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How a new pediatric urgent care is expected to address the mental health needs of local youth

Four smiling people wearing headphones sit at a table in a radio talk studio: A woman front left has shoulder-length dirty blonde hair and is wearing glasses and a grey top; a woman front right has short dark curly hair and is wearing glasses and a black and white striped dress; a man back left has short brown hair, a brown beard and mustache, and is wearing glasses and a blue polo shirt; a woman front right has long brown hair and is wearing a blue floral blouse and light blue sweater
Evan Dawson
(foreground) Kelly Spahr, Linda Alpert-Gillis, (background) Michael Scharf, and McKenzie Smallcomb on "Connections"

Beginning this summer, families in upstate New York will have access to a pediatric urgent care center focused on mental health.

Brighter Days Pediatric Urgent Care opens in mid-July as the first of its kind in the region. The clinic is available to young people up to the age of 18, with no appointment required. The center also has access to a vehicle designated for children who do not have reliable transportation, but need care at the clinic.

This hour, we’re joined by medical professionals and mental health advocates to discuss the new center, what it will offer, and the impact it’s expected to have on serving the mental health needs of young people in the region. Our guests:

  • Michael Scharf, M.D., Mark and Maureen Davitt Distinguished Professor in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Linda Alpert-Gillis, Ph.D., director of UR Medicine: Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Outpatient Services and the Laboratory of Innovation in Child Mental Health Care Delivery
  • McKenzie Smallcomb, LMHC, clinical coordinator at Brighter Days Pediatric Urgent Care
  • Rev. Kelly Spahr, mental health advocate
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.