Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards

The President’s Award for Diversity and Humanism in Clinical Care

This award honors clinical faculty members who best embody the humanistic spirit of patient-centered medicine, both through clinical excellence and in outstanding compassion in the delivery of care. The recipients extend respect to patients, their families, and health care colleagues and lead by example in ethics, empathy, and an exceptional awareness of the value of diversity and inclusion.

The 2019 Winner:

Heidi Roman, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Medical Center

Dr. Roman has dedicated her career to the care of vulnerable child populations, and her sense of purpose is infectious – reminding those around her why they chose a life in health care.

She knows that children in foster care face myriad challenges, and as Medical Director of the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence at Children’s Medical Center, she works with an interdisciplinary team to reach patients and their families.

Colleagues say that Dr. Roman creates a safe space to discuss often tough cases of children exposed to a multitude of traumatic experiences, and her ability to do this results in an environment where all team members are able to speak on equal terms and feel valued for their opinions. 

One patient family expressed gratitude: “Thank you for your excellent and thorough care of the boys and our family. Your care and love for our boys was a gift to us. You never once made us feel like a foster family but rather that our boys were your No. 1 patients. On behalf of the lucky foster families that work with you: Thanks.”

Prior to joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014, she was an attending pediatrician at a federally qualified health center in San Jose, California, with a faculty appointment at Stanford University School of Medicine. She was recruited to UTSW in conjunction with the establishment of the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, an integrated medical home for children involved in the child welfare system. The Center is dedicated to mitigating the impact of adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress through coordinated medical and behavioral health services.

A clinician-educator, Dr. Roman also is co-Director of UT Southwestern’s Ambulatory Care Clerkship. Dr. Dorothy Sendelbach, Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education at UT Southwestern, wrote that Dr. Roman has contributed to the emphasis on humanistic values within the Medical School curriculum. “Through her efforts, the entire medical student body is imbued with the same values of compassion and social responsibility that Heidi exhibits in her practice.” 

In her words: “I am truly honored and humbled to have been recognized with the President’s Award for Diversity and Humanism in Clinical Care. I have the great privilege to care for a very special group of children at the Rees-Jones Center for Foster Care Excellence, where I work with an incredibly skilled and dedicated interdisciplinary team. This is truly a shared award, as I could not do any of what I do without this wonderful group of child advocates. I am ever grateful for the institutional and community support that allows us to provide high-quality care for our patients and to increase awareness regarding the needs of our children, both through the education of future health care providers and outreach in the community.”

Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. Heidi Roman