Department of Pediatrics

Disparities Research


Disparities in the access to and receipt of healthcare have been associated with numerous negative health outcomes in children and adults. Identification of disparities in care at the level of systems and providers can then lead to reductions in health disparities. The greater Houston area, as one of the most diverse metropolitan regions of the United States, a center for refugee relocation, and with proximity to our southern border, offers unique opportunities for Baylor PEM physicians to address and reduced disparities in care for our children and their families. Dr. Elyse Portillo is the co-chair of the PECARN Disparities Working Group and led the PEM research agenda for disparities as well as creating a toolkit for accurate collection of sociodemographic characteristics for PEM research. 

Faculty with a research focus on disparities:

  • Andrea Cruz, MD, MPH: families with language of care other than English
  • Shubhada Hooli, MD, MPH: inaccuracy of transcutaneous diagnostic tools based on skin tone
    • Email:
    • Twitter: @ShubhadaH
  • Elyse Portillo, MD, MPH: families with language of care other than English; standardized data collection re: demographic information
    • Email:
    • Twitter: @ElysePortillo
  • Eric Russell, MD: interpreter use, care of the immigrant child
    • Email:
    • Twitter: @EricRussell873
  • Esther Sampayo, MD, MPH: asthma disparities, families with language of care other than English
    • Email:
    • Twitter: @md_ems

Russell EA, Hsu D, Camp EA, Soto-Ruiz K, Leaming-Van Zandt K. Spanish-speaking caregivers’ perception of emergency physicians’ interpersonal and communication skills in a pediatric emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2023. PMID 36999987. 

Rees CA, Stewart AM, Portillo EN, Mehta S, Avakame E, Jackson J, McKay J, Michelson KA, Duggan CP, Fleegler EW. Reporting of important social determinants of health in pediatric clinical trials. Am J Prev Med. 2023. PMID 36610922. 

Nishijima DK, Tancredi DJ, Adelgais KM, Chadha K, Chang TP, Harris MI, Leonard JC, Lerner EB, Linakis SW, Lowe GS, Magill CF, Schwartz HP, Shah MI, Browne LR. Impact of race and ethnicity on emergency medical services administration of opioid pain medications for injured children. J Emerg Med. 2023. PMID 36641254. 

Shihabuddin BS, Fritter J, Ellison AM, Cruz AT. Diversity among research coordinators in a pediatric emergency medicine collaborative network. J Clin Transl Sci. 2022. PMID 36845308

Rees CA, Stewart AM, Mehta S, Avakame E, Jackson J, McKay J, Portillo EN, Michelson KA, Duggan CP, Fleegler EW. Reporting of participant race and ethnicity in published US pediatric clinical trials from 2011 to 2020. JAMA Pediatr. 2022. PMID 35311946. 

Paydar-Darian N, Stack AM, Volpe D, Gerling MJ, Seneski A, Eisenberg MA, Hickey E, Toomey Lindsay K, Moriarty L, Hudgins JD, Falvo F, Portillo EN, Creedon JK, Perron CE. Improving discharge safety in a pediatric emergency department. Pediatrics. 2022. PMID 36222092. 

Fanny SA, Kaziny BD, Cruz AT, Camp EA, Murray KO, Nichols TJ, Chumpitazi CE. Pediatric emergency departments and urgent care visits in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. West J Emerg Med. 2021. PMID 34125058. 

Portillo EN, Stack AM, Monuteaux MC, et al. Association of limited English proficiency and increased pediatric emergency department revisits. Acad Emerg Med. 2021. PMID 34431157. 

Michelson KA, Reeves SD, Grubenhoff JA, Cruz AT, Chaudhari PP, Dart AH, Finkelstein JA, Bachur RG. Clinical features and preventability of delayed diagnosis of pediatric appendicitis. JAMA Netw Open. 2021. PMID 34463745. 

Morrow A, Dongarwar D, Salihu HM. Health Disparities and Constipation Management among Pediatric Patients in the Emergency Department. J Natl Med Assoc. 2020. PMID: 32624239. 

Russell EA, Tsai C, Linton JM. Children in Immigrant Families: Advocacy Within and Beyond the Pediatric Emergency Department. Clin Pediatr Emerg Med. 2020. PMID: 32922213. 

Cruz AT, Ellison AM, Johnson TJ. Perspectives on Urinary Tract Infection and Race. JAMA Pediatr. 2020. PMID: 32663241