Celebrating Our Differences

A Letter from the director of the UIC Pediatric Residency Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Diversity is something that we celebrate here in the Pediatrics Department at UIC. We all come from different places, have a variety of backgrounds, grew up in different family structures, and have various religious beliefs. We are a heterogeneous group that are a variety of ages, sizes and colors with unique interests, career goals, and life responsibilities. It is our differences that make us stronger as a department and allow us collectively to learn from each other and achieve individual growth.

The key to diversity and inclusion is to first recognize that certain groups in this country have historically been marginalized and disenfranchised. Secondly, it is to give support and opportunities to those who have been affected by the structural violence of our history and are now underrepresented in medicine. Yet at the same time, for us to be successful we must create opportunities for everyone to speak and have open conversations, sharing personal perspectives so that we all can learn from each other and make sure history does not repeat itself.

As defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), underrepresented in medicine (URM) means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population. This lens currently includes students who identify as African American and/or Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians), Pacific Islander, and mainland Puerto Rican. The definition also refers to students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds or identify as LGBTQ.

This year we have a variety of activities and lectures meant to spark conversation, learning and growth!

For more information about our diversity and inclusion programs and activities, please ask us on your interview day!


Kristen Kenan, MD, MPH & Felicia Scott-Wellington, MD
Assistant Professors of Clinical Pediatrics
Co-Directors of the UIC Pediatric Residency Diversity and Inclusion Task Force

Taking A Walk In My Shoes Lecture Series

This lecture series embraces the idea that a person does not have to experience something firsthand to empathize and learn from the lives of others. In this series we invite individuals and community organizations to come together and share their stories. We listen and open the floor for questions and discussion.

Pediatric Residency Diversity Cookbook

In years past, pre COVID, the pediatric residency program had Diversity Day.  It was a time when we shared food, pictures and stories that highlighted our different cultures and the things that we love. In March 2020, as an alternative, we started the UIC Pediatric Department Diversity Cookbook!  Each year residents, faculty and department staff submit recipes that are near and dear to their hearts along with a picture of what they are thankful for.  It has been three years and we have had over 2 dozen recipes submitted.  As a treat, I have attached one of last year’s recipes. Enjoy!

Dr. Kenan‘s Chicken Spinach Noodle Casserole


1 package of uncooked chicken breast
1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup
1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 package of extra wide egg noodles
8 oz tub of sour cream (may substitute light)
Lawry’s Season Salt
Black Pepper
Garlic Powder
1 package of fresh spinach
Ritz Crackers
  1. Boil chicken breast in pot of salted boiling water until fully cooked.  Drain water and let chicken cool.
  2. Cut cooked chicken breast into bit sized pieces, season with Lawry’s Season Salt, Black Pepper, and Garlic Powder to taste and put aside in large bowl.
  3. Cut up fresh spinach (as much or as little as you want, I usually use the whole package) into smaller bite sized pieces.
  4. Cook extra wide egg noodles according to package directions.
  5. In large bowl combine and mix cooked chicken, spinach,  cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, noodles and tub of sour cream.  Season to taste ( I usually add a little garlic powder or chicken)
  6. Place mixture in casserole dish/baking pan, top with crush crackers, cover with top or foil and bake on 375 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
  7. Remove lid/foil and let top brown for 5 minutes
  8. Remove from oven, let cool and enjoy!

Bridging the Gap

Every year the UIC Department of Pediatrics has the opportunity to participate in a symposium called Bridging the Gap – Emerging Health Issues in Underrepresented Minorities. It is an opportunity for everyone – the community, law enforcement officials, educators, physicians, and students – to come together to work collectively towards a solution to local problems and concerns.

Diversity Week

Diversity and inclusion is about recognizing that as much as we are different, we are the same.  Our differences give us the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone to learn from those around us.  Diversity week is a week of celebrating our diversity in various ways. This year we focused on the diversity in our education, our cultural heritage,  our patients and unified for change as we rocked the vote!
*see attached pictures in Gallery tab
Diversity in Pediatrics: A Virtual Symposium 
This inaugural symposium sought to explore the diversity in the patient patients we serve.  It was a week of great speakers who were both informative and thought provoking. Please see the Diversity in Pediatrics Virtual Symposium Tab for recordings of these spectacular presentations.

Things I am thankful for… family ❤️

My work family ❤️ (not all shown… you know who you are!)