May 20, 2021

ACR 2021 Dives Into Racial Disparities in Healthcare

Health equity was a major focus of the recently concluded ACR 2021, including a two-part presentation featuring expert panelists who spoke about the American College of Radiology’s® (ACR’s®) commitment to equity within the radiology specialty and the entire house of medicine.

The first presentation included panelists Efren J. Flores, MD, Iris C. Gibbs, MD, FACR, Zahra Kahn, CPA, CGMA, MPA, Johnson B. Lightfoote, MD, FACR, and Lucy B. Spalluto, MD, MPH, who spoke about topics including the inequity of the COVID-19 pandemic, racism as a threat to the public health of the nation, and racial equity in breast cancer screening.

Gibbs discussed the deeply rooted racial ideologies and institutional policies in the United States that are most challenging and noted that “the first step to health equity is awareness.”

Spalluto touched on radiology’s specific role in diversity and inclusion, more favorable patient outcomes, and leading the charge for health equity.

The second presentation featured Jacqueline A. Bello, MD, FACR, Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, FACR, Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, Karthik Sivashanker, MD, MPH, CPPS, Raymond K. Tu, MD, FACR, and Rajan T. Gupta, MD, as the moderator.During this session, Sivashanker, Vice President of equitable health systems and innovation at the American Medical Association, introduced the Quality and Safety for Impact on Racial Justice and Equity (FIRE) program. He called equity an “… accelerator of all we do. It has to be a core mission of what we’re doing … the approach of hiring one person of color, charging she or he with driving change, and then being surprised that it doesn’t work is not the right approach,” he said.

Take Action on the ACR Website

The Radiology Health Equity Coalition — with representatives from the ACR, American Roentgen Ray Society, Association of University Radiologists, Radiological Society of North America, Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, Society of Interventional Radiology, and American Board of Radiology — are bringing together the radiology community to address health disparities and measurably change outcomes. This mobilized network of patient-focused radiologists will collect and disseminate resources and best practices, advocate for and connect with patients and community members, and collaborate on programs and services to empower others to act. Members are encouraged to visit the ACR website to commit to advancing health equity within the practice and act to reduce health disparities in radiology.