November 6, 2019

Thriving Forward Podcast

In each episode we will speak with people involved in good works and projects in the Greater Rochester Area. We hope that by introducing you to these inspirational people and their stories, that you will be motivated to learn more about these amazing organizations in our region and the fabulous people who keep them working.


Megan Callanan Lasaponara, MD is a Pediatrician at English Road Pediatrics in Greece, NY and the Founder and Executive Director of Kids Thrive 585, Inc.

Sarah Collins-McGowan, MD is a Pediatrician at Genesee Pediatrics and the Associate Director of Pediatrics Links with the Community at the Hoekelman Center.

Episode 1

In this episode, Sarah interviews Megan about Kids Thrive 585, Inc.

Episode 2

In this episode Megan interviews Mary Tiballi Hoffman the Development Manager for Blackfriars Theatre as they head into their 70th season of bringing local theatre to the Rochester area!

Episode 3

In this episode Megan Interviews Dr. Andy Aligne from the Hoekelman Center at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

  • Website:
  • Phone: (585) 273-3737
  • Fax: (585) 276-2566
  • Address: 601 Elmwood Ave, Box 777, Rochester, NY 14642

Episode 4

In this episode Sarah interviews Dr. Andrew Sherman, a local Pediatrician and Co-President of Net Life. A non-profit that works to prevent Malaria in Africa by working to address the barriers that exist to using mosquito nets.

  • Website:
  • Email:

Episode 5

In this episode Sarah interviews Dirk Hightower from The Children’s Institute. A. Dirk Hightower, Ph.D. is a Senior Associate at Children’s Institute. The mission of Children’s Institute is to equip and support those who work with children to ensure the success of every child.

Episode 6

In this episode Megan interviews Grandmaster Sung Kim of Master Kim’s Tae Kwon Do Institute. This local martial arts studio makes it part of its mission to do community service projects to give back to people in our area!

  • Website:

Episode 7

In this episode Sarah talks with Rebecca Russo, a supervising attorney at Legal Assistance of Western NY (LawNY), about the medical legal partnership model, where doctors and lawyers work together to help patients.

  • Website:

Episode 8

In this episode Megan speaks with Dr. David Topa, a local pediatrician and child advocate. He has helped to fund raise for multiple local organizations and often partners with the Children’s Agenda on causes he is passionate about.


Episode 9

In this episode Sarah interviews Alice McAdam, the Program Manager of the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program at Hillside Children’s Center. They are joined by Vanessa Lespier and Nicole Pope, two parents who are enrolled in the program.

  • To learn more about Hillside’s Parents as Teachers Program, you can contact Alice at: 585-436-0370, ext. 308

Episode 10

In this episode Megan interviews Shawn Brown, the Program Director for Teen Empowerment of Rochester. The mission of Teen Empowerment is to: employ, train, and empower youth to create peace, equity, and justice, in collaboration with adults.

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