Intersection of Child Poverty With Race, Immigrant Status, & Environmental Threats

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A state-of-the-art plenary session during the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) 2021 Virtual Meeting will bring together national experts on child poverty, racism and racial inequities, immigrant health, Native American culture, and environmental threats to discuss the intersectionality of child poverty.

Poor children do not just suffer from double jeopardy, but frequently multiple jeopardy from many overlapping threats to their health and development. The COVID-19 pandemic has further unearthed and intensified these threats to children including loss of financial resources, loss of nutritional supports, loss of family members, and loss of educational opportunity.

"Children are the poorest age group in our society," said Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP. "On the hopeful side, we seem to be finally recognizing that the nation needs to address this issue, and with the passage of the reformed Child Tax Credit in March, there is hope that the level of poverty for children will be reduced by 40% this year. We have invited a powerhouse group of researchers and advocates to discuss the issue of child poverty and its intersection with racism, the issues of Native American children and families, as well as experts on environmental justice and primary care designed to address the needs of poor children."

Speakers will elucidate and contextualize the living Venn diagram of these intersections for children and families. They will also address the specific impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these families who are vulnerable because of being under-resourced and often marginalized and will leave the attendees with what is a call for action to all of us.

Presentations include:

  • The intersection of race and poverty: addressing health care inequities in children; presenter: Tumaini R. Coker, MD, MBA - University of Washington/Seattle Children's
  • Structural racism in medicine, poverty, and child population health; presenter: Nia J. Heard-Garris, MD, MSc - Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago/Northwestern University Feinberg College of Medicine
  • Native American communities, poverty, and child health; presenter: Shaquita Bell, MD - University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
  • Environmental threats to poor children and the triple threat of environmental toxins, poverty, and racism; presenter: Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH - Michigan State University

Dr. Dreyer and Adam Schickedanz, MD, Ph.D., will chair the plenary, "The Intersection of Child Poverty With Race, Immigrant Status, and Environmental Threats in the Age of COVID-19," on Tuesday, May 4 at 5:30 p.m. EDT. Reporters interested in an interview with the presenters should contact

The PAS Meeting connects thousands of pediatricians and other health care providers worldwide. For more information about the PAS Meeting, please visit

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