Dr. Sharon Edwards is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Medical Education. She is also a Program Director for the Adolescent Medicine Fellowship at the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health, a national model for providing comprehensive care to adolescents and young adults from the age of 10-26. She is the product of this fellowship and has always wanted to be able to provide barrier-free care that is accessible to all. The Adolescent Health Center (AHC) is able to meet the needs of the adolescent and their family and meet them where they are and help them flourish, even during a pandemic. She trains a new generation of Fellows who are invested in adolescent health and provides complex medical care, care for youth with HIV, STIS and other chronic illnesses all under one roof with a multidisciplinary team.
Prior to returning to AHC, she served for 12 years as the Director of the Mount Sinai Pediatric School Based Clinics—five clinics all located in East Harlem that provide both medical and mental health care. She provided medical care at the sites and served as the Director/Administrator of the operation. She managed NYS grants to plan fiscally for the program with a financial analyst. She is the product of NYC public schools and a strong advocate for the children that they serve. She is a former member of the Board of the NY State School Based Alliance, a group that advocates nationally for school-based clinics.
As a Faculty Advisor for the Medical School for more than 12 years, she counsels and guides a cohort of medical students from each year. She advocates for her students when necessary and teaches small groups on professionalism, ethics, diversity and career development. Some of her students come to her with psychosocial and learning needs and she is happy to help them navigate services.
Dr. Edwards serves as the Vice Chair for Diversity Initiatives in Pediatrics and has been instrumental in catalyzing change within the department. As a Black woman in the department who is very vocal about racism, she continues to push the department to think differently. She leads “difficult but necessary” conversations about how to recruit both at the resident and faculty level. As the pediatric faculty is not very diverse, it has been great to openly discuss with others what they perceive the challenges are.
Dr. Edwards started the Committee for Diversity in Pediatrics in 2014, focusing on the lack of URMS and LGBTQ individuals. A major achievement of the Committee is helping the department think about racism and diversity and talk about it. In addition, her work has focused on meeting with the Division Chiefs, Program Directors and Administration to work toward a creative solution. While she continues to stress to the department that anti-racism, diversity and inclusion is a shared responsibility, she believes that much of the momentum for change within the department has come from the Committee that she created. In 2021, the house staff is the most diverse in the history of the program: three Black males in Year 3, and two will be Pediatric Chiefs next year!