Thanks for looking us up! Please read below to learn more about who we are and what we do. Feel free to email SHA at StrongHousestaffAssociation@gmail.com with any questions, comments, or concerns!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Welcome! We hope that joining the Strong Housestaff Association (SHA) will be a great way for you (and your family/significant other) to meet residents, fellows, and families from all specialties at URMC. The purpose of SHA is to help build community, friendships, and connections!

SHA has existed since 1995. We are a friendly group of people who support each other as we or our significant others go through residency/fellowship at URMC. Our group includes residents, fellows, teachers, nurses, students, parents and more, from various ages and walks of life.

We host several social events every month. Some are targeted toward exploring the city with each other (coffee nights, baseball games, meet & greets, etc.), and others are geared towards supporting families of residents/fellows (playgroups, visiting museums and parks, etc.). SHA members are also encouraged to build connections with one another to share local recommendations or advice, arrange impromptu meet-ups, and more!

Thanks for looking us up, and we hope to see you soon!

For the most updated events and info, check us out on Facebook!

We have a Facebook page to connect our members with one another and give others an idea of what we are about: https://www.facebook.com/groups/URSHA/. You'll be asked a few simple questions when you request to join, so that we can confirm that you are affiliated with the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

SHA Meet & Greet 2019

Whether you are a current member wanting to get together...

or a prospective member looking to see who we are...

Come join SHA for our 13th annual

Meet & Greet
SUNDAY, AUGUST 11, 2019 from 5:30 - 7:30 PM
Carmen Clark Lodge at Brighton Town Park
777 Westfall Road
 Rochester, NY 14620


Please RSVP by FRIDAY July 26, 2019 with the number of adults/kids attending to

Thursday, January 4, 2018

How to Join SHA

If you would like to become an official member of SHA, we ask that you fill out a simple membership form and pay our annual dues of just $20 (perfect for a resident's salary). For a copy of our membership form please email us at stronghousestaffassociation@gmail.com. We're also happy to let prospective members be part of the group for a month to try it out before officially joining!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


What a great group!  I joined SHA a bit late, after my husband’s intern year, but quickly made friends.  I’ll admit, it was a bit difficult convincing myself to go to that first event, but everyone was so nice and welcoming and it was such a relief to talk with other people who were “experiencing” residency just as I was.  (It may not be easy being a resident but it’s not easy being married to one either!)  It is absolutely wonderful having a group of people who understand the ups and downs of residency and who have time to get out and do things when my husband doesn’t.  My only complaint?  When members graduate – I wish they would stick around!    
--Current SHA Member for almost 2 years

In 2010, my husband, 2 1/2 year-old, and I moved from 1500 miles away to Rochester, a city about which I knew very little and in which we had no family or friends.  The move was exciting, offering us a fresh start and a sense of moving forward in my husband's career, but it was also daunting; the knowledge that he would be away for long hours left me, a stay-at-home mom, uncertain what would occupy our time and even make it meaningful.  Before moving, one of the other resident's wives got in touch with me and told me about SHA.  I immediately joined the facebook group and remember how helpful the members were even before we moved-- they offered warm welcomes, tips on preschools in the area, and advice on where in the Rochester area to move.  As soon as we moved to Rochester, I attended my first playgoup-- a nature walk at Tinker Nature Park.  It was wonderful to meet up with two other residents' wives who were also moms. The conversation was easy and enjoyable, and there was relief at being in the company of individuals who shared my experience.  Having lived in Rochester for almost 2 1/2 years, my network of acquaintances has grown, but SHA is a constant.  I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members year after year-- they are a steady source of support and understanding!  

--Current SHA Member for 2 1/2 years 

I joined SHA immediately after my husband joined residency.  I don't remember being nervous at my first event, which is indicative of the welcoming response you get from day one.  The first couple years I was one of the few members without kids, which was never a big deal!  It just meant I had more flexibility to join in on some of the evening events.  After I had kids, SHA was instrumental in getting me out of the house with play groups and other family events.  All the while, you get the support of those going through the unique beast called residency at the same time as you are.  I liked the group so much that they couldn't get rid of me after my husband entered attending-hood last year!
--Current SHA Member for 5 years

I was sitting on my bed, with my blanket thrown over top of me, shouting at my husband, "I'm not going, and you can't make me!"  I was getting ready for my first SHA event, and to say that I am painfully shy at first is an understatement!  Turns out, it was all over nothing.  Many years later, and the folks we met in SHA are some of our favorite people in life, whether they still live in Rochester or have moved away.  We started off as just a couple of working newlyweds trying to find some people to hang out with, and we got so much more: SHA is a whole community of varied families who understand having to redecorate a new home, make new friends, find a new doctor/dentist/salon/grocery store, navigate a new town, make ends meet on a new budget, and put up with the many demands of residency for both the resident and the partner!  As the years tick on and our circumstances change, the group remains a constant source of understanding, friendship, and support.  Now, I'm one of the folks telling the newbies to come out, not be shy, and give SHA a go.  It'll help you and your partner in more ways than you can imagine or I can write here.  You absolutely won't regret joining!

--Current SHA Member for 4 years

Starting a new life can bring along an overwhelming array of feelings. One can feel excited, nervous, scared, frustrated and so on. These feelings seemed to have escalated for my husband and I knowing that moving will consist not only the two of us, but our newborn baby girl as well. Being a new mom didn't necessarily mean giving up my social life it just meant I have a new friend to bring with me on all my outings. However, moving to a new place where we didn't know anyone else also meant our social life was non-existent. Socializing is always easier when ones working or attending school. Deciding to be a stay at home mom, I was doing neither. I needed a new outlet where I could meet new people who wouldn't mind hanging out with a newborn at the same time. This process became a whole lot easier when my husband told me about SHA. When I finally settled down and became acquainted with the area I called the SHA president for a little chat. She was more then happy to talk to me and explain what SHA had to offer. The next day I went to a SHA Halloween event with my daughter. I met some fabulous mothers whom I had many things in common with; for starters how are husbands are always working! Everyone was incredibly welcoming and endearing, which made the process very smooth. Not only does SHA have playgroups but there are night events for adults as well. I truly enjoy the adult events because it gives me some me time, while my husband gets to spend some alone time with our daughter. SHA is such a wonderful group where making dependable friends was extremely easy. I know there are people I can count on if need be, and being a way from family, such comfort is very important. Everyone makes you feel right at home and there is always something happening when you’re involved with SHA!!!

--Current SHA Member for almost 1 year

Joining SHA was the best decision I made when I moved to Rochester!  At first I was intimidated by all the kids at the Meet and Greet, because I didn't have any, but I soon found lots of great friends, with kids and without.  The best thing about SHA was meeting other people who understand what it's like having a spouse in residency (especially a loooong residency).  And when we eventually did have kids, it was the ladies from SHA who provided so much help and encouragement.  I only wish there were programs like this everywhere!

--Past SHA Member for 5 years

SHA was one of the best things about my life in Rochester.  It made residency so much better because I had an instant peer group who understood the demands of my spouse's job.  Joining SHA was one of the best decisions I made because it helped me thrive during the challenging season of residency and provided me with wonderful, lifelong friends.

--Past SHA Member for 5 years

I loved SHA as when we moved to Rochester I was going through the biggest crisis I have ever been through.  We didn't know anyone in town, and suddenly we had an instant support network.  I always appreciated being able to swap babysitting with other moms and getting to meet up with other ladies in the same situation.  I was able to make lasting friendships with some women and just talked on the phone with a SHA friend yesterday.  Even though it has been two years since we lived in Rochester, I still feel close with my SHA friends.
--Past SHA Member for 3 years

Wow.  I have so many good things to say about SHA!  My favorite part were the adult events. I was able to talk to other women who were going through the same hard times as myself.  We grew so close that I consider some of them my best friends for life, even now that we've moved on.  Playgroups also helped me get through the hard times and were great socialization for my kids.  In fact, it's where all three of them have made lifelong friendships too!  I loved my time spent in SHA, and I would definitely join again!

--Past SHA Member for 5 years

When asked to join SHA, I felt shy. Even as an adult, it's hard to join an established group when you're new.  The tempting words "come as you are, showers optional" tickled me, and I realized this group might be onto something.  I was a part of SHA for six years during my husband's residency.  The fast friendships formed then remain in place eight and a half years later.  The support received from many like minded friends make the hills of residency a fun ride. 
--Past SHA Member for 6 years

Joining SHA gave me a network and social group of peers that became my family when I couldn't have my own family nearby.  They bring you under their wing, help in any way they can, and made my five years in Rochester so wonderful that it was very sad to finally go at the end of residency.  SHA helps with everything from what restaurant is great for your anniversary to what roofer to use for your house.  
--Past SHA member for 4 years