Advocacy and Health Equity
DEI Mission and Goals
The UAMS Department of Pediatrics is committed to diversity, health equity and inclusion in pursuit of our mission. We intentionally align our work in all mission areas with that of Arkansas Children’s, the UAMS Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the UAMS Vision 2029 strategic plan.
The Department affirms that diversity of the healthcare workforce is a key component to eliminating health disparities.
According to the 2020 United States Census the nation’s population grew by 7.4% to 331.4 million people.
National race and ethnicity demographics:
- 61.6% – White
- 18.7% – Hispanic
- 12.4% – Black
- 10.2% – Two or More Races
- 8.4% – Other Race Alone
- 6% – American Indian and Alaska Native
- 1.1% – Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
- 0.2% – Some Other Race Alone
The 2020 census reported a total population of 3.01 million people in Arkansas, with just under 700,000 below the age of 18.
Arkansas race and ethnicity demographics:
- 70.2% – White
- 15.1% – Black
- 8.5% – Hispanic
- 7.1% – Two or More Races
- 4.5% – Some Other Race Alone
- 1.7% – Asian
- 0.9% – American Indian and Alaska Native
- 0.5% – Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
- 2019 – UAMS creates the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; hires its first DDEI Director. This Department builds on the previous efforts of the Women’s Faculty Development Caucus, Faculty Diversity and Community Outreach, Chancellor’s Recruitment and Retention Committee, Vice Chancellor for Diversity and the Center for Diversity Affairs.
- 2021 – Arkansas Children’s hires its first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director
- 2022 – The UAMS Department of Pediatrics creates a new Vice Chair for Diversity and Health Equity and appoints Dr. Eduardo R. Ochoa Jr. as the inaugural Vice Chair.
Focused on the Future
The Department is committed to diversity in its recruitment of faculty, fellows and residents. The Department is also implementing policies and best practices from the UAMS DDEI and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). These efforts include supporting and cultivating the physicians who understand and act on population and public health principles, advancing accountability, equity and racial justice through perpetual reviews of internal policies and advancing health care to under-served and under-resourced populations.
In addition to current DEI efforts by our pediatric residency leadership, the DOP is also participating in AAMC’s Underrepresented in Medicine (URiM) program and Pediatric Interest Group.
The Department has created a Pediatric Council for Diversity and Health Equity that is focused on evaluating and improving clinical programs with a focus on language assistance services, social supports for families and clinical outcomes with oversight from the Vice Chairs of Quality Improvement, Primary Care and Education.
In addition to our clinical advocacy efforts, we are implementing trainings that address implicit bias, the impact of racism in health care and national resources on health equity for all faculty, fellows, residents, researchers and staff.
- Front-line research leading to policy change: Since 1998, PIs Emeritus Professor Dr. Patrick Casey and current PI Dr. Ochoa have led the Little Rock site of Children’s HealthWatch, a non-partisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts committed to improving children’s health in America. This survey research is conducted in the Emergency Department of Arkansas Children’s Hospital via interviews of caregivers of children under 48 months old who are receiving care. The network also has sites in Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Boston, the network center. This research illuminates the implications of changes in national or state food, housing and energy policy on children’s health. Several network researchers, including Dr. Ochoa, have testified before the US Congress on these issues to highlight the health benefits to young children of SNAP, WIC and economic supports.