Diversity & Inclusion

White Coats for Black Lives

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Since the start of my role as Associate Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics, we have seen multiple life changing events occur, including the  COVID-19 pandemic and the death of George Floyd. Lurie Children’s is dedicated to becoming a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We serve children from all walks of life, including different racial and ethnic backgrounds, from all over the world, so we need health care providers of the like. This institution is working actively to improve the care and experience of all children that we serve through anti-racist policies and education, such as implicit bias training.”

Valeria C. Cohran, MD, MS
Associate Chair, Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics, Medical Director of Intestinal Rehabilitation and Transplantation, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

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At Lurie Children’s Hospital and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics, we are evolving to reflect the diversity of the children, adolescents, families, and communities we serve here in Chicago. We are proud to provide care for all youth who seek care at our hospital and clinics – the majority of whom identify as racial/ethnic minorities, and the majority of whom have Medicaid or are uninsured.

When I became department chair in 2020, I announced that recruiting and supporting more diverse trainees and faculty is a top priority for us, because the differences between us strengthen us as a whole. In the past 2 years, we have substantially increased the diversity of our trainees, faculty and leadership in our department.

However, we are just getting started. The Department of Pediatrics leadership created and distributed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Climate Survey in late 2021 to assess the current environment and plan for the future.  Information gathered from this survey establishes a baseline for the culture in the department,and outlines 10 Action Items

We still have distance to travel to reach our collective goals of recruitment, career development, and consistent professional satisfaction and belonging for our trainees and faculty who are under-represented in medicine.

To achieve positive changes in health and healthcare for our patients as well, we must be champions and change agents for the culture and learning environment we seek to uphold at our institution. We know this is a process that requires dedication, resources, persistence, and time. We are energized by the advocacy and action of our residents and fellows whose voices and participation are essential to the future impact of Lurie Children’s. Our department is committed to building and nurturing teams who support and advocate for each other so that we can provide outstanding learning experiences for our trainees.

We welcome you to join us here at Lurie Children’s! We are focused on achieving a brighter and healthier future for youth in Chicago and beyond, and we are committed to training and fostering the careers of pediatricians whose diversity is integral to our collective impact.

With best wishes for your positive impact on the lives of children, adolescents, and their communities,
Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP

Chair, Department of Pediatrics


A Culture of Diversity & Inclusion


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