Bonnie Simpson Mason, MD, FAAOS,joined the American College of Surgeons (ACS) January 31 as its inaugural Medical Director of the Department of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Serving in this new ACS executive role, Dr. Simpson Mason will lead the development and implementation of proactive anti-racism and DEI initiatives in support of the College’s strategic plan in partnership with Cie Armstead, MPA, DBA, ACS Director of the Department of DEI. She also will remain in her current position as a clinical professor in orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitative medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
“Dr. Simpson Mason has a long history of developing innovative programs that help foster awareness about diversity in medicine and its benefits for our profession and our patients. She is passionate about education and physician workforce development, and we are privileged to have her on the ACS leadership team,” said Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, ACS Executive Director.
At the ACS, Dr. Simpson Mason will champion the importance and value of a diverse and inclusive environment and support the development of a vision and effective strategy to create a culture for DEI and ensure compliance with applicable laws. Her work will involve actively engaging leadership, members, volunteers, and staff to further behaviors, attitudes, and policies that support DEI. She will collaborate with ACS stakeholders to assess potential barriers, identify opportunities, and develop innovative strategies to recruit and retain a diverse workforce and membership. Dr. Simpson Mason also will work with College stakeholders to assess the need and recommend programs for collaboration and training initiatives on anti-racism, cultural competency, gender differences, and other DEI issues.
“I am honored and excited about the opportunity to serve as the inaugural Medical Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the American College of Surgeons. I am optimistic that we can strategically align the substantial DEI and anti-racism strides currently being made by a plethora of ACS stakeholders into meaningful and sustainable equity practices that permeate the House of Surgery. It is through measured and strategic action that collective transformation toward a culture of equity for all occurs—a culture that secures the longevity of our specialty and ultimately, if not most importantly, serves to benefit our patients, their families, and all communities.”
As a nationally recognized educator and speaker, Dr. Simpson Mason is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery with private practice experience who comes to the ACS from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), where she served as vice-president, diversity and inclusion.
During her time at the ACGME, Dr. Simpson Mason primarily led the design, development, and implementation of Equity Matters, a 10-year continuous learning and process-improvement initiative in DEI and anti-racism. This program actively engaged a 1,000-member specialty society and GME community in education, peer advisement, and solutions development to address disparities, racism, and seek health equity in their respective environments.