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American Heart Association Calls for End to Structural Racism

By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

To eliminate health disparities, the United States must start by acknowledging how structural racism has exacerbated the problem, according to a presidential advisory from the American Heart Association published this week.

“Racism persists, racism is experienced, and the task of dismantling racism must belong to all of society,” the authors wrote. “The path forward requires our commitment to transforming the conditions of historically marginalized communities; improving the quality of housing and neighborhood environments of these populations; advocating for policies that eliminate inequities in access to economic opportunities, quality education, and healthcare; and enhancing allyship among racial and ethnic groups.”

The AHA promised to “look internally to correct its own shortcomings and advance antiracist policies and practices regarding science, public and professional education, and advocacy.”

The subject of racial disparities in healthcare has received extensive attention in Relias Media publications in 2020. The December 2020 issue of Same-Day Surgery highlights how prominent surgical associations and others in the field have called on colleagues to speak out this year for change.

Elsewhere, our writers have interviewed subject matter experts about the lack of minority recruitment in COVID-19 trials, disparities in end-of-life care, the stubborn lack of improvement in sepsis outcomes at hospitals that serve minorities, and allegations of poor treatment for minority patients in EDs.