ACR Launches Health Equity Coalition

Multi-institutional group is designed to engage providers in efforts designed to alleviate disparities in the healthcare system.

The push for greater health equity isn’t new in radiology, but providers now have the opportunity signal their support of and dedication to making such improvements – committing to act as part of the American College of Radiology’s (ACR) emerging Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC).

In her address during the 2021 ACR Annual Meeting, President Geraldine McGinty, M.D., MBA, FACR, unveiled the new group that is designed to support radiologists who push to address health disparities in research, advocacy efforts, artificial intelligence development, and medical student recruitment. Interested providers can make the pledge here.

The launch of RHEC, she 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. It is an acknowledgement of the inequities in the healthcare system.

American College of Radiology President Geraldine McGinty, M.D., MBA., FACR, on the opportunity radiologists have to address equity in healthcare.

“I think every practitioner, every stakeholder in healthcare, audits themselves to say ‘What does this moment ask of me?’” she said. “I think in radiology, there is a sense of what is our task, what can we do to change this?”

As a group, RHEC members will collect and share resources and best practices that can be helpful in pursuit of this goal. Radiology, said Jacqueline A. Bello, M.D., FACR, chair of the RHEC and vice chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, is uniquely positioned to make an impact.

“As radiology touches nearly every part of patient care, radiologists are uniquely positioned to spearhead efforts to address health disparities and accommodate diverse patient population needs,” she said. “I encourage all to pledge their commitment and action to advance this vital initiative.”

RHEC is currently in mobilization mode with its many partners – the Radiological Society of North American, 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 American Board of Radiology.

“This 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.”

For more coverage based on industry expert insights and research, subscribe to the Diagnostic Imaging e-Newsletter here.