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Inclusion, Diversity, Access and Equity Task Force

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In October 2019 the IDSA Board of Directors reauthorized the IDA&E Task Force for an additional year with a charge to prioritize initiatives from the Roadmap and Strategies document created by the 2018-19 task force for implementation. Following a call for volunteers, the 2020 task force members were selected in March.

While many pre-planned activities are on pause due to COVID-19, a subset of the task force has worked on a number of activities to address disparate impacts of the pandemic and systemic inequities.

2020 IDA&E Task Force

Please join us in welcoming the members of the 2020 IDA&E Task Force (from top left to bottom right):

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  • Tina Tan, MD, FIDSA (Chair), Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago
  • Hilary Babcock, MD, MPH, FIDSA, FSHEA, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Raul Macias Gil, MD, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University
  • Angelica Cifuentes Kottkamp, MD, New York University Grossman School of Medicine
  • Ravina Kullar, PharmD, MPH, FIDSA, Expert Stewardship, Inc; Newport Beach, CA
  • Jasmine Riviere Marcelin, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Carina Marquez, MD, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
  • Trini A Mathew, MD, MPH, FIDSA, Beaumont Hospital – Royal Oak
  • Loren Nunley, MD, MBA, Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Damani Piggott, MD, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Uzma Syed, DO, South Shore Infectious Disease
  • Salandra Thomas - Staff Liaison

IDA&E Multi-Year Priorities

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The 2019 Task Force’s first goal was to develop guiding principles for the Society to ensure that the IDSA Board and committees reflect the depth of diversity within our membership, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, geographic location, clinical vs. non-clinical, among other factors.

The following principles were approved by the IDSA Board on December 6th, 2018:

We are committed to build a Society based on the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Access, and Equity (IDA&E)To achieve this, we will intentionally:

  • Cultivate a welcoming environment where differences are embraced, valued, and respected. 
  • Ensure that processes, policies, and practices foster fairness, belonging, equity, and reflect the views and values of our Society,
  • Guarantee transparency to promote fair treatment and access to opportunities for all members within all levels of the organization.

The task force will also help develop professional pathways that expand the Society volunteer leadership pipeline and create a IDA&E roadmap that provides a clear definition, metrics and guidance on the Society’s ongoing efforts to achieve and maintain inclusion, diversity, access and equity.

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At its March 2019 meeting, the IDSA Board of Directors approved the following Case Statement:

To promote unrivaled healthcare delivery, education, research and advocacy within our organization, IDSA embraces inclusion, diversity, access and equity (IDA&E) as key drivers of excellence and innovation. Our goal is to create a welcoming environment that recognizes the value of individuals with diverse backgrounds, talents, experiences and perspectives, and empowers them to fulfill their full potentials within the Society and in the community. We strive to build collaborative relationships with other organizations to further ensure the success of our Society's missions, and we serve as a champion for the principles of IDA&E in the global Infectious Diseases community.

We build our IDA&E principles on the foundation of published data demonstrating that:

  • Diversity increases creativity and innovation, promotes higher quality decisions, and enhances economic growth.1
  • Diversifying leadership helps to cultivate, develop, and advance new talent and presents new opportunities for organizations.2
  • Teams comprised of individuals with varying perspectives, ideas, and backgrounds outperform homogeneous teams on problem solving tasks.3
  • Inclusive environments are intrinsically tied to collaboration, innovation, and ultimately intellectual excellence.4
  • The primary way to diversify leadership is to systematically eliminate barriers for advancement for those traditionally underrepresented, cultivate the talent pipeline, and integrate IDA&E principles throughout our organization.

IDSA will lead by example on IDA&E in the following ways:

  • IDSA recognizes and honors the histories, accomplishments and legacies of all people; seeks to secure the future excellence of an innovative and creative Society; and intentionally recruits individuals with diverse talents into the organization.
  • IDSA cultivates leaders who respect and value differences and empowers our members, whose diverse perspectives and experiences strengthen their decision-making.
  • IDSA supports cultural awareness in order to facilitate excellence in education, research and healthcare delivery to a global community with different backgrounds, values and attitudes in order to address their needs in a sensitive and competent manner.
  • IDSA is committed to creating and implementing accountability strategies to ensure sustainable progress in achieving our IDA&E goals and to publishing the results of our assessments. 
  1. CAP "Progress 2050" report
  2. BoardSource "Leading with Intent" report
  3. "The Difference" by Scott E. Page
  4. Academic Medicine "Diversity 3.0: A Necessary Systems Upgrade"

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On June 1, 2020, IDSA and HIVMA released a statement in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, speaking out against systemic racism and related public health issues. The task force will continue to prioritize actions that will help end systemic racism pursuant to IDSA’s mission and guiding principles in addition to supporting our broader IDA&E plans.

IDSA organized a Society-wide 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, generating conversations on social media with the hashtag #IDSARacialEquityChallenge. IDSA hosted a panel discussion at the close of the challenge to discuss systemic inequities in the field of infectious diseases. Prior to the challenge, we shared an Allyship Guide as recommended learning material during and beyond the challenge.

IDSA/HIVMA has published a number of issue briefs on COVID-19 and health disparities, which include recommendations for policymakers and clinicians.

IDSA has published numerous podcasts with our member experts on the disparate impacts of COVID-19 on medically underserved communities and also coordinated the media briefing “We Are Not in This Together – COVID-19 and Communities of Color,” which discussed health disparities and policies for reducing the impact of the pandemic on vulnerable populations. Members of the task force participated in the briefing and served as experts in the podcasts.

In September, IDSA published our second IDA&E JID supplement.

Supported through funding IDSA has received from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we curated a collection of resources for the medical community on Disparities and Culturally Competent Care as a part of our COVID-19 Real Time Learning Network.

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IDSA is making important changes that will help ensure a successful future for the society and better engage new generations of members by implementing the IDA&E Roadmap and Strategies We’re committed to ensuring that the leadership of the society — from task forces and committees to the board of directors level — reflects the true face of ID.

At IDWeek 2020, several sessions focused on advancing the principles of inclusion, diversity, access and equity in the field of infectious diseases, including:

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IDWeek sessions are still available to registered attendees through Sept.30, 2021.

With a direct investment in research and mentorship, the IDSA Foundation’s workforce development initiatives are aimed at developing professional pathways for minority students. By providing unprecedented access to ID and HIV leaders, IDSA is able to reach students with diverse backgrounds, supporting those who will take the helm for ID research and prevention.

Grants for Emerging Researchers/Clinicians Mentorship (G.E.R.M.) was developed to provide grants to medical students to support a longitudinal mentored clinical learning and/or research project on infectious diseases-related topics including HIV for up to a year, under the mentorship of an IDSA or HIVMA member.

The profession of infectious diseases continues to remain deeply rooted in the belief that mentorship is a powerful entrée into the field. Through the first ever #IDYourMENTOR campaign, the IDSA Foundation intends to shine a light on the power of mentorship and the incredible leaders in the field who have helped cultivate the ID luminaries of today — and tomorrow.

The ID Student Interest Groups Program was designed to engage medical students and residents outside of their traditional classroom setting with hands-on education about the field of ID. New and existing ID interest groups can receive grants of up to $500 to support special events, seminars or other activities that will inspire students to pursue a career in ID.

image4cpng.pngIDSA was awarded a Power of A Silver Award by the American Society of Association Executives for our enterprise-wide advancements throughout 2018 and 2019 and the COVID-19 response.

IDSA/HIVMA’s work was recently featured in Healio, citing the work of the task force and efforts benefiting in the field.

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