October 12, 2021 – The Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDRA) announces four important milestones reached behind their pledge to address issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in pediatric dermatology research.
1. Having identified the ever-present importance of advancing and preserving equity, diversity, and inclusion in its organization and the field, PeDRA’s Board of Directors has voted to approve the transition of the EDI Task Force, originally formed in January 2021, to an EDI Committee with standing representation on the PeDRA Board of Directors and Executive Committee. This change is reflected in a recent update to PeDRA’s bylaws and will officially go into effect on November 1, 2021.
2. PeDRA has approved the formation of the Skin of Color and Pigmentary Disorders Focused Study Group as its ninth collaborative research group. Under the direction of Dr. Nanette Silverberg of Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, this group will conduct studies with a goal of achieving health equity for pediatric skin disease patients of color with an additional focus on the pigmentary disorders such as vitiligo.
3. PeDRA contributed four publications to the special EDI issue of Pediatric Dermatology, which address disparities in public assistance formularies, training in pediatric skin of color, achieving equity and inclusion in the field, and an analysis of EDI in PeDRA’s membership, leadership, programs, and funding.
4. To complement this year’s theme of building bridges, a special focus will be given at the virtual 2021 PeDRA Annual Conference to diversity and inclusion in research. This will include a keynote presentation from renowned advocate for social justice, Dorothy Roberts, JD of the University of Pennsylvania, and a special emphasis on diversity and inclusion during the conference’s small group breakout sessions on the afternoon of Friday, October 15.
These milestones represent important progress in the effort to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout research and medicine and align closely with PeDRA’s mission to create, inspire, and sustain research to prevent, treat, and cure childhood skin disease.
Initial objectives of the EDI Committee will be to increase opportunities for underrepresented in medicine trainees to participate in research, educate PeDRA members on performing inclusive and equitable research, support research that addresses EDI in pediatric dermatology, and increase diversity of PeDRA membership and leadership.
Clinician scientists and other stakeholders interested in learning more or getting involved in PeDRA’s EDI efforts are encouraged to become a PeDRA member, attend the virtual 2021 PeDRA Annual Conference, and apply for PeDRA Grants and Awards which have a renewed focus on EDI issues. Email PeDRA at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect with the Skin of Color Focused Study Group and explore www.pedraresearch.org for more information.