Nia Jenee Heard-Garris

  • 44 Citations

Research output per year

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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

Education/Academic qualification

MSc, University of Michigan

… → 2016

MD, Howard University

… → 2011

Research interests

  • 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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Research Output

  • 44 Citations
  • 8 Article
  • 5 Comment/debate
  • 3 Editorial

Adverse Experiences and Special Health Care Needs Among Children

Kan, K., Gupta, R., Davis, M. M., Heard-Garris, N. & Garfield, C., May 1 2020, In : Maternal and child health journal. 24, 5, p. 552-560 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Social Determinants of Cardiovascular Health: Early Life Adversity as a Contributor to Disparities in Cardiovascular Diseases

    Suglia, S. F., Campo, R. A., Brown, A. G. M., Stoney, C., Boyce, C. A., Appleton, A. A., Bleil, M. E., Boynton-Jarrett, R., Dube, S. R., Dunn, E. C., Ellis, B. J., Fagundes, C. P., Heard-Garris, N. J., Jaffee, S. R., Johnson, S. B., Mujahid, M. S., Slopen, N., Su, S. & Watamura, S. E., Apr 2020, In : Journal of Pediatrics. 219, p. 267-273 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

    Open Access

    Association of Childhood History of Parental Incarceration and Juvenile Justice Involvement With Mental Health in Early Adulthood

    Heard-Garris, N., Sacotte, K. A., Winkelman, T. N. A., Cohen, A., Ekwueme, P. O., Barnert, E., Carnethon, M. & Davis, M. M., Sep 4 2019, In : JAMA network open. 2, 9, p. e1910465

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access