New Endowment Established to Honor Dr. David G. Nichols

The American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Foundation recently awarded the American Pediatric Society (APS) a new grant to honor the career of David G. Nichols, MD, MBA, ABP President and CEO. This is the second award established to honor Dr. Nichols in as many months as he nears retirement in December 2021.

The David G. Nichols Health Equity Award is an endowed award that will be distributed on an annual basis to recognize an individual or group who has demonstrated excellence in advancing child and adolescent health, well-being, and equity through quality improvement, advocacy, practice, or research.

“Diversity, equity, and inclusion and child and adolescent health advocacy are cornerstones of the APS mission,” says Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, President of the APS and Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the Stanford University School of Medicine. “Our membership and leaders are passionate about health equity and are nationally recognized for their commitment and expertise in the field. The new award will provide a platform to underscore this commitment to child and adolescent health equity and diversity.”

Award recipients will be honored at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting, and their presentations will be published in Pediatric Research, the official publication of the American Pediatric Society, the European Society for Paediatric Research, and the Society for Pediatric Research. The endowment’s distinction from other awards is that it will honor individuals and programs with a far-reaching impact on health equity.

Victoria Norwood, MD, Immediate Past Chair of the ABP Board of Directors, says award recipients will be leaders, innovators, implementors, and researchers who can help pediatricians move the equity needle. Dr. Norwood, a Professor of Pediatrics and the Pediatric Nephrology Program Director at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, was instrumental, along with other ABP volunteers, in securing the award.

“Enormous percentages of childhood disease and ill health are the result of systemic and personalized disparities,” she says. “Learning from the very top leaders and experts in this arena is the way to spread the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to improve.”

Distributions from the $125,000 endowment will cover the recipient’s honorarium, PAS registration, and travel, while the APS will donate services in-kind to cover the award administration. The first award will be presented at the PAS 2022 Meeting. Information about the nomination process will be forthcoming soon from the APS.

“David has been the ultimate change agent in very challenging times, and his successes are deeply admired, appreciated, and acknowledged by all,” says Dr. Norwood. “Honoring him in this way — a way that keeps his energy going — is what we set out to do.”

Dr. Norwood announced the David G. Nichols Health Equity Award during the ABP’s quarterly Board of Directors meeting in October 2021.

“I want to thank everyone for this incredible honor,” said Dr. Nichols, shown here during the virtual presentation with his wife, Mayme Boyd. “To have my name attached to such a prestigious forum is of course a huge honor, but more importantly, I hope the award will energize the work of thousands of pediatricians all over the country to improve the care of children, to advance child health, and to promote health care equity.”

“I believe in the power of QI to make change,” he added. “We can do this. I am convinced we can all do this together.”

Dr. Leonard says the APS and its members are delighted to honor the tremendous leadership and achievements of Dr. Nichols. “We are grateful for the partnership and financial support of the American Board of Pediatrics Foundation which made this award possible,” she says. “The timing of this award could not be better.”