Mar 15th 2021

SCAI Efforts to Reduce Racial Disparities in Interventional Cardiology Care and Improve Diversity and Inclusion

President's Page Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dear Members,

When I became president last May, I shared with you that our efforts to live out SCAI’s mission of saving and enhancing lives would need to include amplifying the diverse backgrounds that have helped drive innovation within our specialty.

We strongly desire that each of our members from all backgrounds feel seen, heard, valued, supported, and treated fairly across our organization. I am happy to share with you some of the recent initiatives we have been working on to help move SCAI in the right direction.

DEI Committee: Late last year, SCAI officially introduced its Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. This group was launched at the direction of the SCAI Executive Committee, Board of Trustees, and SCAI staff, and will be working to set priorities, strategies, and programs that will inevitably become the standard across the organization. If you’d like to learn more about the DEI Committee’s initiatives, please contact Meredith Vining at mvining@scai.org.

Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Care Whitepapers: Interventional cardiac therapies are often underutilized in Blacks and Hispanics, exacerbating healthcare disparities, and contributing to the excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in these communities. SCAI is committed to reducing treatment disparities in coronary, peripheral, congenital, and structural heart conditions and ensuring representation of all groups in interventional cardiology. I have been working with each of the SCAI Clinical Interest Councils to develop whitepapers addressing disparities, challenges, and opportunities for us to advance clinical care and equity for our patients. This paper will be launched during the upcoming SCAI Scientific Sessions.

SCAI 2021 Scientific Sessions: In response to a year in which racial disparities in healthcare, police brutality and lack of accountability led to intense civil unrest, SCAI has further intensified our planned focus on diversity and inclusion. This year’s Hildner Lecture at the Scientific Sessions led by Quinn Capers, MD will review racial disparities in interventional cardiology and discuss steps that the interventional cardiology community can take to reduce the impact of bias and racism in our specialty. It is a timely discussion that I hope you will join. I am sure it will be one of the highlights of the conference.

Global Initiatives: A few months ago, I shared with you the excellent work SCAI is doing to bridge the gap in providing cohesive education and networking opportunities to our international members. Our membership spans across 74 countries, with ambassadors in six countries who work diligently to host several international events throughout the year. In response to disparities in care for Latino populations, I have charged our International Committee with greater collaboration and expanded educational opportunities in Mexico and Latin America. We look forward to expanding these global ventures in the near future.

I’m very proud of the work SCAI is doing to provide a more equitable organization for our members and the wonderful patients we serve. It is something that I am passionate about and will ensure that it continues to evolve beyond my presidency. If you have suggestions on programs or initiatives that will advance our efforts, please contact me at president@scai.org.

Sincerely,

Cindy Grines, MD, MSCAI
SCAI 2020–21 President
president@scai.org