Dr. Glenn Flores Honored for Lifetime Achievement in Pediatric Equity

The chair of the Miller School Department of Pediatrics will receive the 2024 David G. Nichols Health Equity Award from the American Pediatric Society.

Health equity isn’t just a passion for Glenn Flores, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics and senior associate dean of child health at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

It’s an absolute necessity.

His relentless pursuit of health equity in pediatrics has led to national recognition. Most recently he received the David G. Nichols Health Equity Award from the American Pediatric Society (APS).

Miller School pediatrician Glenn Flores, M.D.
Miller School chair of the Department of Pediatrics Glenn Flores, M.D., has devoted his career to eliminating disparities in children’s health.

Since 2021, APS has honored those who have demonstrated excellence in advancing child and adolescent health, well-being and equity through quality improvement, advocacy, practice or research.

Dr. Flores will receive the honor in May at the 2024 Pediatric Academic Societies meeting.

“It’s a tremendous honor to receive such a prestigious lifetime achievement award,” Dr. Flores said. “I have devoted my life to eliminating disparities in children’s health and health care and achieving equity in pediatrics. To be recognized by my peers for excellence in equity is humbling and a dream come true.”

A Career Dedicated to Medically Underserved Children

Throughout his career, Dr. Flores has prioritized access to health care for underserved children and families. For him, health equity is providing the best quality of care and optimal outcomes and well-being for all persons, without exception.

Dr. Flores has demonstrated his commitment to child heath equity by providing pediatric primary care to underserved communities nationwide. His impact is evident in locations such as the Rosebud Indian Health Service Unit in South Dakota, Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, and the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and in his founding of the Pediatric Latino Clinic at Boston Medical Center in his first year as an assistant professor.

“In my view, Dr. Flores has done more to advance health equity for children than any other pediatrician in our nation,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School. “He has accomplished this for decades across all domains—clinical practice, quality improvement, mentoring, research and advocacy.” 

A National Expert on Health Equity

Dr. Flores is the first Miller School pediatric chair with an underrepresented in medicine (URiM) background. His leadership efforts have impacted Miami’s diverse community through research, clinical care, teaching, advocacy and national workforce initiatives.

The RAPID team posing for a photo on a staircase.
Dr. Flores founded Research in Academic Initiative on Diversity (RAPID) to promote the careers of underrepresented minority early investigators.

Health equity also drives Dr. Flores’s research, as it focuses on disparities, language barriers in health care and avenues for improvement in pediatrics through cultural competency. His peer-reviewed articles on the subject have been cited 19,998 times.

“Dr. Flores is unquestionably one our nation’s leading expert on Latino children’s health and health care,” added Michael Weitzman, M.D., research professor in the Department of Pediatrics at New York University Grossman School of Medicine. “His publications highlight his experience with a diversity of disparity research methods resulting in the translation of his research into public policies.”

Dr. Flores has been instrumental in policy changes and advocacy to benefit children through his work as a consultant for the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sesame Workshop, and by pioneering parent-mentor interventions.

His greatest legislative success resulted in federal legislation that has provided $120 million in funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for parent mentors to provide outreach and enrollment of uninsured children and parent-mentor programs in 11 states and the Cherokee Nation.

A Diverse Provider Workforce

As important as Dr. Flores’ clinical efforts and research are, his dedication to a diverse pediatric workforce has further set him apart. Dr. Flores has provided pathways for pediatrician diversity, starting with his department. Eighteen division chiefs in the Department of Pediatrics are URiM, 39% women and 17% LGBTQIA+. Forty-eight percent of the department’s faculty are URiM and 72% women.

Dr. Flores invests significant resources into mentoring, as the Academic Pediatric Association recognized earlier this year. He has worked with 72 mentees in his career, including 17 faculty, nine fellows, nine residents, 25 medical students and 12 undergraduate students. His mentees have been published in peer-reviewed journals and received numerous grants and leadership positions of note.

Dr. Flores founded and directs Research in Academic Initiative on Diversity (RAPID), now in its 11th year of funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. This program promotes the careers of underrepresented minority early investigators through mentorship pairings and research funding.

“My goal is to continue to promote equity in pediatrics,” Dr. Flores said. “I also plan to continue training the next generation of pediatricians committed to this goal. Together, we can reach my vision for pediatrics and health care in general: to eliminate disparities in health and health care forever.”

Tags: diversity in medicine, Dr. Glenn Flores, pediatric