The Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) is a community of over 1400 physicians, scientists and public health experts who specialize in infectious diseases affecting children. Our mission is to enhance the health of infants, children adolescents by promoting excellence in diagnosis, management and prevention of infectious diseases through clinical care, education, research and advocacy.
Infectious Diseases as a specialty is uniquely tilted toward social justice by the very nature of the conditions we treat. However, within our medical profession, as with many other specialties and even professions outside of medicine, there are disparities affecting professionals that need to be addressed. If you have been a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), you likely have noticed a change. Beginning in 2016, the IDSA Board of Directors commissioned a Gender Disparity Task Force, and in 2017, a supplement article published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases by Aberg et al. on behalf of the Task Force reviewed workforce disparities for women and minorities in ID. Subsequently, the Inclusion, Diversity, Access & Equity (IDA&E) Task Force was formed in 2018. The IDA&E Task Force created a comprehensive case statement and shorter guiding principles with the goal of applying these across all facets of IDSA, from members, to committees, to policies, to staff. As a sister organization closely affiliated with IDSA, PIDS shares the commitment to addressing disparities affecting infectious diseases professionals. Thus, in 2020, a parallel IDA&E Task Force was developed to identify PIDS-specific issues related to the common goals generated by the IDSA Task Force.
To promote unrivaled healthcare delivery, education, research and advocacy within our organization, PIDS embraces inclusion, diversity, access and equity (IDA&E) as key drivers of excellence and innovation. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment that recognizes the value of individuals with diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences and perspectives, and empowers them to fulfill their full potentials within the Society and in the community. We strive to build collaborative relationships with other organizations to further ensure the success of our Society’s missions, and we serve as a champion for the principles of IDA&E in the global Pediatric Infectious Diseases community.
We build our IDA&E principles on the foundation of published data demonstrating that:
PIDS will lead by example on IDA&E in the following ways:
We are committed to build a Society based on the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity (IDA&E). To achieve this, we will intentionally:
The IDA&E Grand Rounds series aims to increase awareness of particular subjects or topics in diversity, equity and inclusion, provide requisite education and training to address those issues, and serve as a forum for discussion within the PIDS community.
After an initial call for volunteers, a Task Force consisting of 10 members, co-chaired by Dr. Tina Tan, FIDSA, and Dr. Anthony Flores, FPIDS, with PIDS/IDSA staff support from Christy Phillips, Jessica Whitely, and Salandra Fleming. The Task Force not only includes racial/gender diversity, but also geographic diversity, with members from the Northeast, Southeast, West Coast and Midwest regions of the country.
The Task Force was comprised of the following 10 PIDS members, led by Dr. Tina Tan, FIDSA, and Dr. Anthony Flores, FPIDS, as co-Chairs: Dr. Shom Dasgupta-Tsinikas, Dr. Tuhina Joseph, Dr. Matthew “Boots” Kronman, FPIDS, Dr. Liset Olarte, Dr. Tanya Rogo, Dr. Roberto Santos, Dr. Jessica Snowden, FPIDS, and Dr. Erlinda “Chulie” Ulloa.
The charge of the Task Force from the Board of Directors was as follows:
IDA&E Task Force Charge
PIDS is committed to fostering an environment that honors and ensures inclusion, diversity, access and equity. The IDA&E Task Force will develop a framework and recommendations to ensure the implementation and full integration of IDA&E principles throughout PIDS. The Task Force reports to the Board of Directors.
Task Force Activities
Following approval of the Task Force formation by the PIDS Board of Directors, the Task Force first met in July of 2020, and discussed the role of the Task Force, PIDS’ values, and reviewed of the Road Map and Strategies developed by the IDSA IDA&E Task Force. With the IDSA Road Map and Strategies as a foundation, the PIDS IDA&E Task Force adapted the guiding principles (above), approved by the BOD in December 2020.
To further strengthen and support PIDS’ commitment to embracing diversity, the IDA&E Task Force adopted the fundamental elements identified by the IDSA Task Force. These elements are closely intertwined and gravitate around data, a key and pivotal component. Increasing awareness, educating and implementing actions to further the principles of diversity, inclusion, access, and equity in our society will continue to be the task force’s priorities.
DATA: Data plays an essential role in our daily clinical practice, and advancement of our profession. The IDA&E Task Force recognizes the importance of data by placing it as the cardinal point on the roadmap towards diversity and inclusion. PIDS will expand data collection from staff and members, leadership, committees, practice types, and other groups. Data will serve as a critical element to provide transparency and measure progress. Most importantly, collecting and reporting metrics will help identify gaps and address areas of improvement.
EDUCATION: Continuous learning is essential in the process of raising awareness to develop a level of competency to face challenges. The PIDS Task Force has identified development of online educational resources, including videos and literature on diversity in the healthcare workforce, as a priority that will be available to all PIDS members. IDSA and The Journal of Infectious Diseases (JID) took a step further to publish a full Supplement on Inclusion, Diversity, Access & Equity, published online and freely accessible to the public in JID on August 20, 2019 with an additional Supplement published on October 15, 2020. The task force, together with that of IDSA, looks forward to continuing providing helpful educational resources not only to the Infectious Diseases community but also to other medical fields.
COMMUNICATION: Effective communication plays a significant role in binding communities. Communication is the foundation of a more tolerant and diverse workforce. The Task Force is working together with PIDS to build strategies for communicating transparently to members and the greater community. The goal is to ensure that the information delivered is up-to-date and easily accessible. Expanding and strengthening communication platforms will also lead to a more equitable system of providing information to society while simultaneously leading to an even more diverse organization.
ACTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY: A merge of effective communication, education, and data acquisition will allow us to identify qualitative and quantitative metrics. The Task Force is committed to developing accountability strategies for implementation by PIDS. Member surveys will help to identify priorities which will guide action based on the analysis of these metrics. Moreover, the Task Force will establish processes to ensure sustainable solutions to address these challenges.
REFLECTION AND ASSESSMENT: Periodic assessments of PIDS organizational commitment to IDA&E will be done to identify gaps between desired versus achieved goals. Information gathered through these assessments will provide a basis for subsequent actions. The Task Force will publish the results of its assessments and will always be open to feedback.
GOAL 1: Cultivate a welcoming environment where differences are embraced, valued, and respected.
STRATEGY 1.1: Develop and implement a climate survey to assess perceptions of inclusion and belonging within the Society and repeat the assessment after implementing bias reduction strategies.
STRATEGY 1.2: Develop a National Advisory Committee (NAC), and provide support to current mentorship programs, to encourage engagement of underrepresented groups.
Action 1.2.1: Develop a PIDS National Advisory Committee (NAC) as part of a program targeting young scholars (residents, fellows, junior faculty) who identify as underrepresented in medicine (URM), disabled, or from a socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged background, and who are committed to a career in pediatric infectious diseases.
Action 1.2.2: Engage the IDWeek Mentorship Program committee to support their incorporation of IDA&E principles.
Action 1.2.3: Encourage underrepresented members to be mentors, in addition to mentees, at all levels including advanced medical providers (e.g. nurse practitioners, physician assistants), pharmacists, and their respective trainees.
Action 1.2.4: Collaborate with minority medical and medical student associations to provide mentorship and training opportunities in pediatric infectious diseases.
STRATEGY 1.3: Encourage and support affinity/networking groups in line with IDA&E goals.
Action 1.3.1: Provide meeting venues as feasible.
Action 1.3.2: Share links to community contacts on website and communicate networking opportunities to membership.
STRATEGY 1.4: Educate and provide resources to advance the principles of inclusion, diversity, access and equity to the membership and the broader ID communities, including but not limited to hospitals (rural and urban), academic institutions, research labs and private practices (rural and urban).
Action 1.4.1: Develop toolkits with best practice data for implementing IDA&E programs and initiatives that can be shared to leaders.
Action 1.4.2: Offer trainings on inclusion, diversity, access and equity. Topics may include, but are not limited to, unconscious bias and how to mitigate; anti-racism training; emotional intelligence; helpful bystander/ally; why inclusion, diversity, access and equity are important and how they affect the patient. Education could be offered through online interactive modules via micro-learnings offering certificates. Education to be offered during annual meeting (IDWeek) or PIDS-specific meetings (e.g. PIDS-St. Jude Research Conference).
Action 1.4.3: Develop and maintain online resources (books, journal articles, videos, links to vetted websites, etc.) prominently displayed on the PIDS website and available to all PIDS community
Action 1.4.4: Audit PIDS’ communications (messaging, images, publications, titles, etc.) to ensure they align with principles.
Action 1.4.5: Provide a mechanism by which membership can anonymously report actions that go against IDA&E values or concerns regarding publications/communications containing racist or discriminatory language
Action 1.4.6: Require training (including unconscious bias) for individual Committee Chairs and Board members; revisit concepts annually and determine which other populations should undergo training.
Action 1.4.7: Encourage leaders in our community to participate in trainings.
Action 1.4.8: Implement best practices for curriculum development and delivery.
STRATEGY 1.5: Communicate PIDS’ inclusion, diversity, access and equity work to the membership community.
Action 1.5.1: Provide regular updates from the President, CEO and other leaders on progress and future endeavors (this will require reflection and assessment).
Action 1.5.2: Use varied media platforms and communications strategies, such as vignettes and cases studies. Platforms may include, but are not limited to:
• Emails to the membership
• Website and blog posts
• Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
• Facebook Live events
• JID, CID, OFID, JPIDS
Action 1.5.3: Ensure organizational efforts are visible at PIDS events.
Action 1.5.4: Add IDA&E tagline to select communications.
GOAL 2: Ensure that processes, policies, and practices foster fairness, belonging, equity, and reflect the views and values of our Society.
STRATEGY 2.1: Ensure that the principles of IDA&E are included, measured, and shared at all levels of the organization in a timely manner.
Action 2.1.1: Include IDA&E characteristics as “ideal” for all volunteer leadership positions
Action 2.1.2: Assess working knowledge of IDA&E principles for volunteer applicants
GOAL 3: Guarantee transparency to promote fair treatment and access to opportunities for all members within all levels of the organization.
STRATEGY 3.1: Ensure opportunities for diverse representation across all levels of the Society including leadership roles and committee membership.
Action 3.1.1: Create a repository where photos and names of committee members are available on the website as a snapshot of the diversity of our committees.
Action 3.1.2: Research and implement leadership, governance and bylaw practices that align with values.
Action 3.1.3: Identify and recruit individuals with diverse and innovative ideas and areas of expertise into the Society and all levels of the organization. Target recruitment messages by demographic/affinity and send personalized message from community member or leader.
Action 3.1.4: Develop a matrix of qualities to ensure representation across all aspects of the Society’s leadership, membership and volunteer structure.
STRATEGY 3.2: Publish criteria needed for members to move through leadership in the Society and inclusion of a commitment to concepts surrounding IDA&E.
STRATEGY 3.3: Develop opportunities to learn about cultural humility, unconscious bias, and ways to mitigate it.
Action 3.3.1: PIDS will provide combined learning opportunities for the BOD and all committee chairs, prior to choosing awardees and leaders.
Action 3.3.2: PIDS will develop a plan to help professional training programs understand unconscious bias and ways to mitigate it. (Fellowship leaders need to be included. Note to broaden here – “professional training programs” is limiting.)
GOAL 4: Collect and share data to inform and educate the PIDS community and IDA&E initiatives.
STRATEGY 4.1: Collect, review and publish data to help advance IDA&E goals; develop timetable for collection given desired impact with built-in benchmarks, including but not limited to the following:
Action 4.1.1: Share activities and updates with state and regional societies
STRATEGY 4.2: Research/explore how people enter the field and identify opportunities to address access-related barriers and recruit more people into the field of all backgrounds.
Action 4.2.1: Improve presence minority medical and medical student associations (e.g. NHMA, LMSA, NMA, SNMA, AAIP, ANAMS), national conferences (e.g. ABRCMS, SACNAS), and social channels to increase interest of underrepresented groups in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.
STRATEGY 4.3: Develop key metrics to which PIDS will hold itself accountable around inclusion, diversity, access and equity.