Diversity in Pediatrics Committee (DIPC) is a group of pediatric residents, fellows, faculty, staff, and alumni that works to create a more diverse and inclusive environment within our residency program and the hospitals and clinics in which we work. We recognize many forms of diversity including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, ability, religion, education, and socioeconomic status. DIPC is co-chaired by pediatric residents and supported by a faculty director, Dr. Brandi Freeman.
Our mission is to foster a residency program that supports its diverse residents, reflects the patients we care for, understands the way in which systemic inequalities impact our patients and families, and commits to working towards equity and justice through recruitment, education, mentorship, and community engagement.
All residents, fellows, faculty and staff at Children’s Hospital Colorado and Denver Health are welcome to join DIPC. We encourage you to join if you are underrepresented in medicine, identify with a diverse background, or are interested in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
DIPC is committed to ensuring that residents from underrepresented backgrounds thrive in residency. To this end, DIPC provides both peer and faculty mentorship through meetings and community-building events held throughout the year. Our committee serves as a support system for many pediatric residents. We work hard, but always make sure that we celebrate our successes and our community!
We start each academic year with a social gathering where we provide a short introduction to our events, projects and initiatives that we will be working on over the course of the year. The Kickoff is a fun opportunity to get to know one another other, including the new interns that have just arrived! This year, we met outside at Stapleton Central Park for a socially-distanced potluck gettering.
Every year DIPC hosts a holiday dinner party where members of the organization get together to celebrate the end of the year with great food and drinks. We are working on developing a safe, socially-distanced, but equally lovely event this year, in place of our traditional holiday party.
Throughout the year we organize happy hours for members of DIPC. These gatherings are our signature events! The goal is to create a safe environment, welcoming environment for residents to socialize, form community and celebrate diversity. We are looking forward to our first happy our this year at one of Denver’s spectacular parks.
We have also hosted Residency Family Gatherings to facilitate support and healing following critical events in this country, such as the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. We debrief and discuss these events and support one another through the emotional experience. We also use these opportunities to reflect and brainstorm ways to support our diverse brothers and sisters and groups like the Black Lives Matter movement.
ALLYance is a team member resource group at Children’s that was founded
to improve and amplify the experience of team members who identify as
being a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual,
2/Two-Spirit, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Ally, Pansexual,
Agender, Gender Queer, Bigender, Gender Variant, Pangender Communities
and those interested in helping Children’s Hospital Colorado with these
efforts. Projects by Spectrum ALLYance have so far included developing
educational webpages and posters publicly celebrating Pride month,
dissemination of pronoun pins and LGBTQ+ inclusive rainbow badge
lanyards, and meeting with Children’s Hospital leadership to improve the
way LGBTQ+ experiences are heard and respected. In the past, members of
this group have also been crucial in changing EHR to include entries
for sexual orientation and gender identity.
In addition, several LGBTQ+ Pediatrics residents have formed a more intimate mentorship group (nicknamed ‘the queerum’) with queer-identifying attendings and staff, with the purpose of both personal and academic mentorship. This group meets periodically with faculty mentors both in and outside the hospital and provides a space for fostering community—through sharing, discussion, and celebration of the unique experiences by LGBTQ+ providers in healthcare.
Given the inequity in vaccine availability for the Black and Brown communities in Denver and the surrounding metropolitan area, DIPC is working with several Denver Health clinics to provide volunteers to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to its patients, many of whom are minorities and/or non-English speaking. The vaccine is free for these patients and we hope that this initiative will help to close the gap in COVID-19 vaccination rates between people of different races and languages.
The patient population in our Child Health Clinic is beautifully diverse with 23% of our patients identifying as non-Hispanic Black, 42% identifying as Hispanic/Latinx, and 4% identifying as Asian. A large study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin shows that only 28% of a representative sample of children’s books published in 2019 featured Black, Latinx, or Asian characters. Representation in stories is so important for children. Through this fundraiser, our patients will be able to bring home books that they can see themselves in, as well as have the opportunity to meet characters who are diverse in ways that differ from their own experience. We are hopeful that we will be able to extend this program to Denver Health clinics as the year goes on as well.
Black families have been talking to their children about these issues for hundreds of years. Other racial and ethnic groups are not as familiar with how to start these conversations with their children but want to learn how. We are hoping to support conversations between minority families that focus not only on safety, but on also highlighting cultural strengths and promoting pride in one’s background, as well as teaching ally families how to raise anti-racist children by developing educational handouts and materials to include on the after-visit summaries (AVS) for the families we care for at the General Pediatrics clinics.
In order to help promote the program, we participate in various recruitment and outreach efforts, including attending national medical student conferences hosted by Student National Medical Association (SNMA) and Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA). We also work closely with our local SNMA chapter at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Topics discussed typically include diversity in Denver and at Children’s Hospital Colorado, as well as the mission of DIPC. Recruiting and retaining diverse residents is a priority of our program.
Each recruiting season, the Diversity in Pediatrics Committee (DIPC) hosts events for interviewees interested in diversity equity, and inclusion. These events are open to anyone interviewing for pediatrics residency at the University of Colorado. Attendance at these events is optional and does not impact your application to the residency program or your rank status in any way. We look forward to "virtually" meeting you!
Please reach out to the committee at DIPC.Colorado@gmail.com with any questions regarding our committee or the Spotlight on Diversity Brunch.
Every year, we organize a Grand Rounds in conjunction with the Department of Pediatrics Diversity and Inclusion Committee to promote education on a topic related to diversity for the entire Department of Pediatrics and Children's Hospital Colorado.
Throughout the year we organize and facilitate several lectures on topics pertaining to diversity, equity and inclusion. These have returned to in person.
Once each academic year, DIPC organizes and facilities one of the Pediatric Residency Program Longitudinal Small Group sessions. During these are intensive 3-hour sessions attended by all residents, we aim to teach about an important topic or skill pertaining to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Racism impacts so many facets of our patients’ lives. As pediatricians, it is our responsibility to think of our patients in their entirety, not only in terms of their physical health, but also in the context of their communities and the systems that work to produce the health inequities we see every day. Our monthly movie club aims to focus on various aspects of systemic and institutional racism, to better understand how these systems impact our patients and their families, and to discuss tangible ways that we can directly work to get closer to justice for our BIPOC communities.
Adam Rene Rosenbaum
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI and Denver, CO
|Hometown: St. Johns, MI|
Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
|Undergraduate: Northwestern University||Undergraduate: University of Notre Dame|
Undergraduate: Purdue University
|Medical School: University of Colorado||Medical School: University of Michigan|
Medical School: Indiana University
|About me: While I grew up in Wisconsin, Colorado has been home for quite a while and I am grateful for both the sunshine and opportunities that it has provided. Being part of a multi-racial family, I have always had an interest in race and the way it influences individuals' opportunities, experiences, and personal narratives. As an undergraduate, I began to explore the historical context of racism and how it manifests in our current institution and policies. Further, I learned the critical importance of partnership and trust when working with communities to help them meet their goals in alignment with their values. I have a passion for community-based participatory research and health equity work within and beyond clinical medicine. My other advocacy interests include mental health LGBTQ+ health care, trauma-informed care, resiliency, and the role of the arts in medicine. I am incredibly grateful for DIPC, as it allows me the space to embrace my co-residents' lived experiences and identities, celebrate the diversity within our community, and progress health equity work within our program. With curiosity, humility, and compassion, I hope to grow as an ally, a friend, and an advocate throughout my lifetime. Outside of medicine, I love to bake, craft, go to the botanic gardens, and spend time with friends and family.|
About me: I grew up in a small town in rural Michigan and lived in the Midwest until matching in Colorado. When I was a kid, my family would often travel to South Texas to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. My Mexican heritage and the Spanish language were pillars of these trips, with our family's stories of immigration and migration underlying in the background. At both Children's Hospital Colorado and Denver Health, I am able to serve a diverse panel of patients with so many different stories, especially at my continuity clinic, where I am able to serve a large percentage of immigrant and Spanish-speaking families. For me, DIPC serves as a safe space to reflect upon the stories I see in clinic, and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow with my co-residents in a park or at a board game night, enjoying a Colorado hike, or exploring the great Denver food scene.
About me: I was born in Indianapolis and continued to live in Indiana until I moved to Denver for residency. I have been out as a gay man for about 10 years now and am proud to have been able to experience my medical training in this way. In medical school, I did a lot of work with the transgender community and the LGBTQ+ youth community in Indianapolis, and I hope to be able to serve this community for the rest of my career as a pediatrician. I love that this program has a group like DIPC to create a community for diverse faculty, fellows, residents, and other employees and to be the ones to make sure DEI issues are an important aspect of our education here at CU. In my free time, I hang out with my co-residents and explore the different bars, breweries, shops, and restaurants in Denver. This has been an amazing place to train so far and I am very thankful for the friends I've made through DIPC.
Paula Dias Maia
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Undergraduate: Northwestern University
Medical School: University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
About me: I grew up in a predominantly white suburb of Chicago whose demography was forged by the racist practices of redlining and white flight. Fortunately, during college, I had the opportunity to experience more diverse parts of the city and learn how systemic discrimination selectively distributes wealth and opportunity to certain groups and not others. Before medical school, I spent time living in Sub-Saharan Africa and working for the CDC. These experiences helped shape my understanding of racism as a public health crisis. As a pediatrics resident at the University of Colorado, I am grateful that learning how to address injustice as a pediatrician is an integral part of my training. Opportunities like the Global Health Track, Advocacy Committee, Queer Mentoring Group, and Diversity in Pediatrics Committee have helped me become a better physician ally and advocate for my patients. Moreover, I put what I learn into practice every day by caring for families in the diverse and vibrant communities of Denver and Aurora through my work at both the Children’s Hospital Colorado and the county public safety net hospital, Denver Health. When I’m not at work, I enjoy cooking and crafting with my husband, checking out the local arts and culture scenes in Denver’s many neighborhoods, and exploring the incredible beauty of Colorado’s mountains.
Brandi Kaye Freeman, MD MS
|Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Associate Vice Chair for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Department of Pediatrics.|
Clinical Area of Practice: General Academic Pediatrics
Clinical Area(s) of Interest: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Working with underserved populations, Early childhood development.
Fun facts about Dr. Freeman: Originally from Texas, I love live music and theatrical performances, I also have very developed shopping skills 🙂
Carol Okada, MD
|Associate Professor of Clinical Practice, Residency Associate Program Director in the Department of Pediatrics|
Clinical Area of Practice: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Hospital Medicine
Clinical Area(s) of Interest: Medication dosing in patients with obesity, CRRT, medical education. I have spent the majority of my career at Denver Health. The mission of the hospital, the patients we serve, the residents, and my colleagues inspire me. I am especially fortunate to work with incredible PICU colleagues (my work family - see picture!) at Denver Health.
Fun facts about Dr. Okada: I grew up in a rural farming town (population 500). The importance of a community has always been a part of my life, and the support of those around me have been vital to my progress. I found "my community" entering residency in 1994 at the University of Colorado, and I find myself today being grateful to be part of that community for the past 25+ years.
Mauricio Antonio Palau, MD
Marco Pinder, MD
|Assistant Professor||Assistant Professor|
Clinical Area of Practice: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
|Clinical Area of Practice: Pediatric Cardiology|
Clinical Area(s) of Interest: Neonatal resuscitation, Optimizing communication between providers ad NICU families with focus on primary Spanish speakers
Clinical Area(s) of Interest: Outreach / underserved cardiology clinics
Fun facts about Dr. Palau: I am the first person in my extended family to be born and raised in the United States. My parents are from Mexico and my ancestry is mostly Spanish and Italian. Sports are my main hobbies outside of medicine, including: water polo, basketball, and golf.
Fun facts about Dr. Pinder: He was born and raised in Miami and plays FOUR different instruments!
13123 E. 16th Ave.
Aurora, CO 80045