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Advocacy and Community Pediatrics


Improving the health and well-being of children through advocacy is a defining element of the specialty of Pediatrics.

Community Pediatrics involves:

  • a perspective that expands the pediatrician’s focus from one child to the well-being of all children in the community;
  • recognition that family, educational, social, cultural, spiritual, economic, environmental, and political forces affect the health and functioning of children;
  • synthesis of clinical practice and public health principles to promote the health of all children within the context of the family, school, and community; and
  • commitment to collaborate with community partners to advocate for and provide quality services equitably for all children.

(American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Community Pediatrics)

Our Approach

We are committed to the principles of Community Pediatrics as our roadmap for caring well for our patients and our community. We seek to apply these principles as we partner with patients, families, and communities to improve the health and well-being of children through our clinical services, educational programs, research activities and advocacy initiatives.

Why Advocacy?

We recognize that the well-being of our patients is deeply rooted in the well-being of their families and communities and that the care that we provide in clinic and hospital settings is just one piece of a broader framework through which we can affect lives and health outcomes. Therefore, we consider community partnerships and collaborative efforts to educate and mobilize the public, community groups, and policy makers around child and adolescent health issues foundational to how Duke Pediatrics can care for every single child and our community as a whole.

According to Dr. Richard Horton*, advocacy involves “taking the problems that one faces day to day and pursuing their resolution outside their usual place of presentation.” Our team members, regardless of specialty, advocate for children and adolescents every day by addressing barriers to positive development and health where they first arise – in the places where children live, learn, and play. Our staff are actively engaged in a variety of partnerships with schools, community organizations, and policy makers to proactively define how our society should raise up our next generation of leaders.

We are eager to learn more from and partner with other child advocates in our community, and we welcome your input and contributions.

* Richard Horton, FRCP, FMedSci, is the present editor-in-chief of The Lancet, a United Kingdom-based medical journal.

Watch a video about how Duke addresses health equity through clinical service, research, education, and community engagement.

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