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Fenwick Institute | Overview

Register now for the 3rd annual Fenwick Institute’s Pediatric Health Equity and Policy Research Symposium!

Join us September 12 and 13 at this unique national forum for the discussion of research related to child health disparities, child health equity, and health policy.

Learn more about registration

The Sandra L. Fenwick Institute for Pediatric Health Equity and Inclusion is a Boston Children’s Hospital initiative that advances pediatric health equity locally, nationally, and around the world. The institute is named in honor of Ms. Fenwick, Boston Children’s’ former CEO, who retired in early 2021 after more than 20 years in leadership roles at the hospital.

As a leader in pediatric health care, Boston Children’s is committed to ensuring that all children receive the care they need and deserve. The Fenwick Institute carries out this work in three primary areas:

  • Health equity research
  • Inclusive excellence in healthcare and research leadership
  • Policy
Brachial plexus birth injury affects a diverse patient population.

How health equity enhanced research

“When we changed our recruitment methods, we found more subjects from every subset of our patient population willing to enroll.”

The Fenwick Institute is led by Valerie Ward MD, MPH, Boston Children’s Senior Vice President, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, Pediatric Radiologist and the first Sandra Labas Fenwick Chair in Equity and Inclusion.

Equity, inclusion and diversity are core to insuring a healthy future for our children…

Dr. Kevin Churchwell, President and CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital

Health equity research

Health disparities stem from a complex interplay between social, economic, and institutional factors that create barriers to care. Yet, little research into such barriers exists. The Fenwick Institute shapes emerging research into pediatric health disparities with the aim of ensuring equitable health care access, delivery, and outcomes for all children.

Inclusive excellence in healthcare and research leadership

An important component of health equity is ensuring patients and families can receive care from caregivers of diverse backgrounds. The Fenwick Institute builds on Boston Children’s position as a leader among children’s hospitals to inspire greater diversity and inclusion among health care leaders and providers.


True health equity requires changing the policies that reinforce health disparities within communities and institutions. The Fenwick Institute will extend Boston Children’s leadership in health equity, diversity, and inclusion by translating research findings into actionable public policy recommendations. To this end, we are:

  • initiating and collaborating on new policy and related research opportunities
  • working to develop a national community focused on pediatric health equity policy and research