Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee May 2021 Update
The current climate has brought to the forefront issues of discrimination, inequality, and disparities within our society as a whole. Not only does it permeate our societies globally but infiltrates healthcare, from disparities in access and quality of care received to disparate outcomes disproportionately impacting minority populations. The current literature demonstrates that outcomes in patients with congenital heart disease are in fact not equal and these disparate outcomes track along racial lines. Additionally, the lack of workforce diversity that likely contributes to these inequities is a longstanding issue that needs to be addressed.
During the 16th Annual Meeting of PCICS last December, the society featured inaugural diversity equity and inclusion content with topics including cultural humility, implicit bias, building a diverse culture in the CICU, social determinants of health and other contributors to racial and ethnic disparities. This session culminated in an excellent panel discussion on equity, diversity and inclusion. It was very well received and stimulated thought-provoking discussions. The interest was overwhelming and led to a complementary two-part PCICS podcast interview with the panelists that was similarly well received.
The PCICS Board has chosen to further embrace one of its core values – equity – and cultivate a diverse and inclusive professional community to eliminate barriers and achieve equitable outcomes for all. The organization has outlined initial steps toward creating anti-racist and anti-discrimination culture and policies. Part of this initiative included the creation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee with a mandate from the Board to lead the organizational efforts in facilitating a diverse leadership structure and membership as a step toward promoting equity and justice within the society.
The committee is co-chaired by Shanelle Clarke, Megan Tracey, and Ndidi Musa with 18 members to spearhead these efforts. Going forward, the society will apply the lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to all of its initiatives and programming. An important initial first step is launching a diversity climate survey and development of programming that will deepen our understanding of the impact of disparities and strategies to eliminate or mitigate them.
After the racial tensions that rocked the country in 2020, PCICS like many organizations took a stand on racial Injustice and published a statement on the subject of racial injustice.
Ndidiamaka L. Musa, MD
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Washington
Pediatric Cardiac Intensivist
Seattle Children’s Hospital
Shanelle Clarke, MD
Associate Medical Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Cardiac Intensivist, Sibley Heart Center Cardiology
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine
Megan Tracey, RN, MS, CPNP-PC, CNS
Heart Center APP and Critical Care Manager
Nurse Practitioner Cardiovascular Intensive Care
Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital
Palo Alto, CA