Health equity is radiology’s lane — and radiologists must commit to act, challenged outgoing ACR President Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, during her address at ACR 2021. During the presentation, McGinty unveiled the Radiology Health Equity Coalition, a new community-wide effort designed to support radiologists who aim to address health disparities in research, advocacy efforts, AI development, and medical student recruitment. The launch of the Coalition, McGinty said, speaks to problems laid bare throughout the past year, ranging from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and the structural racism present in healthcare delivery to racial and social unrest.
According to McGinty, the creation of the Coalition is an acknowledgement of the inequities in the healthcare system and the specific opportunities radiologists have to address equity in healthcare. “Every practitioner, every stakeholder in healthcare, must audit themselves to say, ‘What does this moment ask of me?’” McGinty said. “In radiology, there is a sense of, ‘What is our task? What can we do to change this?’”
The Coalition is initially being mobilized by the ACR, the RSNA, the American Roentgen Ray Society, the Society of Interventional Radiology, the Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, the Association of University Radiologists, and the ABR. Additional radiology stakeholders will join in the coming weeks and months. McGinty noted that 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.
“The Coalition is inclusive,” McGinty said. “We will make change by connecting with external stakeholders, whether it’s patient advocacy groups, other specialty societies, payers, or policymakers.”
McGinty concluded her address by urging the virtual audience to commit to advance health equity. “This is a big effort,” she said. “It’s going to require a lot of change — and as such, it’s not something that the ACR can do alone. We are here to support radiologists who make this public commitment.”