Health Equity Is Radiology’s Lane

Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, Immediate Past-President of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®), contributed this piece.

Looking back on my time serving as ACR President, I’m proud of the more inclusive and member driven, highly engaged organization we’ve become. I am thrilled to be succeeded by Beverly G. Coleman, MD, FACR, the first African American woman elected as president of the ACR and look forward to seeing what we will continue to accomplish together.

In 2014, the ACR outlined a very critical goal, aspiring for all members to be universally recognized as leaders in the delivery and advancement of quality healthcare. Since setting this goal seven years ago, I think we’ve made impactful strides towards advancing the quality and practice of radiology, but there’s more work to be done.

The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly highlighted the inequities in our healthcare system. We’ve seen Black and Hispanic mortality at rates two to three times that of their white counterparts, and other minorities, such as the Native American community, disadvantaged in access to quality care. Compound that with a recognition that racial injustices are happening in our healthcare system as well as in our communities at large, and it has become very clear that the efforts to address these issues require the support of our entire profession. As radiology touches nearly all components of patient care, we are uniquely positioned to spearhead efforts to address these disparities and accommodate diverse patient population needs — and we must come together to do so.

During my Presidential Address at the ACR 2021 Annual Meeting, I shared the launch of a new, community-wide coalition effort to address health disparities and measurably change outcomes — the Radiology Health Equity Coalition. This coalition brings together 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 the American Board of Radiology. It will extend to engage with all major stakeholders in radiology. This community-wide effort 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.

Will you join the coalition? I urge you to commit to act at acr.org/healthequity.

Together, we can — and will — move our communities towards quality, equitable care.

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