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When health care professionals reflect the communities they serve, it leads to greater health equity, enhanced patient care, and improved health outcomes. The current pediatric workforce, however, lacks racial and ethnic diversity. The field is also experiencing staff shortages as well as geographic maldistribution in inner city and rural communities, which are projected to worsen in the years to come. These workforce shortages have negative impacts on providers in the workforce and on our youngest patients across the nation, especially children of color. Supporting providers of color in the pediatric workforce, as well as attracting individuals to enter the field, is critical to bolstering the capacity of the child health care field.

This webinar explored innovations in recruitment, training, and retention that can lead to a more representative and supported pediatric workforce. It discussed anti-racist training opportunities for pediatric staff and residents to better serve children most impacted by structural racism. The webinar included speakers from pediatric sites engaged in Accelerating Child Health Transformation, a national initiative led by the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS) with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that seeks to accelerate the adoption of key strategies necessary to advance anti-racist and family-centered pediatric practice.


I. Welcome and Introduction

Speaker: Armelle Casau, PhD, Senior Program Officer, CHCS  

A. Casau welcomed participants, introduced the presenters, and provided an overview of the webinar.

II. The Importance of Building a Representative and Supported Pediatric Workforce

Speaker: Ben Danielson, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine and Pediatrician, University of Washington Medicine

B. Danielson discussed how burnout and uncertainty about the future of health care represent both challenges and opportunities to co-create and co-cultivate inspiring work environments. Tending to the wellness of the workforce, making workplace time to debrief together, engaging with families meaningfully, and putting anti-racism into practice all contribute to workspaces that counter burnout, improve retention, and generate recruitment.

III. Recruiting a Diverse Workforce and Developing Anti-Racist Simulations

Speaker: Margaret Tomcho, MD, Medical Director, Denver Health’s Westside Family Health Center and Pre-Health Pipeline Programs; Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine

M. Tomcho discussed best practices and lessons from Denver Health’s recruitment efforts working in youth programs as part of their Pre-Health Pipeline Programs to impact positive development and build the health care workforce. She also presented lessons from training simulations with pediatric residents to address anti-racist practices and microaggressions.

IV. Capturing Patient Voice Through Human-Centered Design and Training the Next Generation of Pediatricians

Speaker: Neeti Doshi, MD, MPH, FAAP, Primary Care Pediatrician, Children’s Health Center, San Francisco General Hospital; Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF

N. Doshi shared lessons from “The Listening Project,” a human-centered design approach that amplified patient voice as a catalyst for transforming clinical care. She shared how this project created a foundation for a trauma-informed care curriculum for pediatric resident trainees, and how centering storytelling and intentional reflections for health care teams can build a more healing, trauma-informed work environment.  

V. Promoting Staff Self-Care, Celebrating Successes, and Reducing Burnout

Speaker: Elizabeth Castro, MHA, Strategic Support Manager, ADOBE (Averting Disparities in Outcomes by Building Engagement) Program

E. Castro shared promising practices in supporting family navigators in their ADOBE health clinic who provide intensive case management for juvenile justice-involved adolescents and their families. She shared strategies they use to support high staff moral and retention, including reflective supervision, built-in opportunities for promoting self-care and celebrating successes, and addressing burnout and compassion fatigue.

IV. Moderated Panel and Q&A 

Moderators: B. Danielson moderated a panel session with the presenters and A. Casau moderated an audience Q&A.