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The Hoekelman Center was named in honor of Dr. Robert A. Hoekelman, former Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics in Rochester, who was the principal mentor and early benefactor of the PLC program. 

“Dr. H” was the senior mentor for Pediatric Links with the Community (PLC) and Community Health and Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) since their inceptions. As a primary care pediatrician and then as an academician, Dr. Hoekelman was always aware that improving the health of children meant going beyond the walls of the doctor’s office and the hospital. As he wrote, “There is much to learn and much to do to make the world a better place to be, particularly for the underprivileged and the medically underserved among us.”

This vision builds on the work of a previous Chairman, Dr. Robert Haggerty, who coined the term “community pediatrics” in the 1960s to refer to the care of all children in the community, not just those seeking medical care.

For decades it's been clear that there is more work to be done at the community level to improve the health of children and that this is part of the professional identity of pediatricians. The Hoekelman Center is dedicated to training physicians to participate effectively in activities that improve the health of children in our community.