ACS announces recipients of matching grants for innovative DEI and anti-racism initiatives

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Regents Committee on Anti-Racism in November announced the recipients of its first matching grant program to fund innovative and impactful research projects and programs addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and anti-racism issues.

The grant program was initiated to catalyze efforts of professional societies, academic departments of surgery, and surgeons in all surgical specialties toward the goal of advancing anti-racism, DEI, and gender equity in the field of surgery.

In July 2021, the committee called for innovative proposals and programs to improve the diversity and gender balance of the surgical workforce and its cultural competency, enrich the pipeline of surgeons underrepresented in medicine, and reduce disparities in the delivery of health care, particularly in the equitable management of surgically related diseases.

The application process was open to all surgical professional societies, departments of surgery, or group practices who were willing to match the College’s grant for their proposed projects and programs.

The total award amount of $325,000 will be dispersed across 10 primary investigators. Each grant is for one year beginning December 1, with an identical amount matched by the society, department, or practice (entity).

The 2021 recipients listed by primary investigator, award amount, surgical association, or university affiliation are:

  • Kareem R. Abdelfattah, MD, FACS ($25,000)
    The University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
    Planned program: Development and implementation of structural disadvantage curriculum for the department of surgery trainees and faculty at UT Southwestern
  • Karen J. Brasel, MD, FACS ($25,000)
    American Association for the Surgery of Trauma/ACS Committee on Trauma/Pediatric Trauma Society
    Planned program: A collaborative approach establishing pathways to medicine through leading trauma organizations
  • Paris D. Butler, MD, FACS ($25,000)
    Society of Black Academic Surgeons
    Planned program: Striving to Accelerate Recruitment in the Surgical (STARS) workforce initiative
  • Michelle Joseph, MBBS, MSc, PhD, FRCS ($25,000)
    Harvard University (Boston Children’s, Brigham and Women’s, Mass General)
    Planned program: ARC-S: Anti-Racism Curriculum for Surgical Residents
  • Mary Klingensmith, MD, FACS ($25,000)
    Southern Surgical Association
    Planned program: Southern Surgical Association program in leadership development to promote excellence in diverse young surgeons
  • Jenny Shao, MD ($25,000)
    Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
    Planned program: Fundamentals of Leadership Development (FLD): Through the lens of DEI
  • Tanya Zakrison, MD, MPH, FACS ($25,000)
    The University of Chicago, IL
    Planned program: Reducing structural and moral injury among patients and trainees: Creating a novel structural justice curriculum
  • Keith D. Carter, MD, FACS ($50,000)
    American Academy of Ophthalmology
    Planned program: Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring
  • Lisa A. Newman, MD, MPH, FACS ($50,000)
    Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY
    Planned program: Patching the leaky pipeline: Increasing diversity in surgery through parallel initiatives targeting four educational levels
  • Thomas K. Varghese, Jr., MBBS, MS, FACS ($50,000)
    Society of University Surgeons and Association of Academic Surgeons (SUS/AAS)
    Planned program: SUS/AAS Under-Represented Minorities in Medicine Junior Faculty Promising Leaders Program

The ACS looks forward to the introduction of new innovative anti-racism DEI programs that can be used as templates for wide dissemination.

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