ACS H.O.P.E. is taking proactive steps to bridge the gaps in surgical access worldwide.
In line with the ACS' dedication to global surgical equity, ACS H.O.P.E. is taking proactive steps to bridge the gaps in surgical access worldwide. Our focus extends beyond borders, emphasizing the needs of both the United States and international low-resource settings. By collaborating with leading entities like the ACS Division of Advocacy and Health Policy, the Global Health Council, and other global health advocates, we're facilitating access to top-tier surgical education, promoting awareness around global surgery inequities, and opportunities for bilateral partnerships.
ACS H.O.P.E. formed a diverse workgroup from its Advocacy Subcommittee to address equity in visa policies for Visiting International Short-term Clinical Learners (VISCLs). While US and other HIC (high-income country) healthcare professionals and trainees can easily provide hands-on clinical care for patients in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs), the same hands-on experiences are not available for LMIC trainees and faculty due to current visa restrictions among other secondary barriers. The workgroup includes visa experts, lawyers, members from the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, NGO Seed Global Health, ACS Fellows representing the Military, and ACS H.O.P.E. Advocacy Subcommittee members.
In April 2023, during the Leadership and Advocacy Summit, the workgroup met with the US Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs and Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. They discussed potential visa pathways for international physicians seeking short-term clinical training in the US. A follow-up call in June clarified the way forward, and the workgroup is now planning to consult Congress for further guidance. Read an article from the May 4 issue of the ACS Advocacy Brief.
The Global Health Council (GHC) is a non-profit organization that works to improve global health by advocating for policies and programs that prioritize the health of people and the planet. GHC brings together a diverse community of health professionals, policymakers, researchers, and advocates to advance global health initiatives.
Under the leadership of the Advocacy Subcommittee, ACS H.O.P.E. joined the Global Health Council in 2022 to connect with other organizations and elevate the ACS’s global surgery priorities to national and international global health governing bodies.
Members of the Advocacy subcommittee now participate in several roundtables:
ACS H.O.P.E. is eager to collaborate with the Global Health Council to highlight global surgical needs in global health advocacy.