Wayne State Looks to ‘Reboot’ Urban Pediatrics Program

Dr. Herman Gray is leading the new department, Wayne Pediatrics, with an effort to address disparities faced by urban kids.

Wayne State University is in the midst of a shake-up when it comes to the university’s pediatrics program.

A dispute between WSU and many of the faculty in its pediatricians practice plan group, which has been ongoing for several years, has led the university to create a new practice plan called Wayne Pediatrics. That’s according to Dr. Herman Gray, the chair of the new Wayne Pediatrics department. 

He says the department is “taking advantage of this opportunity, quite frankly, to sort of reboot what a department of pediatrics in an urban setting — literally an urban research laboratory like Detroit which has the highest percentage of children under the age of five who live in poverty or extreme poverty — take an opportunity to reboot and reimagine how we deliver care to those children and their families.”

As part of that effort, Wayne Pediatrics has created the Urban Children’s Health Collaborative, an initiative to connect urban kids with better health care.

Gray also talks about the wider health care disparities that exist, both in Detroit and around the country.

“Certainly, poverty and racism are pretty much universally acknowledges as the foundational components of societal disparities,” says Gray. “We believe that being minimized, being disrespected, being uncertain of your place in society induces toxic stress.”

Related: We Need to Rethink How Women of Color Receive Health Care

Click on the audio player above to hear Wayne Pediatrics Chair Dr. Herman Gray talk about the department’s new Urban Children’s Health Collaborative on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson.


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