The events of 2020 and 2021, starting with the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic shutdown, followed by the blatant violence against the Black and Asian communities have further heightened awareness of the racial disparities and healthcare inequities that are a part of the fabric of our country that we can no longer ignore.
The leadership of the Central Surgical Association, an organization that prides itself on mentoring and fostering opportunities for young surgeons to not only present their work at a high quality scientific meeting but also assume leadership positions, is committed to ensure a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our surgical community and family. To that end, we endorse the recent statements of the American College of Surgeons, the American Board of Surgery, Society of Black Academic Surgeons, Society of Asian Academic Surgeons, and Latino Surgical Society, on racism and intolerance. However, as it is not enough to simply say that we oppose discrimination and racism, we have taken and will continue to take action.
To that end, the Council of the CSA has several initiatives underway that will continue to move forward:
- A task force on diversity, equity and inclusion has been established. Efforts are underway for this task force to be a standing committee. The goal is for the Chair to have a permanent seat on the CSA Council.
- Committee structure is being evaluated to ensure appropriate representation across the spectrum of our membership and promote pathways to leadership for underrepresented groups.
- Panels for the upcoming and future Annual Meetings are being managed to ensure diversity amongst those discussing, presenting, and moderating sessions.
- Incorporate presentations and panel discussions on race, gender, and health disparities as part of our Annual Meeting program. There will be such a session at the 2021 meeting in July.
- Explore partnerships with other societies to leverage our collective strengths to advocate for social justice, reduce healthcare disparities, and counter racism in our country.
- The diversity amongst the membership is being evaluated to guide recruitment of more members from various backgrounds who will strengthen the organization
We are confident that together we can embrace the challenges ahead and emerge stronger and more committed than ever to serving each and every one of our members and maintaining a vibrant and meaningful surgical society.
Thank you for all you do for your patients, your healthcare institutions, and your communities.
CSA Council & Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force