The Road to Tolerance and Understanding

May 9, 2017

 The Road to Tolerance and Understanding

Leaders from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine(SAHM), American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP), Academic Pediatric Association(APA) and the American Pediatric Society(APS), including SAHM's president, Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley, have released a statement urging the entire child and adolescent health community to embrace tolerance and understanding in the name of human progress.

The statement, published simultaneously in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Pediatrics and Academic Pediatrics, lays out the importance of tolerance and understanding in the wake of the turbulent election and recent, worrisome actions taken by the Trump administration jeopardizing the health and well-being of children and adolescents.

“The global marches for women’s rights and the demonstrations for the rights of other groups that took place in January 2017 should serve as a rallying cry for each person to return to the fundamental human goal of tolerance and understanding of others,” says the statement.

All adolescent health professionals can take steps to lead the way towards tolerance and understanding. These include “transforming offices into safe havens and explicitly welcome families who are different ostracized, or disrespected in modern society, validate the worth and importance of children, and deepen our understanding of families who appear to devalue science,” says the statement.

Professionals must continue to support one patient at a time, fostering an open, positive and welcoming environment, while mobilizing, organizing and leading at a population level. The recent tensions and anxiety, palpable in the post-election climate, demand that adolescent health professionals reflect on how they can propel themselves, children, family members, patients, colleagues, the nation and the global community down the road to tolerance and understanding for all.
In discussing this commentary, Dr. Coyne-Beasley states, "it is the implicit bias and explicit racism and other forms or discrimination that are gravely impacting the health and well-being of our adolescents and their families. As providers, this is something that we should all strive to overcome in our research, training, education, advocacy and policy efforts."

You can view the commentary at the following websites:

The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization of health professionals who are committed to advancing the health and well-being of adolescents. Through education, research, clinical services and advocacy activities, members of SAHM strive to enhance public and professional awareness of adolescent health issues among families, educators, policy makers, youth-serving organizations, students who are considering a health career, as well as other health professionals. Learn more at 

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