Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Hematology
ASH is committed to building and nurturing a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences.
As a global hematology community, the American Society of Hematology (ASH) understands the importance of having individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences in all areas of the field. Through various programs and committees, ASH continues its long-standing commitment to combating inequities in hematology, supporting scientists and clinicians from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, and embracing a wide range of voices across the patient and health care communities.
As 2020 ASH President Stephanie Lee, MD, MPH, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, wrote in a June message about diversity, equity, and inclusion, “We all have a role in moving toward a more just and equitable society, for our patients, for our colleagues, and for our field. We must stand united against racism in all forms.” She continued:
“…As doctors, we understand the power of diverse perspectives to accelerate science and improve care. As professionals, we know that opportunities are not distributed equally within our field. As healers, we seek to dismantle disparities in health and health care, illustrated by the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on black and other underserved communities.”
ASH has a longstanding commitment to combating inequity, as evidenced by its formation of the Committee on Promoting Diversity in 2003, its Minority Recruitment Initiative to support scientists from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, and its commitment of more than $12 million in awards to increase minority participation in biomedical research and support the minority physician pipeline. In 2017, ASH established the Leadership in Promoting Diversity Honorific Award to recognize hematologists who have shown extraordinary commitment to these values.
The Society is proud of its efforts thus far but recognizes that more can and must be done. Accordingly, ASH is exploring a number of opportunities to learn more about its members to better support a diverse and inclusive field. As part of these efforts, ASH has planned a series of virtual listening sessions to explore issues faced by those from backgrounds traditionally disadvantaged in medicine, with a specific focus on race and ethnicity, gender, ability, and sexual orientation.
The sessions are designed to create space for ASH members to share their perspectives and experiences and to gather meaningful information to help identify next steps for ASH to address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The sessions will be developed in partnership with and facilitated by an independent expert and will be rolled out in the following three phases:
- One-on-One Interviews: The independent expert will conduct 15- to 20-minute interviews over the course of 3 days with participants who prefer sharing their thoughts and ideas in a private setting.
- Conversations on Belonging: An ASH volunteer leader and the independent expert will co-facilitate group conversations. These sessions will be structured to address key topics identified from one-on-one interviews in phase 1.
- Reflection and Action: The outcomes of the conversations will be synthesized by the ASH Committee on Promoting Diversity to inform ASH leadership and to identify meaningful actions that the Society can take to better understand the experiences of these communities and support ASH’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
ASH encourages every member who is interested in participating in any of the one-on-one interviews or group sessions to fill out the form found at hematology.org/about/diversity-equity-and-inclusion/dei-listening-sessions. A follow-up email with details on participation will be provided upon the review and acceptance of each request.
ASH Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
ASH is committed to building and nurturing a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences as its works toward one collective goal: helping hematologists conquer blood diseases worldwide. The three-pronged approach to fulfilling the Society’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is:
- Inspiring, recruiting, and supporting researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds to pursue and succeed in careers in hematology and related fields.
- Involving people with diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences in leadership, volunteer, and staff positions.
- Advocating for policies and supporting programs that aim to eliminate health disparities in the care of hematology patients.
ASH welcomes and encourages engagement and participation of individuals in the Society regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ability, national origin, or other attributes.
Help Your Patients Find Blood Cancer Clinical Trials
Most cancer clinical trials continue to enroll patients despite COVID-19, and many patients are seeking help finding trials closer to home to avoid traveling. ASH member physicians and their care teams, along with patients and caregivers, can receive free one-on-one assistance in finding trials from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Clinical Trial Support Center (CTSC) Nurse Navigators.
CTSC Nurse Navigators provide personalized support for the duration of the search and enrollment process, and while patients are on the trials. Nurse Navigators also play a critical role in investigating which trials are open and currently enrolling, and thus are needed now more than even to provide direction. ASH and LLS have collaborated to provide ASH members and their care teams with enhanced access to this important service through a convenient portal on the ASH website.
Visit the ASH website to begin referring patients to the CTSC Nurse Navigators today.