The Michigan Pediatrics Commitment

C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital

Background: Many different approaches to improving diversity and inclusion in the department of Pediatrics have been implemented over the past several years. Yet, more needs to be done (in compliance with State Laws and University Policy) to increase the number of URiM (under-represented in medicine) individuals within the department and to further develop a culture of inclusion and support for all trainees, staff and faculty.

Goals: Implement new processes for recruitment and advancement that are (1) specifically targeted to improve the diversity and inclusion of trainees, staff, and faculty in the department of Pediatrics and (2) promote the success of ALL members of the department.

The Michigan Pediatric Commitment will be led by the Department Chair and Associate Chairs for Faculty Affairs, Education, Research, and Clinical Affairs. The Associate Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) will provide overall guidance to The Commitment and specific input for each component.

Each of the 6 components of the Pediatric Commitment will be operationalized by an Associate Chair and an oversight committee.  The components and the committees are found below.

Components of the Pediatric Commitment

Peds DEI Faculty Recruitment Icon

1)  Require fair and transparent hiring for leadership roles in the department as outlined by medical school policies

  • Post the faculty recruitment policy on pediatrics website
  • Consistently implement medical school faculty recruitment policies
  • Implement open calls for applications for all faculty leadership positions
  • Require completion of a defined checklist of fair and open processes for hiring and recruitment of senior leadership positions with submission to department chair
  • Commit to interviewing all faculty candidates who meet the posted requirements for each position

Faculty Recruitment Oversight Group; FROG


Gary L. Freed M.D., M.P.H. 
Associate Chair for Government Relations and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Team Members

Alexandra Blumer, M.D.
Deb Boyd
Carly Fifer, M.D.
Sucheta Joshi, MBBS
Folafoluwa Odetola, MB, ChB, MPH
John Schmidt, M.D.

Pediatrics DEI Equity Research Icon

2)  Encourage and support research efforts to reduce health disparities

  • Expand DEI research and internal grants
  • Develop break-out sessions at department research day highlighting DEI research
  • Foster expansion of DEI research in department

Disparity and Equity Research Oversight Committee

Pediatrics DEI Health Disparity Icon

3)  Assess and address pediatric health disparities in Michigan Medicine

  • Track health disparities in clinical dashboards
  • Support quality improvement projects to address disparities

Health Disparity Oversight Committee


Joyce Lee, M.D.
Associate Chair for Health Metrics and Learning Health Systems

James Lopez, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Chair for Clinical Services 

Team Members

John Barks, M.D.
Katie Bates, M.D.
Brittany Bogan
Erin Fedak, DO
Bethany Freeland
Michael Gaies, M.D.
Sarah Gelehrter, M.D.
Debbie Gipson, M.D.
Terry Joiner, M.D.
Josephine Kasa-Vubu, M.D.
Kristen Krieger, M.D.
Kerri Neville, M.D.
Eloise Salmon, M.D.
Sharon Swindell, M.D., MPH
Esther Yoon, M.D.

Pediatrics DEI Career Development Icon

4) Develop and strengthen targeted mentorship and sponsorship programs to support all faculty

  • Enhance current efforts in mentorship and sponsorship in Department of Pediatrics and Med school/university
  • Address gaps in existing programs
Pediatrics DEI policy icon

5)  Zero tolerance policy on racism, inequity, and injustice.  Implement evaluation program to measure success.

  • Post policy statement on website, and on the wall outside office of the Chair and each Division Director
  • Support existing mechanisms at Michigan medicine through PARS (Patient Advocacy Response System) and CORS (Co-worker observation reporting system) and risk management for safe and anonymous reporting of specific concerns
  • Develop processes to address concerns within the Department, to supplement and enhance available institutional resources
  • Identify and implement effective strategies to enhance Departmental culture related to DEI.
  • Incorporate DEI efforts in annual performance evaluations of division directors, faculty and staff, and monitor performance
  • Support fair and transparent promotions processes
    • Educate faculty about the defined processes for nomination and evaluation for promotion
    • Enhance pre-promotion review processes within the annual faculty review

Policy Oversight Committee


Donna Martin, M.D., Ph.D.
Chair of the Department of Pediatrics

Team Members

Alfreda Fleming
Ethan Hagen
Kristina Johanson
Sara Pasquali, M.D.
David Peng, M.D.
Lisa Prosser, Ph.D., M.S.
Durga Singer, M.D.
Susan Woolford, M.D.

Pediatrics DEI Education Icon

6)  Recruitment of a diverse cadre of trainees at all levels

  • Create processes leading to increased numbers of URiM residents
  • Create processes leading to increased numbers of URiM fellows
  • Create processes leading to increased numbers of URiM medical students entering Pediatrics 

Metrics for success:

  • Recruitment, retention, and promotion of ALL trainees, staff, and faculty in the department at all levels and ranks
  • Increased engagement of Pediatrics department members in DEI activities as assessed by the annual evaluation process