ROC the Future’s newest Convener organization, the Department of Pediatrics, signed onto the BAG declaration almost immediately after receiving it on June 1st; both our chair, Patrick Brophy, M.D., and senior leadership strongly believe that racism is a public health crisis affecting child and family health and that pediatricians have a responsibility to address these disparities.

Our organization is helping advance anti-racism efforts by integrating it to the very fabric of our strategic plan. While this plan included several initiatives to address structural racism—such as diversifying representation in our faculty and implementing school-based health partnerships to address conditions disproportionately affecting BIPOC children—the BAG declaration served as a catalyst for the department to immediately integrate new antiracism efforts. These new initiatives include: increased research funding into the impacts of racism on the local community, developing more community interventions to address health disparities that primarily affect BIPOC families, studying and improve disparities centered on telehealth, ensuring a physical space in the hospital acknowledging the contributions of BIPOC alumni and providers, and more.  An extensive list of commitments will be unveiled in October of 2020 once the university-wide plan is released.

To address racism as a public health crisis, it is critical that every facet of our organization adheres to antiracist principals and that we hold ourselves accountable as we implement these initiatives. That’s why we have integrated a Quality Improvement process embedded to track progress. This team-based approach promotes greater transparency, and progress is reviewed quarterly among goal leaders. Additionally, our department integrated the Foundational Principles of Inclusion Excellence (FPIE) framework to train leaders in diversity and inclusion and include staff feedback on their progress. Holding the department to this framework ensures that our strategic plan is a living commitment, particularly when it comes to antiracism goals. With these initiatives in motion guided by strict accountability measures, The Department of Pediatrics is fully engaged in our efforts to address racism as a public health crisis.