In a statement today, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) announced that it had established the ASCO Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, which will advance the Society’s equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) goals across the organization and throughout the wider oncology community.

Sybil R. Green, JD, RPh, MHA, ASCO’s Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer will serve as the Center’s inaugural vice president with lead responsibility for guiding and organizing the organization’s far-reaching external and internal Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion efforts.

“The launch of the new Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion signals ASCO’s commitment and focus on creating and sustaining meaningful change that translates into high-quality, equitable cancer care for all individuals with cancer,” noted Clifford A. Hudis, MD, FACP, FASCO, ASCO’s Chief Executive Officer.

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“This formative step builds on ASCO’s longstanding commitment to health equity by placing this critical resource in the heart of ASCO’s organizational structure.”

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This announcement follows the recent release of the ASCO Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Plan, which aims to infuse equity into all of the organization’s activities.

Sybil R. Green, JD, RPh, MHA, ASCO’s Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer. Photo Courtesy: © 2018 – 2022 ASCO. Used with permission.

Organized around ASCO’s mission pillars of research, education, and quality, the ASCO EDI Action Plan describes the three overarching goals ASCO intends to achieve, including:

  • Research: Clinical trial results will more accurately represent the population of patients with cancer, clinical trials will be routinely offered as a treatment option, and all patients will have equitable access to them.
  • Education: The oncology workforce will better reflect the diversity of the population we treat and will be well-equipped to deliver high-quality, equitable care for every patient.
  • Quality: There will be fewer barriers to obtaining cancer care and practices will have the resources needed to advocate for patients and sustainably deliver high-quality, equitable care to all.

In addition to the tireless efforts and steadfast dedication of a large number of ASCO volunteers who have helped guide these efforts, the ASCO EDI Staff Advisory Council—which includes ASCO staff members from every department—has contributed countless hours to ensuring that ASCO has an inclusive culture where everyone feels informed, connected, and valued, and all workforce members have opportunities to achieve their potential.

“I’m deeply honored to be a part of ASCO’s work in this area and am deeply grateful for the many ASCO volunteers and staff who have provided expertise and guidance along the way,” Green said.

“Our work is far from over, but we have a clear roadmap to support our progress and ensure our own accountability. Long-term success will depend on a dedicated, consistent and ongoing effort from ASCO and this new Center is evidence of just that,” she added.

From its inception, ASCO has tried to address health disparities in cancer care, highlighting specific areas of concern, and efforts needed to address cancer equity. The organization has issued recommendations on reducing disparities in cancer care, reducing disparities through the Affordable Care Act, charting the future of cancer health disparities research, and improving diversity in clinical trial participation.

ASCO’s equity, diversity, and inclusion work is funded by donations to EDI Initiatives through Conquer Cancer®, the ASCO Foundation.

Featured image: Attendees during the day at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Photo Courtesy: © 2016 – 2022 ASCO/Scott Morgan. Used with permission.

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