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Akron Children’s Grand Rounds series explores racism, related topics

09-17-2020 ( Ohio )

Akron Children’s is sponsoring a three-part Grand Rounds series on racism, health equity, diversity in the workforce and social justice.

While typically held in person in the hospital’s auditorium, these Grand Round talks will be held via video on Fridays at 8 am and are open to physicians, residents, fellows, medical students, nurses and allied health professionals. Continuing medical education (CME) credit is available. To sign in, go to

“These are the topics of the moment and we are excited to bring in speakers who can contribute to the discussion in a meaningful way,” said Dr. Norman Christopher, chairman of Akron Children’s Department of Pediatrics. “Drs. Quinn Capers and Benard Dreyer are leading thinkers and have contributed a great deal through their writing, speaking, and advocacy. I know our Northeast Ohio medical community will also appreciate the opportunity to hear from them.”

The first two talks are planned; the third will be held in early 2021 with the speaker yet to be announced.

September 25

Quinn Capers IV, M.D., vice dean for Faculty Affairs and an interventional cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

Dr. Capers has long advocated for increased diversity in medicine and believes advocacy is a natural extension for physicians since they are committed to helping others, relieving suffering and prolonging life. As associate dean for admissions for the OSU medical school between 2009 and 2019, he worked with other stakeholders to develop a mission statement making a diverse student body a priority and then implemented structural changes in the admissions process. Today, the school is ranked among the most diverse in the nation. He also led a dramatic turnaround in diversity of the school’s cardiology fellowship training program, which had not trained a single Black cardiologist prior to 2007.

“There's a global call to end racism now, today,” Dr. Capers has said. “Medicine needs to heed that call. There's a lot of racism and bias in medicine so medicine needs to get its house in order to become a force for good in the fight against racism.”

November 6

Benard Dreyer, M.D., a developmental behavioral pediatrician with the New York University Grossman School of Medicine and the Department of Pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital Center.

Dr. Dreyer was the lead author of a statement just published this month in the Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, entitled “The Death of George Floyd: Bending the Arc of History Toward Justice for Generations of Children.” He is a founding member of an action group called Pediatricians Against Racism and Trauma (PART), and helped author an AAP policy statement that outlines the impact of racism on child and adolescent health. He is a past president of the AAP.

Although his talk this year comes a few days after the presidential election, he has spoken out in previous election cycles on issues voters should consider at the ballot that impact children – issues like gun safety, poverty and immigration policies.

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