They are part of the next generation of leaders in the Buffalo Niagara region, filling top roles in health care, banking, development and manufacturing as the local economy accelerates its transition from the old economy to the new. Some are new to the area, bringing with them an infusion of fresh ideas. Others are natives, with a keen sense of the region's past and its long struggles. Each of these up-and-coming leaders is in a position to help sway the direction of the Buffalo Niagara region. Here is one; click here to see more.
Dr. Stephen Turkovich isn't afraid to speak out when he believes children's health is at stake.
Turkovich, 41, has enough to do as vice president and chief medical officer of Oishei Children's Hospital, where he was deeply engaged in planning the hospital's move from its Bryant Street home.
But he's also pushed for stricter gun control and urged parents to vaccinate their children, and he's passionate about improving health care for all children.
The Southtowns native studied at the University at Buffalo, focusing on pediatrics because he wanted to advocate for his young patients.
He started at the old Children's Hospital in 2006. After the ambulance bay door closed on the final patient in 2017, he joined staff in a solemn farewell.
Turkovich said the new facility has an infectious energy, but his concerns about care aren't limited to the hospital's four walls.
He wants to address the poverty that underlies his patients' health problems. He emphasizes the safety of childhood vaccines. And he warns about unsafe sleep situations.
He gets emotional, however, when he talks about the toll of gun violence on patients.
"Children, in general, are fortunately very healthy," Turkovich said. "Our job is to protect them and keep them safe."