Kristina Bryant, MD

The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society is committed to inclusion, diversity, access, and equity (IDA&E) at all levels within the society.  It is critical that the diversity of our membership reflect that of the patients, families, and communities we collectively serve through health care, research, education, and advocacy. We know we have opportunities: a recent report in the Journal of Infectious Diseases on workforce diversity indicated that <20% of the PIDS membership self-reported as underrepresented minorities (Asian, Black/African American, or Hispanic/Latino) and 45% as women (https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/216/suppl_5/S606/4160395).  Using the broader definition of “historically disadvantaged background,” including LGBTQ, socioeconomically disadvantaged, or first-generation college educated to gauge membership diversity, we are not more diverse.

PIDS is recruiting members to join an Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity Task Force. The group’s initial charge will include:

  • Articulate IDA&E principles for our society
  • Review existing policies, practices and processes to identify where we have opportunities to improve and/or implement best practices related to IDA&E
  • Identify strategies to increase under-represented populations among those pursuing careers in pediatric infectious diseases
  • Create a Strategic Roadmap to determine if the identified goals are being met

While this is work that will require broad engagement from society members, we are looking for members to initially serve on the task force. Dr. Anthony Flores has agreed to lead this initiative, with support from Dr. Tina Tan. You can read about Dr. Flores in this month’s member spotlight here.  Dr. Tan is Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, and the Chair of the IDSA Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Task Force. 

As you know, PIDS has 6 strategic aims: 

Aim 1: To promote the Value of ID to the healthcare system.

Aim 2: To recruit and train top talent into Pediatric ID Fellowship Programs.

Aim 3: To advance ID science and advocate for support for research in ID.

Aim 4: To engage PIDS membership through innovative programs and services.

Aim 5: To advance clinical care in ID, including appropriate antimicrobial use and childhood vaccinations.

Aim 6: To promote the success of JPIDS. 

I am not proposing to make inclusion, diversity, access, and equity our 7th strategic aim. Rather, our goal is to ensure the principles of IDA&E are inherent in each of our aims, and in all of the activities and interactions internal and external to our society.

Please consider applying for the taskforce here.

Kris