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Ms. Barbara A. Simms

Barbara A. SimmsBarbara Simms has devoted her career to educating children and serving the community. After teaching remedial reading at an elementary school in Rochester for three decades, she retired and began a new line of work as a standardized patient for the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her invaluable service in this role has helped numerous medical students hone their diagnostic skills and improve their interpersonal relationship with patients. It also has been rewarding for Ms. Simms, who wanted to further expand her support of medical students. In 2009, she established a substantial endowed scholarship that will provide financial support for medical students at the School.

Ms. Simms earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Arizona. She returned to her hometown of Rochester to join the Penfield Central School District where she served as the reading specialist at Indian Landing School. Over the course of her 32-year career, she helped hundreds of children overcome their challenges and learn to read and flourish as students.

Since her retirement in 2004, her passion for education has remained strong and she has become a generous supporter of the School of Medicine and Dentistry. For the past four years, she has played the role of a patient presenting to physicians-in-training, helping them sharpen their diagnostic abilities. Through her service, Ms. Simms helps enhance medical students’ skills in the areas of interviewing, history taking, diagnosing, performing physical exams, and counseling.

Her deep respect for the medical training process led Ms. Simms to become a devoted advocate and philanthropist for the School of Medicine and Dentistry. Her generous commitment to establish the Barbara A. Simms Endowed Scholarship is based on the premise that “helping one doctor could affect thousands of people and their health.” Today she remains actively involved in the Rochester community, supporting a variety of programs at the School of Medicine and Dentistry, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, and the University. A member of the George Eastman Circle, the University’s leadership annual giving society, she also has provided invaluable counsel to the University as it prepared for its comprehensive campaign.

Ms. Simms enjoys gardening and traveling and keeps fit playing tennis and skiing. She resides in Fairport, New York.