Pediatric emergency physician receives national award for advancing health equity

Tiffani Johnson honored for her work with underrepresented communities


Tiffani Johnson, assistant professor and pediatric emergency physician at UC Davis Health, is the recipient of a national award for her efforts to improve the quality of care for underserved children.

Tiffani Johnson sitting on steps in blue scrubs with stethoscope around her neck
Tiffani Jenae Johnson

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently honored Johnson with its inaugural Minority Health, Equity and Inclusion Award. The award recognizes a member for their outstanding contributions to advance health equity for underrepresented communities. It also celebrates their efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion of the pediatric workforce through policy, advocacy, education, mentorships, and research.

“I’m deeply honored and humbled to be the first person to receive this award from such a renowned organization that is committed to addressing racial health disparities for children,” Johnson said. “It's exciting to have my work recognized because there are so many great leaders in this field who are doing such excellent work.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics is a professional association of pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The organization's section on Minority Healthy, Equity and Inclusion is dedicated to addressing minority health, racial/ethnic health disparities and equity and the inclusion of minority members in pediatric practice and leadership.

Advancing child health equity is my life's passion.” Tiffani Johnson

Johnson has been involved with the American Academy of Pediatrics since 2006 and currently serves on the AAP’s Committee on the Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, the AAP National Advisory Board for Addressing Social Health and Early Childhood Wellness and previously served on the AAP’s Taskforce on Addressing Bias and Discrimination.

“Advancing child health equity is my life's passion,” explained Johnson. “As I celebrate receiving this prestigious award, I also recognize that there is a great deal of work yet to be done; not just on the national landscape, but also right here in the community of Sacramento and within our healthcare system at UC Davis. As I continue to cultivate my connections as a relatively new member of this community, I look forward to developing partnerships that allow me to leverage my work to dismantle structures of racism and advance equity for Sacramento’s youth.”

As a nationally recognized researcher and thought leader on race and racism and its impact on child health, Johnson is working to ensure all children achieve their highest level of health and wellbeing. Her research is focused on understanding root causes of healthcare disparities and examining racism in healthcare and the early childhood education settings. The AAP described Johnson as “an agitator and abolitionist working to dismantle structures of racism through clinical practice, research, teaching, and advocacy.”

Johnson is also helping to make equity a strategic priority in the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). She serves as co-chair for their Disparities Working Group as well as their Protocol Review and Development Subcommittee. She also serves as disparities consultant to the PECARN Pediatric Research in Injuries and Medical Emergencies (PRIME) node, which includes UC Davis, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the University of Utah.