In a Series of Letters, Neal Calls on Professional Medical Societies to Push Racial Health Equity Agenda Forward

Sep 3, 2020
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA—Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) called on the leaders of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American College of Cardiology, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Heart Association, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Nephrology, and the American Thoracic Society to partner with the Ways and Means Committee in addressing the longstanding racial inequities in our society. The letters to the professional societies describe how racism has influenced the use of race in medicine, science, and research, and call for a new path forward where medicine considers race as a tool to measure racism, not biological differences. Neal detailed the relevant work of each professional society and asked for their perspectives on a series of questions related to their unique medical expertise. 

“COVID-19 has illuminated and exacerbated longstanding racial inequities in our health care system that we must correct,” Chairman Neal said.  “As clinicians, health equity scholars, and medical professional societies continue to work toward eliminating racial health inequities, the consequences to health and the perpetuation of unequal outcomes make this work more urgent than ever. We must redouble our efforts. I look forward to the leadership of professional societies, who have been strong partners of government, to push this racial health equity agenda forward.”

In the letters, Neal wrote: “The United States (U.S.) has some of the most dramatic racial health inequities in the world despite its overall wealth and modern health care and research systems. I am deeply concerned about the research findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) on June 17, 2020 that demonstrated racial bias in tools used by physicians and other providers to make clinical decisions…Medical professional societies should take a clear stand against the misuse of race and ethnicity in clinical algorithms and issue new guidance to correct this practice.”

Read the letter to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education HERE.

Read the letter to the American College of Cardiology HERE.

Read the letter to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists HERE.

Read the letter to the American Heart Association HERE.

Read the letter to the American Medical Association HERE.

Read the letter to the American Society of Nephrology HERE.

Read the letter to the American Thoracic Society HERE.

 

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Subcommittees: