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Highlights & Past Events

Safe Sleep

October is Baby Safe Sleep Month!

From 2007-2019 over 100 babies in Monroe County have died because of unsafe sleep conditions. CARE Residents Meg McLaughlin and Alex Taffany (pictured above) have been working hard with the Baby Safe Sleep Coalition to promote safe sleep in the hospital as well as at home to prevent death in healthy infants. Join us this month to promote and celebrate safe sleep! Follow @babysafesleep on Instagram and Twitter to keep up on the action!

Vaccine Forum

In partnership with the Yates County Public Health Department, CARE Resident, Tyler Stephen helped to coordinate two forums in Penn Yan to discuss vaccines in the Mennonite community.

Pictured from left to right:
Geoffrey Weinberg, M.D., Tyler Stephen, M.D., Elizabeth Murray, M.D., Sara Christensen, R.N., B.S.N.

Vaccine Forum

The 2019 PLC Award Goes to Foodlink!

Foodlink was presented with the 2019 Pediatric Links with the Community Advocacy Award for outstanding teaching and excellence in caring for the children of Rochester. This award is given by the residents in the PLC program each year. Thank you to Foodlink for championing the fight against hunger and poverty and increasing access to fresh and healthy food in the Rochester community!


CARE Block 2019

CARE Block 2019 Group Photo

Thanks to all who made CARE block 2019 such a success! We are excited and energized by all the new project ideas.
Check them out here!

Congratulations Dr. Aligne!

Andrew Aligne, M.D., M.P.H. was presented with the "Ruth A. Lawrence Academic Faculty Service Award in Community Service" in recognition of working tirelessly through advocacy and community-based education to improve the public health of our at-risk populations.

Photo: Andrew Aligne, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Hoekelman Center, with Patrick Brophy, M.D., Chair of the Department of Pediatrics.

Receiving Award, Director of the Hoekelman Center, Dr. Andrew Aligne, with Chair of the Department of Pediatrics Dr. Patrick Brophy.

Jessica Cranch, M.P.H.LARC Initiative in the Rochester Business Journal

Rochester Business Journal RBJ logoJessica Cranch, M.P.H., the Hoekelman Center's Health Project Coordinator for the LARC Initiative was interviewed in the RBJ!
Check out the article here.

Congratulations Dr. Lavender!

Marc Lavender, M.D., FAAP received the Satcher Community Health Improvement Award (Junior Faculty category) for his role as Pediatric Links with the Community Director. Pictured from left to right: former Surgeon General David Satcher, M.D., Marc Lavender, M.D., Jackie Dozier of Trillium Health and Dwayne Mahoney of the Boys and Girls Club are recognized for opening their doors to teach young health professionals about the importance of collaboration in reducing health inequalities and improving our communities’ health.

We'd also like to congratulate the Senior Faculty Awardee Jill S. Halterman, M.D., M.P.H. To learn more about Dr. Lavender's work in the community, check out this video!

2019 Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards

From left: Former Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, Marc Lavender, MD, Jackie Dozier of Trillium Health and Dwayne Mahoney of the Boys and Girls Club.

Dyson Day Speaker Op-Ed in the D&CCarol St. George photo

Dr. Carol St. George was published in the Democrat and Chronicle on Friday March 15th. She writes about her successful program Project READ which shows significantly improved reading levels of participating first grade students from School #33 in Rochester, NY.

Link to Video of Dyson Day 2019Dyson Day on News 8!

Dyson Day was a huge success with over 100 people coming out to learn from Dr. Carol St. George about the importance of literacy and a program in Rochester that is helping kids to read at grade level.
Check out the News 8 coverage here!

LARC in the News!

Check out Dr. Shivani Sockanathan of Highland Family Medicine discussing LARC on 8 WROC-TV!

Dyson Day 2019

The 19th Annual Anne E. Dyson Memorial Grand Rounds and Child Advocacy Forum was on Wednesday March 6th, 2019. Participants heard stories from Carol St. George Director of the literacy teacher education program at the Warner School and her graduate students about a successful program in the Rochester City School District for reading instruction. The Forum focused on understanding what the evidence tells us about the controversial subject of how to teach children to read. The event was followed by a poster session showcasing our young physicians' projects in the community.

Congratulations Jessica Cranch!

LARC Initiative Health Project Coordinator Jessica Cranch received a Master's in Public Health from the University of Rochester. All her hard work and dedication has paid off and we look forward to watching her success in the future!

Rosetta Stone at Literacy Volunteers of Rochester

The Hoekelman Center was proud to represent Dr. Olga Varechtchouk at the ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a new tutor room at Literacy Volunteers of Rochester in partnership with a learning grant from Spectrum. The room, equipped with new work stations and laptops as well as smart technology for instruction, was enhanced by a donation from Dr. Varechtchouk of four laptops installed with Rosetta Stone to strengthen the learner's ability to read and speak English.

Hoekelman Center - Literacy station

New laptops installed with Rosetta Stone Software

Senator Joseph Robach with Kelly McDermott Community Liaison, Hoekelman

Senator Joseph Robach with Kelly McDermott Community Liaison from the Hoekelman Center

Rosa Wims' Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Rosa Wims

The Hoekelman Center was happy to participate in the 33rd annual Mama Rosa's Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner event on Veterans Day. The team accompanied by Dr. Wib Beachy, served over 100 meals donated by Foodlink in the Montgomery Neighborhood Center.

Stay True To You

Stay True to You

"Stay True to You" is a community impact media campaign focused on reducing unintended pregnancy supported by a grant from the Wilson Foundation. For nearly two years, the Hoekelman Center has worked with Causewave Community Partners and a dozen other community partners to inform, design, and test this initiative with the dedicated help of professional advertising experts. For more information visit

Pediatric Links with the Community Award

Boys and Girls Club

Director of Pediatric Links with the Community Dr. Marc Lavender with Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester Dwayne Mahoney

The Hoekelman Center was pleased to present the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester with the 2018 Pediatric Links with the Community Advocacy Award for outstanding teaching and excellence in caring for the children of Rochester. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Rochester provide youth development programs that enable young people to acquire the skills and qualities needed to become responsible citizens and leaders. Thank you for all you do for the community!

Letter to the Editor

Dr. Varechtchouk

Resident Dr. Olga Varechtchouk

CARE Track Resident Dr. Olga Varechtchouk was published in the Democrat and Chronicle on Saturday August 25th. This essay is a personal story illustrating the flaws surrounding "Public Charge" which makes it more difficult for legal immigrants to obtain green cards or citizenship if they require or have ever required public benefits. Read the full article here!

Advocating for Advocacy

Drs. Caroline Kirby, Catherine Glatz, Margaret Connolly and Michelle Cook organized a lecture series to engage more students and residents in advocacy.

  • December 14th, 12:00 p.m. Stan Schaffer on the topic of Lead
Crisis Nursery

Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester with Dr. Catie Glatz, Dr. Michelle Cook and Dr. Caroline Kirby presenting at noon conference.

CARE Resident Presents at the North American Refugee Health Conference

CARE Track resident Dr. Sarah Ventre presented her project at the North American Refugee Health Conference in Portland, Oregon this year. The goal of her project is to increase access to high quality early childhood education among refugee children in Rochester through development of a partnership between local Head Start organizations and refugee resettlement agencies using a national model for this effort from the organization PEACE, Inc. in Syracuse, New York. If you would like to learn more about her project click here!

Dr. Sarah Ventre presenting at The North American Refugee Health Conference

Dr. Sarah Ventre presenting at The North American Refugee Health Conference

Mirror Lake in Portland, Oregon

Mirror Lake in Portland, Oregon

Good News! Verwey to receive a resident national grant award

Dr. Adriana Verwey has been selected to receive a resident national grant award. Her CARE project aligns very well with the goals of the program, which is called: Inclusive Health Grants: Supporting Healthy Weight for Children with Intellectual Disabilities sponsored by the AAP Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight with support from Special Olympics. This is a great win for Dr. Verwey who will be promoting community health by developing an inclusive physical fitness resource map to share with the community and doctors who may be referring patients and families to these resources. Congratulations Dr. Verwey!

Dr. Verwey at poster presentation

Dr. Adriana Verwey

CARE Projects Featured at Local Event

CARE Resident Francis Coyne, M.D. and CARE alumna Megan Lasaponara, M.D. (Director of Kids Thrive 585) presented at Social Determinants of Health: Linking Healthcare to the Community Synergy. They joined speakers from NYC and around Rochester discussing their experiences working to screen patients for non-medical factors that affect health, such as homelessness, unemployment, etc. Understanding how to identify these social determinants of health and how to connect people with effective community resources to help them is of increasing interest for moving toward population health.

Dr. Lasaponara presenting

Megan Lasaponara, M.D., Director of Kids Thrive 585, presenting at local event.

Walkout Organized by CARE Resident

Congratulations to CARE Resident Dr. Alexi Bulloch in organizing the #walkout for the University of Rochester’s students and staff. About 150 people turned out in front of the Golisano Children’s Hospital at URMC despite the wind and snow. They took part in seventeen minutes of silence to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting and support the students across the nation in their efforts. Dr. Bulloch was quoted at length in the Democrat and Chronicle two days in a row! Her main point was that gun violence is a public health issue.

2018 Walkout for Gun Safety - CARE

Walkout for Gun Safety - CARE. 2018 Photo courtesy of Dr. Stephen R. Cook

Congratulations to Jeff Kaczorowski

Congratulations to Jeff Kaczorowski, co-founder of Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC), who will serve as vice-chair of a new state initiative that focuses on improving health and educational outcomes in the first three years of a child's life.

Congratulations Steven Schulz!

WXXI’s Connections with Evan Dawson recently did a show on Geneva 2020, a community-wide initiative aimed at increasing educational success for all of the city’s students. CARE Track alumnus Steven Schulz is mentioned by name at minute 32 with regards to his early child development and literacy-promotion efforts. Success is implementing the PACE screen for Kindergartners as a part of the Geneva 2020 coalition. Congratulations Steven!

Past Events