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Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus
Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris is a pediatrician and a researcher in the Department of Pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and also in the Division of Academic General Pediatrics and Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Heard-Garris is an active member in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and serves as the Chair and founding member of the Provisional Section of Minority Health, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Heard-Garris recently completed a prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Fellowship at the University of Michigan. She earned her Master of Science in Health and Healthcare Research. At the University of Michigan, she studied the influence of social adversities, such as vicarious racism or racism experienced secondhand, and environmental adversities, such as the Flint Water Crisis on health. As a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Dr. Heard-Garris served as a fellow at the United States Department of Health and Human Services with the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). She worked on the Flint Water Crisis and Zika while a fellow in those organizations. Dr. Heard-Garris trained at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC for her pediatric residency. During her residency, she completed a health policy fellowship and worked in Honduras, as a part of her global health track. She received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Howard University College of Medicine and helped to launch the student-run free clinic serving DC residents. Dr. Heard-Garris earned her Bachelor of Science in biology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Heard-Garris's overarching research interests revolve around the relationship between adversities experienced early in childhood and health. Further, those interests also include the factors that contribute to a child’s ability to thrive despite these experiences. Through her research, she aims to generate the knowledge to help inform evidence-based interventions that help pediatricians and policymakers build resilience in children and in the communities that support children. Her long-term goal is to understand the role of childhood stress in the development of pediatric illnesses and key mitigating factors, so that family-centered, culturally appropriate strategies can be developed to treat, prevent, and ultimately lessen the burden adversity has on health throughout the life course.

Dr. Heard-Garris is a general pediatrician and enjoys caring for children from diverse backgrounds, including children from immigrant backgrounds. Through her research and clinical work, she hopes to help all children thrive.

Training Experience

2014Residency, Children's National Medical Center
2016Fellowship, Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Michigan

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

MSc, Health and Healthcare Research, University of Michigan

… → 2016

MD, Medicine, Howard University

… → 2011

Research interests keywords

  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Health Disparities
  • Health Policy
  • Health Services Research
  • Mental Health
  • Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
  • Pediatrics
  • Public Policy
  • Social Science
  • Sociology of Medicine


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