Pediatrics Committee on Departmental Diversity and Pediatric Health Equity | UC Davis Department of Pediatrics

Our Commitment

Inclusive Excellence and Child Health Equity

We are dedicated to inclusive excellence in our department and promoting pediatric health equity in our communities.

Wards theme day, residents and director
Sacramento wall mural

We acknowledge that our physical plants are on the tribal lands of the Sacramento area’s Indigenous people which include: the Nisenan, the Southern Maidu to the North, the Valley and Plains Miwok/Me-Wuk to the south of the American River, and the Patwin Wintun to the west of the Sacramento River.

Photo credit Dr. Fernández y García

Pediatrics Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Pediatric Health Equity

Our Mission and Purpose

The interrelated, dual missions of the Department of Pediatrics Committee on Inclusive Excellence and Pediatric Health Equity are:

  • To guide departmental structures, policies, and practices to improve departmental workforce to reflect the children it serves
  • To promote and improve pediatric health and healthcare equity in the Sacramento region

These missions are symbiotic, each arising from and supporting the other.

The Department of Pediatrics stands behind its dedication to creating a healthy future for all children. It logically follows that we ground our intertwined missions in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Statement on “Health Equity and Children’s Rights.” The AAP statement defines four elements of child health equity:

  1. Children’s rights
  2. Social justice
  3. Human capital investment
  4. Child health equity ethics

Operationalizing guideline-based strategies, the Committee will simultaneously address each of these four elements to ensure the fulfillment of our missions. 

We envision a Department of Pediatrics...

...whose staff, residents, and faculty have backgrounds that reflect the children it serves and where that is celebrated and supported. We envision UC Davis Health and the Department of Pediatrics both being committed to engaging, with humility, all of the communities of the Sacramento region to ensure equity in the healthcare we deliver and in the overall health of communities.

Our Guiding Principles
  • Guiding Principle 1

    Children’s Rights

    We will seek to employ the antiracism strategies provided in the American Academy of Pediatrics Statement “The Impact of Racism on Child Health and Adolescent Health” to maintain the rights of all children served by the Department of Pediatrics and serve as a model for the Sacramento region.

  • Guiding Principle 2

    Social Justice

    We will use theory and evidence-based models to attempt to establish the Department as a national leader in developing and promoting best practices to ensure the wellbeing of all children in a community, starting with the greater Sacramento community which we serve.

    These models include the UNICEF Child Friendly City Initiative and the All Children Thrive Initiative.

  • Guiding Principle 3

    Human Capital Investment

    Developing and sustaining a workforce which reflects the community it serves requires investment from the Department of Pediatrics. Such a workforce serving children is itself a human capital investment in pediatric health equity. To that end, we will collaborate with the UC Davis Health Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Office of Student and Resident Diversity to guide the Department Chair, Division Chiefs, and Pediatric Residency and Fellowship Program Directors in employing strategies to recruit, support, and retain, staff, residents, fellows and faculty to meet this goal.

    We will work with the UC Davis Health Office of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion to guide the Department Chair and Division Chiefs in ensuring that faculty have ample opportunities for career advancement and leadership positions. We will use participation in the Committee itself (collaborating with the Department of Pediatrics Wellness Committee) by faculty, residents, and staff as a tool to support those participants, by providing a safe environment for discussion and mentoring around issues particularly relevant to inclusive excellence.

  • Guiding Principle 4

    Health Equity Ethics

    Guided by the principles of Cultural Humility, we will engage bi-directionally with community leaders to assist the Department of Pediatrics in meeting the healthcare needs of all children, especially the most vulnerable. Having community participants on the Committee is itself a powerful community engagement goal, in addition to specific projects that arise from the Committee. Project ideas will be initiated by community members on the Committee with support of the other community members.

    Our committee will provide the Department of Pediatrics and others who want to participate educational opportunities through Grand Rounds and the CHAANJE Lives curriculum.

About the Committee
  • The committee is a multidisciplinary one with members including staff, graduate trainees (residents), and faculty from UC Davis Department of Pediatrics, as well as community members. All members of the committee have full and equal say in committee procedures and activities.

    Email Committee
  • Committee co-chair

    Erik Orlando Fernández y García, M.D., M.P.H.

    It is Dr. Fernández y García’s goal to address pediatric healthcare and health maintenance through the lens of family dynamics and Cultural Humility. He strives to form cooperative relationships with the parents of patients and their communities to ensure that his patient (the child) reaches his or her fullest potential.

    Dr. Fernández y García is a Sacramento native who has come back to work in his community.

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  • Committee co-chair

    Laura Margaret Kester Prakash, M.D., M.P.H.

    As an adolescent medicine sub-specialist, Dr. Laura Kester Prakash is deeply passionate about the care and health of her adolescent and young adult patients. She believes in developing personalized care plans that are tailored to her patients’ physical, psychological, social, and developmental needs and is dedicated to working with her patients to ensure they are building health behaviors that promote them transitioning into thriving and resilient young adults.

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