New ACC Task Force Focused on Diversity

Diversity and inclusion are increasingly recognized as requirements for optimal organizational performance. In medicine, diversity provides opportunities to better serve specific patient populations, promote health equity, bring different views to debates and problem solving, better engage communities, and provide a broad spectrum of mentors and researchers.

In a recent leadership page, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC, and former ACC presidents Pamela S. Douglas MD, MACC, and Kim Allan Williams Sr., MD, MACC, expand on the importance of diversity, especially in the field of cardiology where diversity is far less than other medical specialties. To mitigate this trend, the ACC earlier this year formed a Task Force on Diversity, chaired by both Williams and Douglas, charged with ensuring cardiovascular medicine in general, as well as the ACC itself, attracts and provides rewarding careers for the full range of talented individuals in medicine; benefits from diversity of backgrounds, experiences and perspectives in leadership, cardiovascular health care delivery, education and science; and that the diverse needs of cardiovascular patients are met by cardiovascular clinicians sensitive to and respectful of their gender, cultural, racial and ethnic diversity.

The group has since identified three broad objectives that were presented in an interim report to the ACC’s Board of Trustees at its recent meeting in August. The objectives: 1) Enhance the culture within the cardiology profession and the perceptions of the field to be more inclusive, professional, equitable and welcoming; 2) Realize and sustain the value of diversity over the long-term by implementing structures and continuous improvement programs within the ACC for accountable execution; 3) Engage and leverage all available talent by providing value to under-represented groups in cardiology across the ‘career life-span’, from ensuring a deep pipeline, to recruitment, retention and leadership development.

These objectives will be further refined in the coming months. “With the extraordinary work of the Task Force, the ACC can envision a future College and specialty of cardiology that is more diverse and inclusive thus more able to serve our mission,” write Walsh, Douglas and Williams.

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Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Leadership, Mentors, Research Personnel, Ethnic Groups, Continental Population Groups, Problem Solving

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