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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Health Care

As a global hematology community, ASH understands the importance of having individuals with diverse perspectives and experiences in all areas of the field. Through various ASH programs and committees, ASH continues its long-standing commitment to combating inequities in hematology, supporting scientists and clinicians from backgrounds underrepresented in medicine, and embracing diverse voices across the patient and health care communities.

ASH Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) is committed to building and nurturing a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences as it works toward one collective goal: helping hematologists conquer blood diseases worldwide. ASH stands in solidarity with our members and patients in communities that are targets of discrimination, harassment, and violence, and remains committed to combatting all forms of bigotry. The four-pronged approach to fulfilling the Society’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is:

  1. Inspiring, recruiting, and supporting researchers and clinicians from diverse backgrounds to pursue and succeed in careers in hematology and related fields.
  2. Involving people with diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences in leadership, volunteer, and staff positions.
  3. Advocating for policies and supporting programs that aim to eliminate health disparities in the care of hematology patients.
  4. Providing resources and education to help build awareness of and seek to dismantle systemic racism and other forms of discrimination affecting our members and patients.

ASH welcomes and encourages engagement and participation of individuals in the Society regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ability, national origin, or other attributes.

Updated on: Jul 08 2021

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs Subcommittee

The ASH Committee on Promoting Diversity is establishing the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs Subcommittee to assist with efforts to build and nurture a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences. Recognizing the need for inclusivity, the CPD is calling for nominations of individuals with a passion for and expertise in DEI to join the subcommittee, which will support ASH’s DEI strategy through:

  • Implementing activities as part of the Society’s commitment to DEI in health care.       
  • Measuring and reporting on the impact of ASH’s DEI efforts.
  • Developing proposals for new programs that further ASH’s efforts related to DEI in the field.
  • Identifying subject matter experts in response to requests from committees and staff.
  • Developing approaches for engaging with a variety of communities within ASH.

Submit a nomination

Listening Sessions

As part of the work of the ASH Committee on Promoting Diversity, in 2020 ASH held a series of structured listening sessions to learn from Society members about their experiences as well as opportunities in the hematology community related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The sessions explored issues faced by those from backgrounds traditionally disadvantaged in medicine.

The sessions were designed to create space for ASH members to share their perspectives and experiences, and to gather meaningful information to help identify next steps for ASH to help address issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. As of December 2020, ASH held four conversations on belonging with members from multiple communities, as well as one-on-one interviews with 22 ASH members that will inform future efforts.

Special Scientific Session on Race and Science at the 62nd ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition

This Special Scientific Session on Race and Science includes important data points and a solid list of actionable recommendations. Visit ASH Academy on Demand to access the full-length session, with introductory remarks from Alan E. Mast, MD, PhD, or go directly to the individual presentations from Wally R. Smith, MD, and Lachelle Weeks, MD, PhD.

Applying the Science of Race and American Culture

Applying the Science of Race and American Culture

Dr. Wally R. Smith's eye-opening presentation focuses on the history of racial disparities in America as it relates to health care. Additionally, he introduces an assessment tool (Intercultural Development Inventory) that can teach individuals about health disparities and how to eliminate them.

Watch the video

Wally R. Smith, MD
Virginia Commonwealth University

Diversity, Innovation, and Science

Diversity-Innovation Paradox in Science

Dr. Lachelle Weeks' thought-provoking presentation addresses the value of diversity in fostering scientific innovation. She highlights key recommendations that researchers can take to enhance inclusion in fundamental research and medicine.

Watch the video

Lachelle Weeks, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Full-Length Special Scientific Session on Race and Science

Sessions on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This session was developed to raise awareness about systemic racism in research and ensure that the field of hematology is positioned to conduct high-level, cutting-edge science driven by a diverse community. Dr. Mast opens this full-length recording of the session with a moving introduction that touches on his own personal experience coming to grips with bias as a White parent of African American children. The session then moves into Dr. Wally Smith's presentation on the history of racial disparities in America and Dr. Lachelle Weeks' poignant presentation on the diversity-innovation paradox in science.

Watch the video

Alan E. Mast, MD, PhD Blood Center of Wisconsin

Wally R. Smith, MD Virginia Commonwealth University

Lachelle Weeks, MD, PhD Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

All 2020 ASH Annual Meeting webcast packages are now available for purchase via ASH Academy on Demand.

Minority Recruitment Initiative

The ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative (MRI) was created in 2003 to increase the participation of underrepresented minorities training in hematology-related fields and to increase the number of minority hematologists with academic and research appointments.

What is the ASH MRI?

Success Stories of the ASH MRI

Women in Hematology

The Women in Hematology Working Group (WIH) was created in 2019 to support the careers of women hematologists. The group is focused on strengthening opportunities for recognition of the contributions of women to the field, providing networking and mentorship opportunities to women at all levels of their careers, and identifying additional opportunities to support the careers of women in hematology. They annually host the Women in Hematology Networking Reception, which has previously included speaker Dr. Julie Silver’s presentation on “Accelerating Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion with a Focus on Women in Hematology.” Please contact ASH at diversity@hematology.org to learn more or get involved.

Making an Impact

Get to know the individuals who are representing diverse voices in the patient and health care communities.

Health Equity Collective

In 2021 ASH established the Health Equity Collective, a cooperative enterprise of support for organizations seeking to help stop the trajectory and minimize the impact of health care inequality. This initiative builds on ASH’s work over the last decade and holds the promise of what ASH can do in the future with partnering organizations. ASH thanks these participants in the inaugural cohort for their contributions:

GSK company logoJanssen company logoNovartis company logoPfizerSanofi Genzyme company logoTaiho Oncology company logo Vertex

Please contact Director of Business Development Angela Georgopoulos, MPH, at ageorge@hematology.org to learn more about the Health Equity Collective.

Learn More and Get Involved

Become a Mentor

Serve as a mentor to scientists of underrepresented backgrounds in the ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative.

Join the ASH Grassroots Network

Stay up-to-date on all of ASH’s advocacy efforts, such as the ASH Sickle Cell Disease Initiative.


Nominate colleagues who represent or reflect diverse experiences for leadership opportunities at ASH.


Work to recruit diverse participants in clinical trials thorough the ASH Research Collaborative.


Apply for ASH funding to support your research on health disparities and the social determinants of health at your home institution.