This past year has been eye opening for many, myself included. The news is a daily reminder of the discrimination, harassment, and violence endured by African Americans, Asian Americans, women, and other underrepresented groups. While these issues are
not new, they have been amplified against the backdrop of a pandemic that bred anger and frustration and highlighted the inequities in our healthcare systems.
We need to do better.
Inclusivity is a core value of the AOFAS. We value diverse people and perspectives in our Society and we condemn hate and bigotry in all forms. But that is not enough. We need to encourage women and members of underrepresented communities to enter foot
and ankle surgery, and provide support and mentoring so they stay in the field. Our Women’s Leadership Initiative, established in 2018, is a good start, but there is so much more work to do.
To that end, I am proud to announce the formation of the AOFAS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Reporting directly to the AOFAS Board of Directors, this committee is charged with recommending action steps for AOFAS to address diversity, equity,
and inclusion among members and to expand the subspecialty to better represent the patients we serve.
More specifically, this committee will create opportunities for broader participation in educational programming and leadership positions; create resources and programs to develop future leaders; and partner with other organizations to expand the pool
of future foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeons.
The issues plaguing our country are much larger than the AOFAS, but we can be part of the solution. My hope is that the formation of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is the first of many steps in the right direction.
Bruce E. Cohen, MD