Books for belonging: Congenital Heart Center uses grant to diversify collection of children’s books for Little Victors

April 21, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership

The Congenital Heart Center (CHC) in the Department of Pediatric Cardiology was awarded the Phyllis M. Blackman Innovation Grant for their diversity, equity and inclusion initiative, “Books for Every One of Us.”  

At C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in the Congenital Heart Center’s clinics and inpatient settings, children and families can select books through the Check Out with a Book program and the CHC’s Book Babies™ program. 

“Books for Every One of Us” creates the opportunity to serve diverse patient populations by providing books where all patients can see themselves. 

Indeed, the new program gives Michigan Medicine the opportunity to enhance and elevate diversity, inclusive practices and equitable experiences by enabling children to see themselves in the pages of a book by providing Little Victors with selections that have broad appeal across race, culture, gender, ethnicity and individual interest. 

In a review of recent patient data, 30% of the pediatric patient population reported as a race other than Caucasian with 10.3% of the pediatric patient population reported as African-American and 5.2% reported as Asian. Typically, donated books follow traditionally expected titles from children’s literature — “Books for Every One of Us” provides literature that promotes diversity in multiple ways.  

“As professionals who champion the power of children’s literature, for both the child and those who read aloud to them, we observe the need for essential additions to the books currently available to our little victors,” said John Charpie, M.D., Ph.D., Amnon Rosenthal Professor and division director of pediatric cardiology at Michigan Medicine “These needed additions will enable C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital to promote children’s literature that reflects and honors the lives of every one of our children who receives care in our hands.”