinical facility with co-location of pediatric services across departments, enhancement of the research base of the department, launching of several new fellowship programs, and programmatic growth of the department in the areas of developmental lung disease, pediatric neuromedicine, congenital heart disease, and childhood obesity, eating disorders, and nutrition.