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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Video Series - Part 5

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At Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, maintaining a mindset that incorporates diversity, equity, and inclusion in day-to-day interactions is an important aspect of building a welcoming and inclusive community. In the final installment of our Paying It Forward video series, CHOP researchers share the specific ways they approach this, from mindful listening to mentorship.

Transcript

Cody Aaron-Gathers, MD:

Additionally, just having the ability to recognize the biases that we have ingrained in all of us and not only recognizing those biases but doing everything we can to counteract that.

Producer:

How do you keep DEI in mind in your day-to-day work and interactions?

Sarai Sales:

I think the first thing we can do is listen attentively. Not listen to respond but to listen to understand and empathize. As someone who is part of a big family and a multicultural family at that, being African American and Caribbean American, I am no stranger to different personalities, backgrounds, stories, identities, and I think it's important to keep that at the forefront of our minds. Furthermore, I think being open and flexible is extremely important and I mean that especially in terms of a feedback perspective.

Stephanie Bowles, PhD:

I'll circle back to mentorship because at every step in my career there was an opportunity to be a mentor, even if I didn't see myself as one, I was helping them because I think DEI representation is important. You see yourself in a position and now you reimagine and think of a goal like, oh, wait I could be a scientist, or I could do research administration. I probably didn't know what that was before but then you see someone else doing it and you learn about their career path, and you find that you can do the same thing. So, I think mentorship in my every day, there's some type of DEI aspect in that.

Cody Aaron-Gathers, MD:

I think for me personally, having a unique perspective where patients and their families might come from that gives me the ability to tailor my communication style to families and meet them sort of where they're at in the care of their child. Especially being in the ICU those skills are so important to really recognize the vulnerable state families are in and be able to quickly make that connection and not only that, to go to the next room and totally pivot to something different depending on what's going on with the family. There's always more work to be done. And where I've heard about where CHOP has started to where it is now, it's been incredible to see that growth and I'm just happy to be a small part of the process.

Stephanie Bowles, PhD:

I will say people who do the work in DEI, you have to remember they wear more than one hat. And so they're constantly pushing the conversation that's uncomfortable but is much needed to have a very strong I think organization.

Lamia Barakat, PhD:

Our healthcare system reflects the flaws of our society. At the same time, we hold a key to addressing those flaws. We have the ability to understand how racism and bias impact the care that we provide children and their families. And we have the ability through our clinical research and clinical programs to take what we learn to build systems that best support the health and well-being of all children in our Children's Hospital of Philadelphia community, not just the few that may have fewer barriers or more resources that allow them to have access to the exceptional services that we provide.