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The 2021 Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr. Leadership Awardee Address: Structural Racism and Injuries

December 29, 2021

Last month, we published the 2020 Joseph W. St. Geme, Jr., Leadership Address by Dr. Joseph (Joe) St. Geme, III (10.1542/peds.2021-053872). Due to the cancellation of the 2020 Pediatric Academic Societies’ (PAS) meetings, he had to wait an extra year to receive this award given by the Federation of Pediatric Organizations. This month, we are fortunate to share with readers the 2021 St. Geme Leadership Address given by this year’s awardee, Dr. Frederick (Fred) Rivara from the Departments of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of Washington. Dr. Rivara received this recognition because of this lifelong commitment to leading initiatives to reduce injuries in infants, children, and adolescents. While great strides have been made to reduce injury rates in children, thanks in large part to the work of Dr. Rivara, disparities persist in regard to rates of injury in children. In fact, the role that structural racism plays in causing higher rates of injuries and worse severity was the focus of his acceptance speech. If you missed hearing it, you can now read it by linking to it in our journal (10.1542/peds.2021-054407). This is a must read. Dr. Rivara highlights multiple examples of racism and childhood injury. He also points out disparities in acute and rehabilitative care following injury. Most importantly Dr. Rivara not only describes issues but shares with us several solutions we need to act on to bring change and equity. Please reflect on Dr. Rivara’s most meaningful remarks and more importantly heed his call to action as a result of what he shares in this important and memorable St. Geme Award leadership address.

Congratulations to Dr. Rivara on this well-deserved and well-earned honor!  

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