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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. Our program received its original accreditation on 2/1/1937 making us over 80 years young! 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 chairmanships 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.

In 2009, Golisano Children's Hospital at University Hospital opened its doors under the chairmanship of Dr. Thomas Welch.  This new facility consolidated in one setting all inpatient services for children in CNY and now provides an ideal site for medical education. Dr. Ann Botash became our interim chair in 2018 after Dr. Welch retired.

The Present

Dr. Gregory Connors

 Gregory P. Conners, MD, MPH, MBA
Chair, Department of Pediatrics

Our current Chair, Dr. Gregory Conners, joined us in 2019.  His professional interests include the clinical practice of pediatric emergency medicine, as well as pediatric leadership, faculty development, and quality improvement as scholarship. He has experience with helping strong clinicians use their clinical interest and expertise to generate scholarship.

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 beautiful state-of-the-art children's hospital.