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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Video Series - Part 4

Published on · Last Updated 5 months ago


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In the fourth installment of our ‘Paying It Forward’ video series, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia researchers at different career levels explore how a strong Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy has the power to foster innovation, creativity, and decision-making that ultimately leads to greater equity in children’s health research.


Sarai Sales:

I think in terms of decision-making, really show me the importance in not only finding a problem but working toward a solution. And not really staying idle or complacent in where you are, and always striving for change and improvement in every space you enter.


Can you describe an example of when having a strong DEI strategy has fostered your innovation, creativity, and decision-making?


I think one time during my time at CRISSP that really fostered creativity, innovation, and decision-making was my time in Dr. William Peranteau’s lab. The work being done was really novel and cutting-edge, so I think it required a lot of hands-on deck, experience, educational backgrounds and perspectives. I was able to be at the forefront of that science and at the forefront of really exploring a new frontier and starting a methodology from scratch, so I think I really developed a great appreciation for research in that regard. I also learned how to be really creative and flexible and adaptable when it comes to experiments not working correctly; and starting from ground zero. How can we include everyone on this project and find a solution and conclusion in that?

Stephanie Bowles, PhD:

And as far as decision-making goes, for me I lean toward going into an environment that’s more community-based, welcoming. An organization who puts in their action plan that ‘we want to have DEI initiatives, we want to build working groups’, starting to do the work to make sure everyone has a fighting chance.

Cody-Aaron Gathers, MD:

As a health services researcher currently getting my master’s in health policy, that foundation has really given me a unique and innovative way to connect with the local community and help solve a lot of problems we see within Philadelphia and the surrounding community, most notably within our department of Critical Care, we’re partnering with CHOP’s Center of Health Equity to provide CPR education to a lot of the most marginalized communities throughout Philadelphia. And through that, we’ve been able to connect with the community in a way where they see CPR education is very important and you’re starting to see that shift where people learn CPR but they also recognize the importance of it and they actually take it home to somebody else and it’s really cool to see that growth and that process.

Lamia Barakat, PhD:

The more that we integrate and understand the intersection of social determinants of health into the work that we do, the better able we’re going to be to take those important steps of developing, testing, and implementing interventions that can potentially affect health equity for children with chronic health conditions and their families.