ASCA Announces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Initiative

December 12, 2022

Dear ASCA Colleagues:

We are writing to share some important news about work being done to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the ambulatory surgery community.

At our Board meeting last spring, a resolution in support of an ASCA-led DEI Initiative was presented and unanimously approved by the ASCA Board.  

Since then, we have recruited 12 ASCA members who have volunteered to look at employment in the ASC community, the diversity of our patient populations and how we can improve our cultural competencies as healthcare providers.  

All across healthcare, there are persistent racial, ethnic, religious and other disparities—that’s true among nurses, surgeons and other physician specialists. It is not a problem that ASCA can solve on its own, but we can certainly advocate for better policies.

We also recognize that ASCs are struggling with hiring and staff retention today. The simple fact is we need to educate and train more medical professionals while also expanding the medical education opportunities for historically disadvantaged Americans. That can only happen with a commitment by the state and federal governments.  

The second part of the initiative involves looking at our current patient populations and trying to identify policies that could give underserved communities greater access to the value that ASCs provide.   

The third focus is cultural competence. For anyone who may not be familiar with the term, cultural competence in healthcare is generally described as the ability of systems to provide care to patients with diverse values, beliefs and behaviors, including tailoring delivery to meet patients’ social, cultural and linguistic needs.

This third component is the one part of our effort where we believe we can begin to make a difference without relying on legislation or policy changes. That is because it’s really up to us as a community to embrace the education and training needed to make us not just medically competent, but competent in our interactions with patients across the spectrum of language, ethnicity, religious affiliation, sexual orientation and much more. 

Creating a more diversified, equitable and inclusive healthcare system is not something that will happen overnight, nor is it something ASCA can achieve on its own. Systemic change will take time and commitment and resources from the government and the entire healthcare system.

Preparing ASCA to help lead on these issues is what our DEI Initiative is all about. To learn more, listen to the latest episode of ASCA’s Advancing Surgical Care Podcast.


Mandy Hawkins
President, ASCA Board of Directors

Bill Prentice
Chief Executive Officer, ASCA