SVS Foundation Adds DEI Pillar
The Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) Foundation has been guided by the three long-term pillars of research and innovation, community vascular care and patient education, and disease prevention. Recently, the Foundation added a fourth pillar –for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. It will emphasize, among other projects, research into health care disparities and care delivery solutions, scholarships and career advancement for under-represented minority vascular surgeons, and workforce development.
“DEI is an important cornerstone of the Society for Vascular Surgery itself and we applaud adding diversity, equity and inclusion as a bedrock pillar for the Foundation as well,” said Vincent Rowe, MD, chair of the SVS DEI Committee.
“This helps us support our community of vascular surgeons,” said Palma Shaw, MD, co-founder of the SVS Women’s Membership Section. “We are investing into the future of vascular health with programs for our diverse communities and helping the Society more closely resemble the patient population. People want a surgeon who looks like them.”
“The new pillar reaffirms the Society’s commitment to DEI and enables the SVS Foundation to serve as the portal for initiatives of SVS’ many regional societies, such as diversity scholarships or attendance at training courses. I look forward to witnessing how the SVS and SVS Foundation move forward in the space of DEI,” said Foundation Chair Peter Lawrence, MD.
Early plans for DEI initiatives include targeted scholarships, awards and research grants for diversity candidates, research projects focused on health care disparities or bringing programs to under-served areas.
The DEI pillar also reaffirms the Society’s objectives, supported by the DEI Task Force which now has become an ongoing committee as well as a summer DEI summit, with outcomes to be announced soon ahead of a second summit planned for January 2023. In addition, the Society’s new research priorities added health care disparities as one of seven important topic areas. The focus in that area is evaluating “interventions aimed at improving vascular health in all socioeconomic, racial and ethnic populations.”
Both Rowe and Shaw pointed to how commemorative months – Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month and Hispanic Heritage Month among them – celebrate the diversity of modern life. “We mark these months and others, to celebrate the diverse voices of the vascular community,” said Shaw.
“We will be funding the future of vascular health through a lot of these initiatives,” said Rowe. “We want to grow and nurture these initiatives, while we grow and cultivate our increasingly diverse vascular workforce.”