June 8, 2020
The Academic Pediatric Association (APA), the home for academic child health professionals, reiterates the core organizational values of inclusion, respect, health equity, collaboration, and mentorship while fostering excellence in pediatrics.
Pediatric professionals across the United States and the world have been proactively responding to the urgent scientific needs of the COVID-19 pandemic by rapidly engaging in novel research to address the immediate and long-term needs of children, families, and communities.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone, once again, we are witnessing the re-emergence of the existing systemic racial/ethnic and social disparities in health and well-being that exist within our societies. During these times of unprecedented crisis and uncertainty, it is more critical than ever to actively ensure that our academic research efforts promote a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. These values have to be consciously considered at every step of the research process, including (but not limited to) conceptualizing research aims, assembling a team of experts, engaging novice researchers, preparing funding applications, recruiting diverse study participants, interpreting data, disseminating findings, and planning future research.
The following framework corresponding to the core APA values may serve as a quick reference guide.
- Academic Excellence – identify strong research questions and scientifically sound research designs that reflect the complex social and cultural structures of the communities we serve and address the critical current health equity issues in pediatric medicine.
- Collaboration – invite experts who represent a diversity of perspectives, disciplinary knowledge, and methodologies to best address the research questions; create mentored opportunities for trainees and early career researchers, particularly for those underrepresented in pediatric medicine, to be part of a supportive research team; and promote leadership roles to balance systemic racial/ethnic, gender, and social disparities.
- Inclusion – actively promote safe, respectful, genuinely caring, and welcoming environments for researchers and research study participants regardless of sociocultural differences; always ensure fairness and equity irrespective of age, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race/ethnicity, religion, cultural beliefs, family structure, immigration status, and academic, social and occupational standing.
- Partnership with children, families, and communities – engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the research is meaningful for them and that diverse communities are able to contribute to and benefit from our research efforts.
Please let us know if there is anything the APA can do to support your commitment to fostering a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion in academic pediatrics, and particularly in our united efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Membership, Diversity and Inclusion Executive Committee
Academic Pediatric Association