Feature | ACC Mission Dependent on Diverse and Inclusive CV Workforce

This past year, the ACC embarked on a long-term journey to improve diversity and inclusion in both the College's membership and leadership, as well as the cardiovascular profession at large.

Join These Diversity & Inclusion Sessions at ACC.19

Friday, March 15

ACC.19 Diversity and Inclusion Town Hall
4:00 – 5:00 p.m., Sheraton New Orleans, Napoleon B1/B2 Room

Saturday, March 16

Diversity and Inclusion in Cardiology Session
3:30 – 4:00 p.m., Heart 2 Heart Stage, Lounge & Learn Pavilion

Sunday, March 17

Inclusion in the Cardiology Workforce: Everyone is Responsible
4:45 – 6:00 p.m., WIC Lounge, Lounge & Learn Pavilion

Addressing Barriers to Women Entering and Advancing in Cardiology
4:45 – 6:00 p.m., Room 243

Monday, March 18

Increasing Diversity in Cardiology: Effective Practices
9:30 – 10:30 a.m., FIT Lounge, Lounge & Learn Pavilion

68th Annual Convocation Ceremony
4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Main Tent
Recognize Distinguished Award winners, including Richard Allen Williams, MD, FACC, ACC's inaugural Distinguished Awardee for Diversity and Inclusion Leadership, and welcome the new "Faces of Cardiology" to the ACC.

A comprehensive strategic plan, developed by the ACC's Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion, was put into place to focus on three primary objectives:

  1. enhance the culture within the cardiology profession and the perceptions of the field to be 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 to ensure accountable execution; and
  3. engage and leverage all available talent by attracting and providing value to under-represented groups in cardiology across the career lifespan, from ensuring a deep pipeline to recruitment, retention and leadership development.

To date, the College has launched an award-winning communication campaign focused primarily on raising awareness of diversity and inclusion. Articles and commentary in JACC and Cardiology have spurred discussion around diversity and inclusion challenges like sexual harassment, wage disparities and work/life balance. #TheFaceOfCardiology social media campaign has also taken off as a means of highlighting the diverse group of men and women who currently make up the profession.

ACC leaders have also played an instrumental role, with ACC's Board of Governors and State Chapters, as well as member sections like Women in Cardiology, making major headway in engaging cardiovascular professionals in local and regional diversity and inclusion efforts, including leadership training, committee appointments, chapter reports and recruitment of the next generation of the cardiovascular workforce.

Most recently, the ACC's Board of Trustees approved six key Diversity and Inclusion Principles intended to further guide the actions of ACC as an organization to better fulfill its mission to transform cardiovascular care and improve heart health.

These efforts aren't going unnoticed. Attend any major recent cardiovascular meeting, including ACC.19, and you'll see more women and underrepresented groups in cardiology moderating educational sessions and press conferences, leading workshops and participating in panel discussions.

At the ACC level, the College's Board of Trustees is welcoming two new women – Athena Poppas, MD, FACC (vice president) and Claire Duvernoy, MD, FACC (trustee). Additionally, the Editors-in-Chief of JACC's two new journals – JACC: CardioOncology and JACC: Case-Reports are women.

Looking ahead, the ACC is moving beyond awareness-building to concrete actions. Look for the rollout of tools and resources, as well as local and regional programs, to attract high school- and college-aged underrepresented minorities and women to careers in medicine and cardiology.

Expect more events in concert with ACC Chapters and Sections – both in the U.S. and countries around the world. Also look for increased leadership development programming designed with the goal of creating a pipeline of leaders diverse in thought, experience and perspective to contribute to ACC activities and the cardiovascular workforce.

"How will we know success?" asked ACC President C. Michael Valentine, MD, FACC, and Pamela S. Douglas, MD, MACC, chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, in a recent JACC Leadership Page. "Success is when we can look at the incoming class of new cardiology fellows and the sea of faces are representative of the patients we see every day; when the number of women in leadership positions is so commonplace we have stopped counting; when anyone who wants to embark on a cardiovascular career is welcomed and encouraged to do so; and when diversity and inclusion is woven so tightly into our fabric that we no longer need an initiative to draw attention – it is who we are."

For more on ACC's Diversity and Inclusion activities, go to ACC.org/Diversity.

Keywords: ACC Publications, Cardiology Magazine, Leadership, Trustees, Goals, Social Media, Work-Life Balance, Sexual Harassment, Awareness, Fellowships and Scholarships, Perception, Awards and Prizes, Salaries and Fringe Benefits, Cultural Diversity, Workplace, ACC19

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