Gala Celebrates 25 Years by Looking Back at the Story of Golisano Children’s Hospital

The story of Golisano Children’s Hospital and our new building is a long one, one that starts almost a hundred years ago and one that will be celebrated at the 25th annual Children’s Hospital Gala Saturday, Oct. 20.

Once upon a time, before there were plans to build a new children’s hospital and before the name Golisano Children’s Hospital even existed, there were two wonderful doctors, Samuel W. Clausen, M.D., and William Bradford, M.D. Together, they led the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) for 38 years.

Then, in 1964, a very special man named Robert J. Haggerty, M.D., took on the role as chair of the Department. Haggerty knew some of the talented community pediatricians, and he had a far-reaching vision: What if pediatric researchers in the hospital joined forces with pediatricians in community offices to better serve kids? What if we expanded upon the idea of one network of care, so that every Rochester-area pediatrician held a title in URMC’s Department of Pediatrics? And that’s exactly what he did.

Haggerty established the unique collaborative system we continue to value today. Then he turned the reins over to David H. Smith, M.D., in 1976. Smith, like his predecessor, believed in the power of research. Smith and his team helped develop the vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae, type B, or the HiB vaccine, as it’s more commonly known. Smith’s legacy lives on, though he has sadly passed, and the vaccine he worked so hard to create continues to save lives of countless children all over the world.

Then came Robert A. Hoekelman, M.D., in 1983. Hoekelman, like Haggerty before him, recognized the critical importance of community pediatrics. He had served as a general pediatrician for 12 years before joining the faculty full-time, and devised a way to help children in the community, from within the walls of our esteemed institution he was part of. Hoekelman began the Department’s Division of General Pediatrics, which continues to serve many inner-city and lower-income families with the high quality of medical care they deserve.

Elizabeth R. McAnarney, M.D., became the first female chair of the Department of Pediatrics in 1993. In her 20 years before becoming chair, McAnarney had directed the Department’s Division of Adolescent Medicine. There, she created several programs to meet the needs of teenagers, who face many challenges as not-quite-children, but not-quite-adults. McAnarney was chair of the Department when B. Thomas Golisano made his $14 million gift to name the hospital in 2002, and it was her commitment to kids that helped usher in a new era for the hospital.

Nina F. Schor, M.D., Ph.D., has led Golisano Children’s Hospital with a commitment to build a brand new Golisano Children’s Hospital and a drive to make the Department of Pediatrics ever better. Since her arrival in 2006, Golisano Children’s Hospital has increasingly gained national recognition, ranking in four pediatric programs for U.S. News & World Report in 2012.

This year’s Gala, set for Saturday, Oct. 20, will celebrate its 25th year by looking back on its long and proud history of pediatric medical care. Many of the former chairs and their families will join us in celebrating the exciting road that lies ahead. The story book-themed Gala will take place at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, with the cocktail hour at 6 p.m. and dinner served at 8 p.m.

Opportunities abound for helping the hospital at the Gala, by participating in the live and silent auctions and perusing the hospital’s wish list items. For registration, volunteer and sponsorship information on the Gala, please call (585) 273-5948.

We all want a story book ending. With your help, we can make those dreams come true.

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2 Responses to Gala Celebrates 25 Years by Looking Back at the Story of Golisano Children’s Hospital

  1. I would love to volunteer for this event. I am willing and able to do whatever is needed, please contact me VIA e-mail or my phone 585-266-4751. My daughter Harley DeFrain spent 18mos on 414 battling Osteosarcoma (Bone Cancer ) and thanks to alll the wonderful people at Gollisano Chuldren’s Hospital we are happy (Elated) to say she is 1 year cancer Free!!!! And she is attending MCC studying to be a social worker and working at Victoria Secret in Eastview Mall and Drves. So I”d like to give back by helping.
    Thank You
    Cheryl DeFrain

    • Golisano Childrens Hospital says:

      Hi, Cheryl,

      Sorry for the delay in responding! Thank you for sharing your connection, and we’re so glad your daughter is doing well.

      We’ll send you some information on volunteering to your email address. It’s a really fun event!

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