Pediatric Residency Program

Pediatric Residency Program

LEADER Program

Leadership, Engagement, and Diversity in Education and Residency (LEADER) Program

At CHAM, we’re continually working towards building a true spirit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and advocacy for both our patients and colleagues. Our goal is to become a national model for fostering academic excellence and cultural humility, while building a pediatric workforce representative of the diverse population we have the privilege to serve.

With this in mind, the goals of the Leadership, Engagement, and Diversity in Education and Residency (LEADER) Program at CHAM are to:

  1. Attract and maintain widespread and uncompromised diversity of gender, age, origin, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, beliefs, appearance, abilities and contributions among our physicians
  2. Provide resources to educate pediatric residents about diversity and inclusion
  3. Support the personal and professional development of our pediatric trainees
  4. Foster a welcoming, nurturing and inclusive environment for all


LEADER Education

  • Pediatric Advocacy, Race, and Diversity Education (PARADE) Curriculum: Lecture series on topics including implicit bias, microaggressions, violence, immigration, education, and housing and food insecurity.
  • Leaders in Medicine: Weekly highlight of historic URiM physician leaders in pediatrics and medicine
  • Culturally Humble Curriculum (Coming soon!): Panel workshops on how to connect with and offer culturally appropriate care to minority and/or marginalized populations we serve
  • Recent LEADER-related Grand Rounds
  • Recent LEADER Inspired Journal Clubs
    •    “Step-Up Therapy in Black Children and Adults with Poorly Controlled Asthma” - M.E. Wechsler et. al


  • Diversity Dining: Potluck meals to share stories, food, and company
  • Resources to Illuminate, Support, and Elevate (RISE): Small group discussions to support URiM staff and faculty. Previous discussions have featured topics including microaggressions, implicit bias, and imposter syndrome.
  • Zoom Socials: Open forum for members to share and debrief their experiences in training or circumstances in the world

LEADER Faculty Leadership

Rhonda G. Acholonu, MD

Rhonda G. Acholonu, MD

Vice Chair for Education
Co-Director, LEAD Program
Faculty Co-Chair, LEADER

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Megan E. McCabe, MD

Megan E. McCabe, MD

Program Director, Pediatric Residency
Faculty Co-Chair, LEADER

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LEADER Trainee Leadership

Gabrielle Jasmin, MD

Gabrielle Jasmin, MD

Chief Resident Chair


Shenel Heisler, DO

Shenel Heisler, DO

Resident Chair


Keven Cabrera, MD

Keven Cabrera, MD

Resident Chair


Michael Luke, MD

Michael Luke, MD

Resident Co-Chair


Community Sub-Committee Chairs
Mariam Bhuiyan (PGY 3)
Marissa Cardillo (PGY3)
Jennifer Mena (PGY 3))

Education Sub-Committee Chairs
Keven Cabrera (PGY3)
Michael Luke (PGY3)

Mentorship Sub-Committee Chairs
Alisha Akinsete (Fellow)

Recruitment Sub-Committee Chairs
Keven Cabrera (PGY3)
Shenel Heisler (PGY3)
Michael Luke (PGY3)

Retention Sub-Committee Chairs
Monique Sterling (PGY 1)

LEADER Testimonials

“LEADER was a wonderful way for Pediatrics to more fully embody our long-standing values of commitment to social justice, to embrace & honor diversity among both families and health professionals & to prepare trainees to effectively serve all who present for their care.” - Deborah Campbell, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Chief, Division of Neonatology, Founding member of LEADER

“I participate in the LEADER initiative because as an openly gay person, I know how important it is to have a safe training environment in which one is not afraid to be yourself.” – Neal Hoffman, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine

“I joined LEADER because it recognizes that diversity, inclusion and equity in recruitment, retention, education and house staff development are a strength that should be consistently supported.” - Rhonda G. Acholonu, MD, Vice Chair for Education, Co-Director, LEAD Program, Faculty Co-Chair, LEADER

“I joined LEADER because I believe in social justice, and breaking down the structural, systemic barriers that often prevent members of underrepresented groups from entering the field of medicine. LEADER recognizes that we cannot truly provide comprehensive, holistic care to our patients without embracing diversity and inclusion for all, and providing trainees with a curriculum that emphasizes cultural humility.” - Danielle Johnson, Chief Resident, Social Pediatrics

“Through LEADER I have been able to form unique relationships with residents, fellows, and attendings who not only look like me but are able to relate with my life experiences for the first time in my medical career. I love being able to work closely with them on projects that bring out our shared passions for diversity, equity, and inclusion in both patient care and academic settings.” - Keven Cabrera, Resident

“I joined LEADER because, as a pediatrician, understanding diversity and how to be an advocate and activist is my responsibility to the families I care for as well as the medical community.” - Marissa Cardillo, Resident

“LEADER encompasses ideals and values that are important to me. Being a part of this group with so many other individuals who aim to promote education and diversity in many different aspects only helps to make us better healthcare providers.” - Shenel Heisler, Resident

"I joined LEADER to be part of an initiative that highlights the importance of diversity and focuses on the recruitment of prospective applicants from underrepresented groups. Furthermore, I value LEADERs commitment to educate residents on integrating the patient's cultural and social needs to provide more comprehensive medical care." - Gabrielle Jasmin, Resident

“LEADER has given me a space to find commonalities in shared experiences and personal insecurities, and a chance to find role models that may not fit the mold of traditional medicine.” - Michael Luke, Resident

“I joined LEADER to actively participate in and support an organization dedicated to promoting diversity and social justice and to preparing pediatricians for providing quality healthcare to children of all backgrounds.” - Jennifer Mena, Resident

Contact Information

Please email if you have any questions about the LEADER Committee and its initiatives.

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