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Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 275-2972

Fax: (585) 461-3614

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments


Dr. Lawrence's major medical practice focuses on Neonatology and Clinical Toxicology.

Professional Background

Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, FAAP, FAACT
Dr. Ruth A. Lawrence, MD, is a graduate of Antioch College and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, is a pediatrician, clinical toxicologist, and neonatologist. She is Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Medical Director of the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center.

She became the Director of the Poison Center at the University of Rochester in 1958 following its founding as the second center in the country in 1954 at the request of the New York State Health Department. Dr. Charles Lobeck was the first director. It was the first center to answer calls from the public. It closed in 2010 due to budget cuts by the Gov. David Patterson.

In the 1960's, with Dr. Robert J. Haggerty, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and former Director of the Boston Poison Center, she wrote on the management of household poisonings. Plants and herbs are Dr. Lawrence's special interest in toxicology as well as questions of medications during pregnancy and lactation.

Dr. Lawrence has served on a number of American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) committees including the original committee to establish certifying guidelines for centers. She served on the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology for three terms and was Chair of the Committee on Fellowship during that time.

When the New York State Department of Health established its consulting committee for poison services, she served as its first chair. She has been a member of the New York State Association of Poison Centers since its founding and has served as its President twice.

Dr. Lawrence received the Life Time Achievement Award from the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology in September 2002.


Ruth A. Lawrence's focus in neonatal care has been nutrition. Recently that interest has been predominantly in human milk and breastfeeding. Since human lactation has suffered from considerable neglect, a textbook, "Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession" now in its 8th Edition (2015) has consumed considerable time in researching the current literature and creating a computerized database and developing consensus.
Dr. Lawrence has also been involved in efforts to provide human milk for prematures. A product has been produced exclusively from human milk to be used to supplement a mother's own milk who is feeding a premature. The product was developed in consultation with Dr. Lawrence by Prolacta Bioscience, a human milk bank. The study will be funded by Prolacta. A blinded, randomized study of the supplement will test its impact on the growth of the prematures as well as the incidence of infections compared to breastfeeding prematures who are supplemented with a bovine product.



MD | University of Rochester School of Medicine/Dentistry

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1956 - 05/30/1958
Residency in Pediatrics at University of Rochester Medical Center

08/01/1950 - 11/30/1951
Residency in Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital Temple Medical Center

07/01/1949 - 06/30/1950
Internship in Pediatrics at Yale New Haven Hospital Temple Medical Center

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Recipient of Susan B. Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award, given by Susan B. Anthony Center, Rochester, New York, January 26, 201

Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award, given by University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, May 9, 2018

Recipient of First Award of Recognition by Speech Cradle, LLC, Albany, New York, November 14, 2017

Grand Opening/Dedication of Ruth A. Lawrence, MD Lactation Room, Women's Health Practice, 125 Lattimore Road, Rochester, New Yor

Recipient of First Ruth A. Lawrence, MD "Investigator Award" given by ICHMSI in recognition of lifelong contribution to the fiel

Recipient, Northumberland Trust Chair in Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine

2010 - Present
Lifetime Achievement Award
Sponsor: Recipient, Anthony L. Jordan Recognition
Location: Anthony L. Jordan Health Center

2010 - Present
Distinguished Alumni Award
Sponsor: University of Rochester School of Medicine

Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Rochester School of Medicine

2009 - Present
Doctor of Divinity (Honorary)
Sponsor: St. Bernard's Scool of Theology and Ministry

2009 - Present
Recipient, Dr. Richard Bayley Award
Sponsor: Richmond University Medical Center

2009 - Present
Recipient, Martha May Eliott Award
Sponsor: American Public Health Association

2008 - Present
Athena Award
Sponsor: Women's Council of the Rochester Business Council

2007 - Present
Health Leadership Award

2006 - Present
Life Time Achievement Award (1st)
Sponsor: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

2006 - Present
Perinatal Award
Sponsor: Perinatal Network of Monro County. community Champion

Life Time Achievement Award, Girl Scouts of Genesee Valley

2004 - 2005
Who's Who in Medicine and Health Care, 5th Edition

Honor, Finger Lakes Regional Poison & Drug Information Center renamed to Ruth A. Lawrence Poison and Drug Information Center

Recipient, Leading Breastfeeding National Advocacy Award, Leading Lady

Fellow, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Recipient, The 2003 Healthy Children Lifetime Achievement Award

2002 - 2003
Recipient, America's Top Pediatricians, Consumers' Research Council of America

Life-time Achievement Award, American Academy of Clinical Toxicology

Recipient, Great Minds of the 21st Century

Recipient, Great Minds of the 21st Century

Member, Honorary Committee, Promoting the Best from the Beginning chaired by Mrs. Laura Bush, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies

2001 - 2002
Recipient, Best Doctors List

Recipient, Edward Mott Moore Award, Monroe County Medical Society

Recipient, The Healthy Start Rochester Community Consortium, Community Unity for Healthier Babies Recognition Award
Sponsor: Recipient, The Healthy Start Rochester Community Consortium

Recipient, Edward Mott Moore Award, Monroe County Medical Society

Recipient, Association of American Medical Colleges Humanism in Medicine Award

Recipient, Healthy Children 2000 Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient, The Jordan Health Center Special Recognition Award

Recipient, Second Annual Susan B. Anthony University Center Lifetime Achievement Award

Recipient, Special Recognition Award from Best Start and USDA, presented at the launching of USDA Breastfeeding Campaign
Sponsor: Washington, D.C.

Recipient, Faculty Service Award, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

Recipient, Civic Health Care Award of the Greater Rochester Metro Chamber of Commerce

Recipient: The AACT Recognition Award, The AAPCC Lifetime Achievement Award, The NYSAPCC Recognition Service Award
Sponsor: Presented by AACT, AAPCC, and NYSAPCC

Recipient, La Leche League International Award of Achievement

Committee on the Status of Women, for outstanding leadership, commitment, and the pursuit of excellence
Sponsor: Commendation: University of Rochester

Recipient, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Award for leaders in the community who have made a significant impact on the quality of life

Recipient, Citation for Outstanding Service, 75th Anniversary of the Health Association

Recipient, George Washington Goler Award presented by the Board of the New York State Public Health Association, Genesee Region

1991 - Present
Honorary Member, Department of Pediatrics, The Genesee Hospital

Recipient, Albert David Kaiser Medal presented by the Rochester Academy of Medicine

Rochester Diocesan Award for Women - St. Bernard's Institute

Career Achievement Award - Girl Scouts of the Genesee Valley

Citation for Civic Contribution - Rochester Safety Council

William Keeler Award for Safety - Rochester Safety Council

1980 - Present
Honorary Fellowship in American Academy of Clinical Toxicology

1979 - Present
Who's Who in America, + Subsequent Editions

Academy of Medicine Citation for Service to the Community

Gold Medal Award: University of Rochester Alumni Association Citation

Hettie Shumway Award for Community Service

1977 - 1978
Faculty Service Award, Department of Pediatrics

1977 - 1978
Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award, Department of Pediatrics

Outstanding Contribution - World's Who's Who of Women

1972 - Present
Who's Who in the East + Subsequent Edition

1970 - Present
Who's Who in Women, 1st Edition + Subsequent Editions

Woman of the Year, Girl Scouts of Monroe County

Honorary Fellowship in American School Health Association

Secretary to Zeta Chapter AOA

Alpha Omega Alpha

National Highest Place-National Board Examination Part II

1947 - 1947
National Highest Place-National Board Examination Part I

1945 - 1949
Buswell Scholarship

Research Fellowship - Jackson Memorial Research Labs Cancer and Genetics

1941 - 1949
Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholarship

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Journal Articles

Dozier AM, Howard CR, Brownell EA, Wissler RN, Glantz JC, Ternullo SR, Thevenet-Morrison KN, Childs CK, Lawrence RA. "Labor epidural anesthesia, obstetric factors and breastfeeding cessation." Maternal and child health journal.. 2013 May; 17(4):689-98.

Brownell E, Howard CR, Lawrence RA, Dozier AM. "Delayed onset lactogenesis II predicts the cessation of any or exclusive breastfeeding." The Journal of pediatrics.. 2012 Oct; 161(4):608-14. Epub 2012 May 09.

Lawrence RA. "Breastfeeding--a public health issue, not just a matter of choice." Breastfeeding medicine : the official journal of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.. 2012 Apr; 7(2):67-8.

Books & Chapters

Book Title: New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding
Author List: Meek JY, YU W, Lawrence RA, et al
Published By: American Academy of Pediatrics, The Random House Publishing Group 2011

Book Title: Breastfeeding: In: Rudolph CD (Ed) 22nd Edition
Author List: Morton J, Lawrence RA.
Published By: Rudolph's Pediatrics 2011

Book Title: Breastfeeding: a guide for the medical professional, Eighth Edition
Author List: Lawrence RA, Lawrence RM.
Published By: C.V. Mosby 2010