David Bruce Rogers, son of Cornish and Elsie Rogers, was born in New York City. Before the age of three the family moved to California as his father was appointed to Calvary United Methodist Church. The family later moved from Los Angeles to Evanston, Illinois where David attended and graduated with honors from Evanston Township High School. He was also the recipient of the Oliver Beaty Cunningham Award, the all-around Senior Man voted on from his graduating High School Class of E.T.H.S.in 1973.
David returned to California to attend Stanford University, where he developed an avid interest in human genetics and was also an active member and co-president of the Stanford Black Pre-medical Organization. After four years David graduated with honors, and earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biological Science. He entered Harvard Medical School where he solidified his interest in genetics and pediatrics. Dr. Rogers received his Medical Degree in 1981 and returned to southern California to Los Angeles County/Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he completed a pediatric internship and residency and also began fellowship training in medical genetics. His primary interest at that time was clinical genetics and he engaged in research in skeletal dysplasia’s and also in the genetics of sexual differentiation. Dr. Rogers was on a team of researchers that first identified the mutated gene that causes a major dwarfing disorder.
In December 1986, while in the research year of his medical genetics fellowship, Dr. Rogers was injured in a freak auto accident, which left him quadriplegic. He had just begun interviewing for his first full-time job. During his rehabilitation, Dr. Rogers passed his board certification examinations in both pediatrics and medical genetics. He was discharged home after eight months of hospitalization.
Less than one week after leaving the hospital, Dr. Rogers was hired as Medical Director of Westside Regional Center (WRC) one of California’s 20 State-contracted centers that provide services for developmentally disabled children and adults. Primarily through case review and interaction with the Centers staff and clients, he oversaw the health-care of over a thousand persons whose afflictions varied from mental retardation and autism to severe cerebral palsy as well as severe seizure disorders. During this employment era, he was co-host of Able Not Disabled, an award winning public access television show that he also co-created and co-produced.
One of Dr. Rogers’s colleagues hired him to be the southern California Medical Director of a national private genetics laboratory involved primarily in prenatal diagnosis and cancer cytogenetics. That company was later merged with another to form Genzyme Genetics, a division of the worldwide Genzyme Corporation. Dr. Rogers served as one of four Genzyme Genetics clinical geneticists in California with responsibilities that included overseeing a large force of genetic counselors, and collaborating with perinatologists — all of whom work at prenatal diagnosis centers throughout California and part of the Northwest.
Dr. Rogers was also an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at L. A. County Harbor UCLA Medical Center. He was teacher and lecturer to medical students and residents and Obstetrical Nurse Practitioner Training Program.
Outside the office, Dr. Rogers was involved with Empower Tech (formerly Computer Access Center) a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide access to technology for persons with disabilities. In 1987 this nonprofit organization showed Dr. Rogers how to access and utilize a personal computer to help him continue in his profession. This experience resulted in him participating in computer accessibility promotional campaigns for Apple Computer in the early 1990s. Dr. Rogers served on Empower Techs Board of Directors for more than 20 years and received its first Maryanne Glicksman Award.
Dr. Rogers other activities included the establishment of a minority scholarship fund, and a Martin Luther King, Jr. Lectureship at the Claremont School of Theology. He also provided ADA ramp access for the Rakestraw Community Center in south Los Angeles; mentoring mostly by example, he also spoke at middle and high schools in the area. He was also an active member of Altadena United Methodist Church. Dr. Rogers enjoyed jazz music, going to movies and THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS.
Dr. Rogers leaves to mourn: his mother, and a host of relatives and friends. Services were held.