March 15, 2022
by Anthony J. Vine, MD, FACS, Chair, Board of Governors Diversity Pillar, Communication and Education Workgroup
Perhaps disheartened by the crescendo of racism and hate crimes during the last 2 years, we now have reason to be reinvigorated, thanks to some novel diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts taking shape at the ACS.
Under the baton of our new Executive Director Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, several ACS leaders are working together to promote DEI projects in the organization:
In addition, other Regents, Governors, Fellows, and the industrious ACS staff are making progress on myriad DEI projects, programs, and initiatives that will begin converging toward a unification of efforts with increased collaboration between committees and workgroups. The goal is to create a symphonic orchestra from our many surgical chamber groups and small ensembles engaged in DEI activities.
A musical theme—or leitmotif—is essential to the work that we do. DEI strategies require coordinated orchestration and cooperative participation from all players. As we learned at the recent ACS DEI Joint Strategic Meeting January 21, the projected plans will involve alignment of foundational work across multiple fronts. These plans range from establishing conjoining committees to defining goals and timelines on DEI integration progress, developing best practices and anti-racism training programs, creating safe spaces, and intervening earlier in the pipelines to establish greater understanding of DEI (along with its terminology) and generate pathways to leadership, to name just a handful.
The musical score, with all its segments and subdivisions, will be known by our entire orchestra—just as the last stand second violin player must know what the second bassoonist is playing. Of course, there will be a maestro leading, as well as a few associate concertmasters and principal section leaders, but the resonance of our DEI symphony must be accomplished by harmonious playing from the collective of individual ACS instrumentalists so that the desired performance resound with vibrancy, lyricism, and conviction.