What the Academy Is Doing
Currently, Academy task forces are examining our own organization through this lens and seeking to ensure that we are inclusive, welcoming, diverse, and engaged in providing meaningful resources for the public and for our members to fulfill this objective.
One of these task forces is focused on health equity in eye care. Health equity is a complex subject involving social determinants of health and medical care, access to care, cost of care, multifactorial risk factors to disease, and outcomes of care.
The Academy understands that combating inequities involves some issues (economic, geographic, social, etc.) that are outside of our organizational scope; however, we can impact many of them. This will involve research, population data analytics, promoting change in the makeup of the ophthalmologic workforce, promoting optimal structures and processes of care delivery, effective advocacy, amended clinical guidelines, and more effective public and professional education (among other remedies).
We recognize that many of our membership are looking to the Academy to help them understand these complicated and intertwining issues and to provide resources for them in their practices and in their communities.
The Academy Task Force on Organizational Diversity and Inclusion is charged to assess the organization's diversity in its physician leadership, committees, presenters on the podium at Academy events, and recognition programs. Its report to the Academy Board of Trustees will recommend ways in which diversity and inclusion can be enhanced over time.
The Academy Task Force on Disparities in Eye Care is charged with providing an understanding of current knowledge about visual health and disparities, including gaps in data. It will then develop a prioritized framework by which the Academy can address gaps and reduce identified disparities. With board guidance, it will perform pilot work to reduce disparities in areas within the Academy mission that are rated highest priority in the framework.
Academy Leadership Training
The Board of Trustees approved a recommendation by the Academy Task Force on Organizational Diversity and Inclusion to require Academy leaders to complete a free, one-hour course on unconscious bias in medicine, offered by Stanford University School of Medicine. Secretaries and members of the board took the training in 2022, and committee chairs and mentors for the Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program are asked to complete it in 2023.