The fourth annual Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards were presented Monday by the University of Rochester Medical Center in the Class of ’62 Auditorium.
The awards are named in honor of the 16th Surgeon General of the United States, who completed his medical residency at URMC in 1972 and received an honorary degree from the University in 1995. Satcher went on to become a leading voice in the field of public health and has dedicated his career to improving public health policy.
The annual grand rounds address was delivered by Denise Rodgers, M.D., interim president of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Her talk, titled "Old Wives' Tales and Evidence: Improving Health Literacy in our Communities," preceded the awards ceremony.
The community health improvement awards distinguish individuals who have made significant contributions to community health in the greater Rochester region through research, education, clinical services and outreach efforts. The awards reflect URMC’s mission to continue to develop and expand university-community partnerships that support participatory research and interventions that reduce health inequalities and improve the community’s health.
The Dr. David Satcher Community Health Improvement Awards recipients for 2013:
- Yeates Conwell, M.D., who has been with the URMC Department of Psychiatry since 1985 and currently is professor and vice chair. He has devoted his career to addressing the challenges associated with aging and old age. For more than 12 years, he has worked in close partnership with Lifespan and the Catholic Family Center to serve the elderly in our region who are largely low income, with large percentages of African Americans living in poverty. Another partner in this work is Eldersource, a collaboration between Lifespan and the Catholic Family Center that serves as the single point of entry into the region’s aging services network. Known as the Senior Health and Research Alliance (SHARE), this partnership has helped transform how mental health care and services for the elderly are delivered in the Greater Rochester area.
Conwell has also been a dedicated mentor to early career faculty, working closely with and encouraging them to engage in this important body of work in concert with the community. Many gifted junior faculty have joined the partnership and developed, for example, the PEARLS program, a national evidence-based community treatment program for depression for older adults, and also assisted in the development of an elder abuse assessment tool.
- C. Andrew Aligne, M.D., M.P.H., a clinical assistant professor in the URMC Department of Pediatrics and the director of the Community-health and Advocacy Resident Education (CARE) Track. He is an expert in community health education and serves as the editor of the “Pediatrics in the Community” section of Pediatrics in Review, the official educational journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Aligne developed and has directed the CARE Track curriculum since it started in 2001, and has served as a mentor to the majority of the 100 residents who have completed CARE longitudinal community-based experiences. He has developed long-term, meaningful relationships with multiple community agencies, including neighborhood associations, regional coalitions, schools, and numerous agencies such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and Family Resource Centers. At the core of all resident projects is a desire to be of service and to seek out evidence-based strategies to help address a community need. Priority areas for projects have addressed such topics as teen pregnancy, obesity prevention, high school dropout prevention, assessing progress in reducing health disparities, and improving health literacy to increase parent confidence and decrease unnecessary emergency room utilization.