Honoring Dr. Wallace's Legacy of Advocacy
Dr. Chaniece Wallace was a relentless advocate for her young patients and a trailblazing role model for other aspiring Black physicians. In summer 2020, she became one of three pediatric chief residents at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. Wallace was also expecting her first child. In October 2020, she developed preeclampsia, a dangerous complication. Baby Charlotte was delivered early, but Dr. Wallace died two days later.
Those who loved Dr. Wallace recognized that her powerful work as a physician and advocate was not finished. In partnership with Riley Children’s Foundation, creating a fund in her memory is the first step they decided on to enhance care for kids. The initial focus of the Dr. Chaniece Wallace Diversity Scholars Fund is on educational programming for the School of Medicine’s continued work in diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Angela Amaniampong, DO, is a current pediatric chief resident at the School of Medicine, thanks in part to Dr. Wallace’s influence. She reflected on the enduring impact of her colleague, mentor, and friend.
"Dr. Wallace is a big reason why I am at Riley, and one of the biggest reasons I followed her footsteps and became chief resident in her honor. Dr. Wallace helped recruit me to join the IUSM pediatric residency program. She was a great mentor, friend, and my chief resident during my second year of residency. Dr. Wallace’s passing was absolutely devastating and shook me to the core. The Diversity Scholars Fund helps me keep her memory alive.
What makes the fund a meaningful legacy for Dr. Wallace is that when she was here with us, she had such a huge impact. Just because she is not physically here with us anymore, does not mean that her hard works end here. Because of the Diversity Scholars Fund, we have been able to fund the Dr. Chaniece Wallace Health Care Disparity Research Award. It has also supported a scholarship fund and a literacy drive – early reading was a passion of Dr. Wallace’s. Many patients from her clinic have received books from this drive with a sticker and little message honoring Chaniece.
We had the privilege of having Dr. Tucker Edmonds, the Vice President and Chief Health Equity Officer of Indiana University Health, be our very first speaker sponsored by the Diversity Scholars Fund. She presented on “Weathering Misogynoir.” There could not have been a more perfect topic or speaker to honor Dr. Wallace’s memory. Dr. Tucker Edmonds explained how sexism and racism manifest in Black women’s lives to create intersecting forms of oppression for many Black females in medicine. It was such a powerful, eye-opening Grand Rounds that made so many of us feel seen – something that Dr. Wallace also tried to do every day. One of the many things Dr. Wallace did well as a chief, mentor, and pediatrician was making sure every single person she encountered felt seen, heard, and genuinely cared for. I remember how much of an impact it was on me when I met Chaniece. Watching and hearing her speak and encourage underrepresented residents, including myself, was empowering just like watching Dr. Tucker Edmonds.
To the donors, I would like to say thank you. Your support has made it possible for Dr. Wallace’s legacy and her memory to continue living not only in the hearts of those of us who know and love her dearly, but for those who did not get a chance to meet her. We get the chance to still see her through these speakers, and through these scholarships that support our learners and leaders who want to carry on Dr. Wallace’s legacy by creating a more inclusive environment and dismantling health disparities. She will continue to make us all better physicians every day."