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Dr. Leathers will evaluate the impact of promoting diversity and inclusion through children's literature in the pediatric clinic.

Carrie Leathers, MD, awarded PIE Grant

Carrie Leathers, MD

Carrie Leathers, MD

The Department of Medicine launched the Promoting Inclusion and Equity (PIE) Grant program in 2020 in support of faculty engaged in work that advances the department’s goal of creating a more diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just environment.

This year, the department is pleased to announce that Carrie Leathers, MD, has been awarded a PIE Grant for her project, “Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Children’s Literature: Parent and Provider Experience.”

In a previous project last year, Dr. Leathers and two residents in Internal Medicine-Pediatrics curated a list of high-quality children’s books featuring stories with racially and culturally diverse representation, and distributed them to patients and families in their pediatric clinic.

“We found that families were very responsive to receiving these books, and our message promoting diversity and inclusion, but we haven’t been able to formally evaluate the parent or provider experience,” she wrote in her proposal.

This PIE Grant will give her that opportunity.

This spring and summer, Dr. Leathers and her assistants will further refine the book list they developed last year, selecting 50 books for distribution during pediatric clinic visits to the North Arlington and Pecar sites of Eskenazi Health. Then, they will interview 15-20 parents about their experience seeing more diversity and inclusion woven into the early literacy program, and perform a qualitative analysis to identify major themes. Dr. Leathers says that the implications of their findings may be shared with early literacy programs, and will contribute to a growing body of research examining ways that providers can work toward dismantling racism during day-to-day activities in the clinic.

Additionally, Leathers said, she will formally assess the experiences of the resident physicians assisting her with the project.
“Combating social determinants of health, including racism, is of the utmost importance in primary care, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to conduct research that may contribute to that effort,” said Leathers. “I can’t wait to see the joy on the faces of my patients as we celebrate diversity through more inclusive children’s literature. I also look forward to better understanding the parent perspective of this experience as we explore ways to ameliorate racism through our roles within primary care.”

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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Hannah Calkins

Hannah Calkins is the communications manager for the Department of Medicine.