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UW Pediatrics

Message from the Chair, Leslie R. Walker-Harding, MD, FAAP, FSAHM

Dr. Leslie R. Walker-HardingWelcome to the Department of Pediatrics

Dear Colleagues:

In times of rapid change and unexpected challenges, it is essential to be with a Department and University that is ready, willing, and able to carry on our mission with renewed dedication and determination.  The University of Washington’s Department of Pediatrics has risen to the challenges presented in 2020 and exceeded expectations on how we would respond.  We continue to transform and innovate to address COVID-19, eliminate racism, improve health inequity and increase inclusion throughout the Department as well as in our workplaces. Only as we address these issues can the vision of a vibrant, unified and collaborative Department be fully realized.  In my last message, I spoke of the world changing rapidly; little did we know then how rapidly we would be required to pivot and transform.  We remain committed to creating and sustaining a world where solutions in healthcare, prevention, and new cures for childhood diseases will transform the lives of families around the globe.

The University of Washington Department of Pediatrics is a national leader and has a global presence in advancing the science of childhood health, disease prevention and cures. We are also redefining how healthcare can be delivered effectively to diverse communities and how a diverse department can create a vibrant workplace as well as a rich academic environment.  We have 600 faculty and we train over 250 Pediatric residents and fellows annually. We have every medical specialty represented within 21 Divisions and Sections. We serve the Northwest region of the United States with clinical and training programs that span Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, and internationally in Kenya. We welcome and value our partnerships with Seattle Children's, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and many other individuals and organizations who share our vision of serving our local and global communities to improve child health. Our research includes innovative work in Immunotherapy, Infectious Disease, Genetics, Oncology, Diabetes, Cystic Fibrosis, and Behavioral Health. Building on our outstanding research, we are committed to an integrated clinical and research environment where we strive to rapidly bring discoveries to the bedside of the children who need them.

As a Department, we have been on a deliberate journey to be Vibrant, Unified and Collaborative in all we do. We strive to be a Pediatric Department defined by its diversity, energy, enthusiasm for colleagues, as well as our mission and goals. A vibrant department made up of faculty who see a bright future for themselves in an environment that supports their career goals, values their opinion, and fosters a workplace environment that prioritizes their mental and physical health. A department that manages transition and change with expectancy and dedication to the overall mission. We are actively identifying and eliminating barriers to children achieving optimal health and opportunities including health inequities, bias, and racism. We invite our partners and communities to share in this work. As we step further into the new decade with lessons learned from 2020, we highlight our training programs and their exceptional success. Our outstanding residency and fellowship training programs have pathways in Global Health, research, advocacy, and our newest, health equity. We are committed to training our pediatric leaders for a successful future in a new healthcare landscape.

On behalf of all programs: education, training, research, clinical care and community, I invite and welcome you to join us in our mission and journey so that together we will create a new expectation of healthy lives for all children and adolescents.


Leslie R. Walker-Harding, MD, FAAP, FSAHM

Leslie R. Walker-Harding, MD, FAAP, FSAHM
Ford/Morgan Endowed Professor
Chair Department of Pediatrics/Associate Dean
University of Washington
Chief Academic Officer/Senior Vice President
Seattle Children's Hospital