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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Mission Statement

The Stead Family Department of Pediatrics shares the University of Iowa’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We value and respect different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. In the Department of Pediatrics, we are mindful of all aspects of human difference and define diversity in the broadest sense to mean inclusion of all persons, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender identity, socio-economic status, disability, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation and sexual or affectual orientation. We also value social justice and aim to increase access to care through outreach clinics across the state. The Department of Pediatrics enhances a welcoming environment by offering a diverse staff that is reflective of our population. Our unique and diverse backgrounds help us to support the needs of all of our patients. 

Learn about our commitment to diversity

2020 Initiatives

Led by Joyce Goins-Fernandez, PhD, and Michael Tansey, MD, the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics launched a fundraiser in the spring of 2020 to increase the amount of diversity on the shelves of the libraries throughout UI Health Care. When protests for racial justice sprang up around the country and as institutions looked more closely at how they could combat systemic racism, Goins-Fernandez began to think about what could be done here. The pair reached out to the UI Center for Advancement about setting up an account where other members of the department could donate.

A list of books was also generated. Titles that directly addressed issues of race were chosen, but so were books that simply featured characters who are typically under-represented in children’s literature. This list grew to encompass 50 books, and  three complete sets were distributed to hospital libraries and given to inpatient youth over the 2020 holiday season.

To date, the DEI Committee has surpassed the original goal of raising $3,000 to buy multiple sets of these books, and has raised their goal to $10,000 in support of this initiative. In addition to raising the financial goal of the fundraiser, the Pediatrics DEI Committee has committed to sharing these stacks with the greater Iowa City area community, with intentions to help populate school and public libraries with this literature, as well. View the below video for more on this fundraiser.

For more information on the book drive, visit our news page. To contribute to the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics' DEI Committee fund, visit this page on the UI Center for Advancement website.


In June 2020, this committee participated in a 'White Coats for Black Lives' protest on the health care campus.


This group created a Cultural Climate Survey to uncover what concerns the department has in relation to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The survey was distributed to all faculty in the department, and uncovered areas of concentration for the group's next initiatives.

2021 Initiatives

In 2021, the Committee accomplished several initiatives with direct faculty, staff, and trainee impact:

  • Launched a discussion club.
  • Installed a 'Diversity Corner' in regularly-scheduled Faculty and APP meetings.
  • Distributed articles addressing diversity-related issues in health care.
  • Added a diversity question to the Faculty Annual Review.
  • Formed a committee to address the institution's Parental Leave Policy.
  • Wrote and distributed 'Diversity Spotlights', creating awareness around multiple cultures' holidays and months of recognition.
  • Increased diversity of speakers and topics in weekly Grand Rounds.
    • A provision was also made for speakers; they are now encouraged to include available date on health care racial and ethnic disparities within the topic of their presentations. (Example: "If race is brought up as a risk factor or prognostic factor for a disease, please clarify whether this is due to ancestry or the effect of racism in health care disparities.")
  • Introduced quarterly Diversity Town Halls.

Also in 2020, the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics named its first Vice Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Joyce Goins-Fernandez

2022 Initiatives

Looking towards the future, the Committee will:

  • Provide input for the Carver College of Medicine's DEI Strategic Plan.
  • Continue to address issues surfaced through the Cultural Climate Survey.
  • Initiate a Diversity Presentation Series.
  • Create a pipeline program for middle school and high school students.