Our History

Dr. Julius B. Richmond

Dr. Julius B. Richmond, a pediatrician whose work on cognitive development in poor children led to his being the first national director of Project Head Start.

The Department of Pediatrics has had a long- standing commitment to medical education and residency training. The first full time Chair of the Department, Dr. Julius B Richmond, recruited an outstanding faculty during the years of his tenure (from 1953 to 1970). Early emphasis was on learning about the care of children in the context of their developmental level.

Subspecialty training was enhanced during the tenure of Dr. Frank Oski (from 1972 to 1984) with the recruitment of Pediatric specialists in Hematology, Pulmonary Disease, Infectious Diseases, and Neonatology. A dedicated Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was built during this period which serves as the only such unit in the entire region.

Continued expansion of the department took place in the subsequent decade under the chairmanship of Drs. Warren Grupe and Howard Weinberger with continued emphasis on ensuring that our residents have the best possible training in General Pediatrics, regardless of their future plans. Initial discussions took place in the community to develop a Children's Hospital during that period.

The Present

Thomas Welch, MD

Thomas Welch, MD
Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Our current Chair, Dr. Tom Welch, has been instrumental in developing outreach subspecialty clinical services in a number of settings in CNY. He has taken the lead in overseeing the development of the Golisano Children's Hospital at University Hospital, which will open in early 2009. This new facility will consolidate in one setting all inpatient services for children in CNY and will provide an ideal site for medical education.

There have been many changes in technology and medicine since 1871 when six staff members treated over 200 children. But what has not changed is our commitment to caring for sick and injured children, our excellence in teaching and research, and our continual advocacy for resident education. Our rich history can be seen in the wisdom and passion of our staff and practitioners, in the eagerness and camaraderie of our residents, and in the community involvement of the vertical expansion of our new children's hospital.