Serving the Underserved SIG

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SIG Description:

The Serving the Underserved (SUS) SIG is dedicated to improving the health care of high-risk pediatric populations such as children who are economically disadvantaged, uninsured, underinsured, homeless and face barriers to accessing quality health care. SUS focuses on clinical practice, education, research and advocacy that further this cause.

2019 SIG Annual Report

SIG Name: Serving the Underserved

Increase the awareness and visibility of clinical and community-based programs that promote the health of underserved communities and populations.
Serving the Underserved Special Interest Group (SIG) had an informative and educational SIG session at the 2019 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting held in Baltimore, Maryland April 26-30, 2019.  The two (2) hour-long session featured both platform and poster presentations with over 30 participants in attendance.  Soukaina Adolphe, MD and Ivys Fernandez-Pastrana, JD presented their project, Engagement and Access to Special Education Clinic (EASE Clinic), sponsored by the Boston Medical Center - Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family.  This innovative program is an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) Clinic embedded within a general pediatric practice.
Mini platform and poster presentations of community-based projects were also presented by the following persons:

  1. Ana Monterrey, MD, MPH from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital – Food for thought: Variations in food insecurity rates via paper versus face-to-face screening.
  2. Rosemary Nabaweesi, PhD from Arkansas Children’s Hospital – Understanding a rural African American context for an infant safe sleep intervention adoption.
  3. Padma Swamy, MD, MPH from Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital – To screen or not to screen: Assessing caregiver comfort with social determinants of health screening.


These presentations created a rich conversation and discussion about community-based programs and projects supporting pediatric patients and populations. Thank you to all that attended the session.    Serving the Underserved SIG is pleased to announce the transition of its leadership team.  We are happy to announce that Shweta Antani, DO from Columbia University Medical Center/New York Presbyterian Hospital and Padma Swamy, MD, MPH from Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital will serve as the new SIG chairpersons beginning in the summer of 2019. With their collective interests in community-based programs, social determinants of health, and under-served pediatric populations, they will continue to lead the SIG in exploring innovative programs and research that advances and improves child health. Thank you to both Tyler Smith, MD, MPH from Children’s Mercy Kansas City and Meg Tomcho, MD from Denver Health for their tireless leadership to the Serving the Under-Served SIG.  Please look out for more information to come about the future direction from the SIG under its new leadership. 

Current SIG goals:

  1. Highlight the unique challenges of working with a medically underserved population including but not limited to food insecurity, housing issues, etc.

Annual summary:
At the 2016 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, the SIG collaborated with the Nutrition SIG to discuss nutrition and healthy eating among underserved communities.  This was a very interactive session encouraging participants to share their experiences in assisting patients and their families around topics related to food security and insecurity and how to assist families in navigating through government and local food programs.
The program was very well received.

Other groups that work in your area of interest:
Health Literacy SIG
Health Equity SIG
Race and Ethnicity SIG

Current SIG Co-Chairs:

Shweta Antani, DO
622 W. 168th St
New York, NY 10032
Phone: (718) 791-9017

Padma Swamy, MD
6701 Fannin
Houston, TX 77030
Phone: (832) 822-3448

Current SIG Mentor:

Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH
11808 Hitching Post Lane
North Bethesda, MD 20852
Phone: (301) 984-3548




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