Being an active member of your community

KidsThrive585 had the great pleasure to sit down and talk with Marc S. Lavender, M.D., a primary care doctor in the Rochester community. He cares for both kids and adults at East Ridge Family Medicine. Dr. Lavender is a passionate advocate for community health in Rochester and is a mentor for blossoming advocates in the medical field. “Change won’t happen without a voice,” remarked Dr. Lavender. “But even before you add that voice to something, you have to put the time in to listen.”

Dr. Lavender has been lauded for his local good works. During his medical training, he and colleagues partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester to form a unique program, Cyclopedia, aimed at empowering urban adolescents to become engaged with their physical and social environments through bicycling. The program still exists today.

(left to right) Jayarr Steiner, Marc Lavender, Shawn Brown

(left to right) Jayarr Steiner, Marc Lavender, Shawn Brown

Being involved in Cyclopedia created the time and space for Dr. Lavender to address community health issues and get his mind thinking about advocacy. He carries his passion into his current clinical practice as he engages with his patients, advocating on their behalf and connecting them with community resources. Patients can sense his excitement. “I think if a physician can be connected to those kind of community resources and can share them in a meaningful way with their patients, then I think through time, it is bound to have some impact. It all gets back to being an active member of your community.”

It is an exciting time to be a Rochesterian with infrastructure changes on the horizon and bicycles and vehicles sharing the roads. Blooming projects, like a grocery store that’s situated between East Avenue and Main Street on the borders of two very different neighborhoods, have the potential to bring – just physically bring – people together.

So, what does the future hold for Dr. Lavender? “My pet project is educational – urban public education – thinking about school and how that plays into community health.” Dr. Lavender, a proponent of urban living, looks forward to seeing an increasing number of people stay, live, and thrive in the City of Rochester.

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