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Diversity and Inclusion
Our differences are what make Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute a highly successful interactive research community. We believe that each person brings a special worldview and creativity that contributes to the high quality of research and patient care for which we are renowned. The Office of Academic Training and Outreach Programs within Research Administration and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion within the Hospital’s External Affairs Department ensure each employee can flourish, feel valued, and contribute to culturally sensitive, compassionate care and more accurate, inclusive medical research.
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide employees with a sense of connection to the broader mission of the organization beyond their day-to-day tasks — allowing opportunities to impact strategic organizational drivers by ensuring that key dimensions of diversity are fully integrated. Additionally, members provide each other with an enhanced sense of belonging by broadening access to personal and professional development and growth through mentoring, volunteerism, and community involvement. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion manages the following ERGs:
- All Abilities Resource Group
This network develops and enhances CHOP’s workplace diversity efforts by expanding the visibility of people with disabilities in the workplace and offering recommendations for adequate accommodations and resources available for employees and families throughout the organization. For more information, please contact aarg [at] email.chop.edu.
- Multicultural Professionals Network
This diverse group of employees — representing multiple racial, cultural, and ethnic groups —continues their career development, provides outreach within the community, and fosters a positive work environment that supports employees, patients, and patient families of all ethnicities. For more information, please contact mpn [at] email.chop.edu.
- LGBTQ+ Pride
This group fosters a positive work environment supporting employees, patients, and patient families identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) and their allies. For more information, please contact pride [at] email.chop.edu.
- Young Professional Network
This employee based group focuses on generational diversity in the workplace, networking, professional development, and engagement of early career professionals. Please contact ypn [at] email.chop.edu.
- U.S. Military
This group creates a comfort zone for military and veteran employees by providing networking, helping with integration into the civilian workforce, and advocating for more inclusion. Please contact usmilitary [at] email.chop.edu.
This group focuses on inclusion in the biomedical science, technology, engineering, and math workforce, engages employees, and serves the patient population by addressing disparities. Please contact istem [at] email.chop.edu.
This group supports women in their career growth and provides resources for women in order to maximize work/life balance. Please contact women [at] email.chop.edu.
The Research Institute is dedicated to providing exceptional training and a supportive work environment to ensure minority groups have the tools and opportunities to embrace, leverage, and develop new perspectives to advance children’s health:
- Cultural Awareness Council
The CHOP Cultural Awareness Council brings together clinical and non-clinical staff members from across the enterprise to provide advisory and strategic guidance in the execution of cultural awareness opportunities to enhance the patient, family, and employee experience throughout the enterprise.
- Talking Diversity
The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, in collaboration with different CHOP partners and departments, sponsors a series of monthly programs that foster inclusion, facilitate conversation about diversity topics, and provide CHOP resources to employees for more support, understanding, and opportunities. Recent topics included: racial socialization in medicine, mental health in the workplace, and being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community.
- Multicultural Physicians’ Alliance
The Multicultural Physicians’ Alliance (MPA) is composed of minority residents, fellows, and attending physicians whose interest is to maintain and expand the diversity of CHOP’s medical staff. Through active participation in the recruitment process, they are dedicated to ensuring the medical staff is reflective of the community it serves. For more information, please email MPA [at] email.chop.edu.
- Minority-Focused Partnerships
Research trainees at CHOP are invited to join the Diversity Committee of the University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Postdoctoral Council. The UPenn LGBTPM Plus group supports and cultivates our vibrant community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faculty, postdocs, and students. CHOP also is a sustaining member of the National Postdoctoral Association, which provides an opportunity to get directly involved in diversity-related issues that affect the U.S. research enterprise.
- Postdocs for Diversity in Science
Postdocs for Diversity in Science (PDS) is composed of postdoctoral fellows from groups historically underrepresented in STEM. PDS is focused on providing support and professional development opportunities for current trainees and increasing local area students’ interest in STEM.
- Immigration Community Ambassadors
An iSTEM Immigration Community Mentor or “Ambassador” is an employee who has gone through a visa and/or permanent residency process with CHOP and can serve as a resource and sounding board. The role of an ambassador is to provide support, encouragement, and general information to other foreign national employees in an informal setting. In addition, the ambassador partners with the Office of Immigration and Visa Support and iSTEM on initiatives such as international employee orientations, educational seminars, and other networking events.
At CHOP, we not only engage our employees with diversity awareness and associated competencies, we also celebrate that diversity. Throughout the year, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Cultural Awareness Council, Department of Patient and Family Services, and our Employee Resource Groups host a variety of activities to honor various diversity and cultural awareness events for employees, patients, and families. Below are just some examples of our past events at CHOP:
- MLK Day of Service
CHOP employees volunteer for various projects across Philadelphia to celebrate Martin Luther King Day in January.
- Lunar New Year
The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is an important festival to many Asian cultures. Windows and doors are decorated with red-colored paper cutouts and couplets with popular themes of good fortune, happiness, wealth, and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes. Here at CHOP, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Cultural Awareness Council, and Spiritual Care work together and provide patients, families, and staff with a children’s activity table in Buerger Lobby and the Main Atrium. At the South Philadelphia Primary Care site, a staff member hosts a special story time for patients and families in the waiting room.
- Black History Month
During February, CHOP celebrates Black History Month with a variety of programming. This annual observance began in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and serves as a remembrance of important African Americans and events in the history of this culture.
- Women’s History Month
During the month of March, CHOP celebrates Women’s History Month with a variety of programming and recognitions for the women who will shape CHOP’s future. In the United States, efforts have been made since 1911 to dedicate this month to teaching about inspirational, groundbreaking, and powerful women throughout history — a demographic that is traditionally overlooked.
- Celebrate Diversity Month
During the month of April, we honor Celebrate Diversity Month by recognizing and honoring the diversity here at CHOP. The purpose is to celebrate our differences and similarities and allow people to get a deeper understanding of each other.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month
During May, we honor the heritage and contributions of Asian American, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.
- LGBTQ Pride Month
LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in 1969, a turning point in the gay rights movement and the fight to advance equality for LGBTQ-identifying Americans.
- Hispanic Heritage Month
During National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sep.15 to Oct. 15) we recognize the contributions made and the important presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States and celebrate the group's heritage and culture. Hispanic Heritage Month, whose roots go back to 1968, begins each year on Sept. 15, the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile, and Belize also celebrate their independence days during this period, and Columbus Day (Día de la Raza) is Oct. 12.
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Reflecting the important role disability plays in workforce diversity in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.
Diwali is India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year. Diwali, Deepavali, or Dipavali, is the Hindu festival of lights, which is celebrated every autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. At Wanamaker, Main, and Roberts, staff, patients, and families decorate diyas, greeting cards, and wear bindis. At Wanamaker and Roberts, staff enjoy dishes from local Indian restaurants, as this is an important part of the festivities.
- Three Kings Day
Three Kings Day, also known as Little Christmas, or Epiphany, is a Christian feast day that celebrates when the Magi (Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar) arrived bearing gifts for Jesus Christ. Here at CHOP, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Cultural Awareness Council, and Spiritual Care work together and provide patients, families, and staff with a service in the Schlimm Center for Prayer and Reflection and a children’s activity table in the Buerger Lobby.
- World Religions Day
World Religion Day is an observance held on the third Sunday in January that aims to promote interfaith understanding and harmony through a variety of events held around the globe. Here at CHOP, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, the Cultural Awareness Council, and Spiritual Care work together and provide patients, families, and staff with a trivia and information table in the Main Atrium.
- Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, a season of fasting and prayer for many Christians, and it takes place 46 days before Easter Sunday. Ash Wednesday is observed at CHOP through prayer services with distribution of ashes.
- Jewish High Holy Days at CHOP
Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot are celebrated at CHOP. The Shofar is sounded at the chapel, and apples and honey for a sweet New Year are provided. Volunteers also visit patient rooms to sound the Shofar. Holiday food baskets are delivered to families, and holiday food is available throughout the holiday in the Kosher pantry.
- Ramadan Observance
This time of spiritual and physical purification commemorates the revelation of the Qur'an to the prophet Muhammad. Fasting during this month is one of the five Pillars, or duties, of the Muslim faith. Each year, CHOP invites our community to celebrate Iftar, sponsored by the Global Patient Services, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Department of Patient and Family Services, and the Cultural Awareness Council.
- Schlimm Center for Prayer and Meditation
The Schlimm Center features multiple prayer and meditation rooms for families, patients, and staff to choose their preferred prayer and meditation environment. There is room for private prayer and meditation, and cultural aspects are addressed in the space. The prayer and meditation rooms are labeled with international signage and are easy to find.
The Research Institute hosts a vibrant and cutting-edge academic environment that promotes and encourages multidisciplinary research, collegiality, professional development, and mentored research experiences focused on developing and maintaining a pipeline of diverse scholars. With age-appropriate levels of engagement, students from elementary school through college can have meaningful exposures to a research environment. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows have numerous opportunities to be fully immersed in ongoing, cutting-edge pediatric research.
- Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Academic Diversity
- CHOP and the University of Pennsylvania are independent entities; together they create a rich intellectual and scientific community, sharing several departments, faculty, and resources. CHOP and Penn partner to fund Postdoctoral Research Fellowships for Academic Diversity. This partnership allows fellows from CHOP and Penn to form a cohesive cohort and to take advantage of programming and support at both institutions. The Research Institute provides funds to cover salary, supplies, travel, and relocation for postdocs from diverse backgrounds. Learn more about the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship for Academic Diversity.
- Department of Pediatrics Summer Research Scholars Program
The Department of Pediatrics at CHOP offers a program that aims to increase diversity in the next generation of clinicians and scientists. The Department of Pediatrics Summer Research Scholars Program encourages underrepresented minority summer scholars (African-American, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, and Alaska Natives) who are U.S. citizens and enrolled in U.S. medical schools to spend eight weeks in a full-time research immersion experience. They have the opportunity to work in clinical and research environments with international experts in pediatric care and child health research. Learn more about the Department of Pediatrics Summer Research Scholars Program.
- CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program
The CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program (CRISSP) is a 10-week summer internship for undergraduate students that allows them to work with a faculty member and conduct research at CHOP. While here, they additionally mentor historically underrepresented minority high school students, sharing their journey and experiences in STEM fields and giving advice on the college application process and experience. Learn more about the CRISSP program.
- Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program
The Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at CHOP offers a 10-week paid summer research internship opportunity for undergraduates. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program offers students one-on-one mentorship from leading scientists, hands-on research experience, a generous stipend and contribution toward travel expenses, and free housing. Priority is given to students from colleges and universities where STEM research opportunities are limited, including two-year colleges, as well as to women, persons with disabilities, and minorities (African-American, Hispanic, Latino, American Indian, and Alaska Natives). Learn more about the REU program.
- Rutgers University Partnership
The Research Institute and Rutgers University School of Environmental and Biological Sciences partner annually to expose Rutgers undergraduate historically underrepresented minority students to pediatric research as a viable career option. Students participate in a day-long event where they learn about research being conducted at CHOP and interact with scientists in a variety of positions. The day also includes visits to various laboratories to learn about current techniques being used to address research questions.
High School Partnerships
- CHOP Research Internship for Scholars and Emerging Scientists
High school students navigate real-world research settings, practice lab skills, explore scientific and medical career options, and meet mentors who are dedicated to advancing pediatric medicine, as part of the six-week CHOP Research Internship for Scholars and Emerging Scientists (CHOP-RISES) summer internship. The unique science camp type of experience welcomes students who are typically underrepresented in research.
STEMPREP is a summer program for underrepresented minority students interested in science and medicine. Starting in the seventh grade and continuing through college graduation, this program places students in classrooms, labs, and hospitals across the country where they get hands-on experience in the medical field. CHOP proudly hosts ninth and 10th-grade students on campus for weekly seminars and final presentations. In addition, 10th-graders receive mentorship from undergraduates participating in CRISSP (the CHOP Research Institute Summer Scholars Program) where they learn about the college application process and how college students chose their paths in STEM careers. Learn more about the STEMPREP program.
The goal of iPraxis is to encourage students in Philadelphia public and charter schools to embrace and pursue STEM learning opportunities. Members of the CHOP research community help with project-based learning activities like science fairs, in-class presentations, workshops, field trips, and career fairs to help students gain insight into how things work in the real world and discover new possibilities for their future. Learn more about iPraxis.
- Spark Philadelphia
Spark re-engages underserved seventh and eighth-grade students, keeping them on track and ready for success in high school and beyond. This is accomplished through workplace-based apprenticeships that uniquely combine mentoring, project-based learning, skill building, and career exploration. Individuals across CHOP, including professionals from the Research Institute, mentor students at CHOP’s main campus from John Barry Promise Academy. Learn more about Spark Philadelphia.
- Young Men and Women in Charge
The mission of Young Men and Women in Charge (YMWIC) is to empower and prepare economically disadvantaged and historically underrepresented youth to excel and become leaders in STEM careers. This is accomplished through academic tutoring, mentoring, and financial assistance programs. The Research Institute participates in the College/Career Expo and hosts job shadowing experiences. Learn more about YMWIC.
PolicyLab’s Health Equity research portfolio seeks to better understand the many factors that contribute to disparate health outcomes for children, including addressing social determinants of health outside the health system, improving provider-patient relationships, and enhancing access to services. This portfolio also develops solutions that stakeholders can implement to promote child health equity. For more information, visit PolicyLab.