CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- This week's City Shaper is a Western New York native who just moved back to Buffalo after practicing medicine in Florida for several years.
Dr. Charles Gelia works for Aspire of Western New York, and he is proud to call Buffalo home.
"Buffalo brought me back here. Buffalo is my home. It's the home of my friends. It's the home of my family," says Gelia.
And it's where Dr. Gelia grew up and went to college. He's a doctor of internal medicine and practiced here before moving to Tampa.
Dr. Gelia moved back to Buffalo in April.
"I've come to find out after being away, and doing other things in other places, that it's the place I want to live. And I was very, very happy to be able to find work here that I wanted to do and to be able to live in the city again after so many years of being away," says Gelia.
Aspire supports adults and children with developmental disabilities by giving them the health care they need.
"The people who we see are dependent on us in a way that most people aren't, to a degree that most people aren't. And I feel that the impact that we have on their life, in the quality of their life and the quantity of their life, is great. So, it's an awesome responsibility, and it's an honor and a privilege because they are trusting you literally with their day to day existence," says Gelia.
Dr. Gelia says the transformation Buffalo is going through was an added bonus when he returned, and he has this advice for people thinking about making WNY their home.
"Buffalo has the reputation of being old school. And I would say to them old school's cool. Old school is very cool. And by that, I mean this is a community, these are people who are genuine, they're committed to this community," he says. "It is a fantastic, warm, and polite atmosphere. You can't build that. You can't buy it. There's no way to create that."
If you'd like to nominate someone to be a City Shaper, you can email Kelly Dudzik.