In the second of our two-part series on race, racism, and health, we have a discussion with pediatrician and researcher Dr. Nia Heard-Garris on talking to kids and loved ones about racism: why it’s important, how to maintain momentum, and (if you haven't already) where on earth to start. You may recognize her from the recent CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall on racism, so we'll get her recommendations for anti-racist resources for kids and adults alike.
Nia Heard-Garris, MD, MSc is a pediatrician and physician-investigator at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and in the Department of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She examines the influence of social adversities, including the impact of racism on subsequent child and adolescent health. Dr. Heard-Garris is also interested in the factors that contribute to a child’s ability to thrive despite these experiences. In August 2019, she received her career development award (K01), which is funded by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, and with this award she plans to investigate adolescent cardiometabolic health. She believes in using research to better inform clinical practice and policy that supports children, their families, and their communities. Dr. Heard-Garris is also an active member of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and serves as the Chair and founding member of the Provisional Section of Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Heard-Garris completed a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Fellowship at the University of Michigan. She earned her Master of Science in Health and Healthcare Research. She received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Howard University College of Medicine and helped to launch the student-run free clinic serving DC residents. Dr. Heard-Garris earned her Bachelor of Science in biology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She lives with her husband and 6-year-old son in Chicago.