The current proposal aims to support a diversity-focused workshop at the annual meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) in May 2014. This will be a continuation of a series of annual workshops organized by the Diversity Subcommittee of the ASPHO Professional Development Committee. These diversity-oriented workshops have received NIH R13 grant support (NCI/NHLBI) for 3 of the past 4 years. We hypothesize that the longitudinal effects of these workshops serve to increase awareness of the multifaceted and complex goals of increasing diversity and facilitating advancement of under- represented individuals in our field. We propose to capitalize on these achievements by continuing this workshop series while adding a mentorship component designed to foster a strong interest in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology among junior trainees with diverse backgrounds. A demographic survey among ASPHO members in 2010 revealed significant ethnic disparities in ASPHO membership, consistent with known trends of under-representation of ethnic minorities in medicine as a whole. Anecdotally, there appears to be a significant lack of African American, Hispanic, and other ethnic representation in ASPHO leadership positions. This is partially reflective of the general ASPHO membership, and it is likely representative of the larger field of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Although gains have been made, women also remain under-represented in leadership positions within ASPHO. We hypothesize that these disparities can be reduced over time through a combination of educational programs aimed at increasing cultural awareness among existing ASPHO members and direct mentoring of under-represented medical students and uncommitted residents (i.e., not matched to a subspecialty fellowship) in order to increase the likelihood that they choose to enter Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and aspire to leadership roles. The theme of our 2014 workshop will be "Strategies for Increasing Workforce Diversity in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology". This workshop will be open to all ASPHO conference attendees and will include: (i) a brief synopsis of diversity initiatives and accomplishments of ASPHO leadership and the Diversity Special Interest Group, (ii) a keynote address from a nationally prominent leader in faculty diversity development programs, and (iii) an intensive networking exercise to identify diversity- related concerns and collect recommendations regarding the proposed activities of the ASPHO Diversity Special Interest Group for the upcoming year. A key addition to this year's workshop will be the expansion of trainee travel awards to include sponsorship of not only fellowship trainees with diverse backgrounds, but also under-represented junior trainees (medical students and residents) who will be paired with faculty "guides." These guides will ensure that the sponsored trainees are able to optimize their conference experience and provide a point-of-contact and mentorship within the field of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology as they begin to make career development plans well after the conference concludes.

Public Health Relevance

Ethnic minorities, women, and other diversity groups are under-represented in leadership positions for medical specialties and pediatric subspecialties, including Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. Working together, the American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (ASPHO) leadership and general membership are using a variety of approaches to advance diversity issues within ASPHO. In the current application, we propose to host a diversity-oriented workshop during the 2014 ASPHO annual meeting to develop Strategies for Increasing Workforce Diversity in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and address the barriers to entry and advancement for trainees and professionals with diverse backgrounds so that they can become successful leaders

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Conference (R13)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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Merritt, William D
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Georgia Regents University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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