Dear CSA Members:
It is an honor and privilege for me to serve as your Central Surgical Association president this coming year. First, I want to thank Past-President, Tina Yen for her steady leadership this year and for guiding us through the difficult decision to not have an in person meeting two weeks ago. Her vision, commitment and clear thinking have been an inspiration to us all. We intend to honor Dr. Yen at the 2021 combined CSA-Midwest Surgical meeting in Chicago next July where we will both be giving our Presidential addresses.
On a more sobering note, the events of the last three months, starting with the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent economic shutdown followed by the recent events of blatant violence against the Black community have further heightened awareness of the racial disparities and healthcare inequities that are a part of the fabric of our country we can no longer ignore.
I want to assure you that 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 ensuring a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our surgical community and family. To that end, we endorse the recent statements from the American College of Surgeons and the American Board of Surgery on racism and intolerance and support the need for change expressed by the Black Lives Matter movement. However, it is not enough simply to say that we oppose discrimination and racism, we must take action.
To that end, the Council of the CSA has determined to undertake the following initiatives in the coming year:
- Establish a task force on diversity, inclusion and race to better understand these issues within our association in order to have a positive impact on our members
- Evaluate our committee structure to ensure appropriate representation across the spectrum of our membership and promote pathways to leadership for underrepresented groups
- Incorporate presentations and panel discussions on race, gender and health disparities as part of our annual meeting programming
- Explore partnerships with other societies to leverage our collective strengths to advocate for social justice, reduce healthcare disparities, and counter racism in our country.
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 society.
Thank you for all you do for your patients, your healthcare institutions, and your communities.
Central Surgical Association Council