Flores wins public health social justice recognition

By Kristen Holland Shear / Holiday 2010

Dr. Glenn Flores, professor of pediatrics and clinical sciences, who leads the division of general pediatrics at UT Southwestern, recently received the Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award from the American Public Health Association.

The association presents the award annually to a “public health professional who has worked toward social justice for underserved and disadvantaged populations,” such as women, children and minorities. First presented in 2005, the award is named for the late Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, a pediatrician and past president of the group. 

Dr. Glenn Flores

In announcing the award, association officials cited Dr. Flores’ work on issues related to the health of Latino children, cross-cultural communication in health care, and racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care. He received the award at the association’s annual meeting and exposition in Denver.

“This is such a tremendous honor, because Dr. Rodriguez-Trias was a remarkable role model in her tireless devotion to social justice for underserved and disadvantaged populations,” said Dr. Flores, who also serves as chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.  “This award is particularly special to me because, like Dr. Rodriguez-Trias, I am a pediatrician of Puerto Rican ethnicity whose professional effort is focused on research, teaching, clinical care, advocacy and social justice for underserved children.”

Dr. George Lister, UT Southwestern chairman of pediatrics, called the award a wonderful honor for Dr. Flores because “it signifies a career of deep commitment to a principle that is often ignored, subtly resisted or even outwardly opposed.

“Dr. Flores’ efforts to understand barriers to health services for children from minority or underserved groups have helped lift the blinders worn by many others in our profession.”

Dr. Flores recently compiled a report on behalf of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Pediatric Research that showed that minority children in the U.S. face a pervasive gap in the quality and extent of health care received compared to Caucasians. The report, published in the April 2010 issue of Pediatrics, represents the first comprehensive review of racial/ethnic disparities in pediatric care.

Dr. Flores also serves on the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine composed of primary care providers. The panel conducts scientific evidence reviews of a broad range of clinical preventive health care services and develops recommendations for primary care clinicians and health systems.

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Dr. Flores holds the Judith and Charles Ginsburg Chair in Pediatrics.

Dr. Lister holds the Robert L. Moore Chair in Pediatrics.