UW News

October 27, 2005

HMC pediatrician wins social justice award

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

Dr. Elinor Graham, a UW associate professor of pediatrics who directs the Children and Teen Clinic at Harborview Medical Center, will receive the first Helen Rodriguez-Trias Award for Social Justice from the American Public Health Association. The award will be presented in Philadelphia during the Association’s annual meeting in December.

Graham has dedicated her 35 years as a physician to providing medical care and building community support for families living in poverty.

Rodriguez-Trias was Graham’s mentor during her pediatric residency at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. After her residency, Graham joined community activists from the East Kentucky Welfare Rights Organization to establish the Mud Creek Health Project, which continues to operate in rural East Kentucky.

Graham then moved to Seattle to work for the King County Department of Public Health, where she was medical director of the Columbia Health Center. She worked to expand pediatric services at county health clinics and helped establish the first high school teen health center.

She and local parents established Parents for Student Success, a program that taught low-income parents to be more effective advocates for their children’s education.

At Harborview, Graham has worked with colleagues in internal medicine to set up the Community House Calls program. The program improved coordination of care for immigrant and refugee patients at Harborview, and provides cultural training to providers and medical staff within the UW and around the region.

Realizing that this program was a rich source of information about cultural factors affecting health, Graham and her colleagues created the EthnoMed Web site to make the information available to health-care providers around the world.

Graham also has been recognized as an outstanding teacher, and has supported pediatric residents in conducting international health and community advocacy projects.