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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.

DEI Initiatives

Through its initiatives, ASH’s work within the DEI space, which spans over a decade, ensures the global hematology community remains inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents and experiences.

Minority Recruitment Initiative (MRI)
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.

Women in Hematology Working Group
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.”

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.

Reconsidering the Use of Race in Clinical Tools: Duffy-null associated neutrophil count (DANC)

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) will be leading a two-year health equity project focused on ensuring that individuals with Duffy-null associated neutrophil count (DANC) receive appropriate care. Approximately two in three people in the United States who are of African or Middle Eastern ancestry have the Duffy null phenotype, which is defined as the non-expression of the Duffy antigen on red blood cells. Many individuals with the Duffy null phenotype are incorrectly labeled as having neutropenia – a condition that increases the risk of infection or suggests disordered bone marrow function. This mislabeling can result in unnecessary, expensive, and invasive testing, delayed or discontinued chemotherapy, exclusion from clinical trials, restricted access to therapeutics, and other negative consequences. Ensuring proper care of these individuals can be achieved by expanding the collective understanding of Duffy-null-associated neutrophil count (DANC) and its impact on the continuum from clinical trials to proper care. This will be accomplished through three objectives:

  1. Empowering selected health care systems to reconsider their ANC ranges for the Duffy-null population and sharing information about their efforts.
  2. Educating health care professionals about DANC.
  3. Intervening at the population level, including education of clinical trialists and the public about the implications of DANC.

This work is funded by a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Programs Subcommittee

The ASH Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion established the DEI Programs Subcommittee to assist with efforts to build and nurture a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences. This committee supports 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.

DEI Resources

ASH’s thoughtful, insightful, and bold DEI programming and materials offer an opportunity to educate ourselves and others, and foster a new cultural framework for future Hematologists.

The ASH Anti-Racism Toolkit and ASH DEI Toolkit are available to help further your understanding of DEI and learn day-to-day best practices as clinicians, researchers, and educators.

Listening Sessions
As part of the work of the ASH Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 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.

DEI Programming at the ASH Annual Meeting
ASH remains committed to building and nurturing a global hematology community and workforce inclusive of diverse perspectives, talents, and experiences. As we work toward one collective goal – helping hematologists conquer blood diseases worldwide, select DEI sessions presented at the annual meeting have been made accessible for free on ASH Academy On Demand. You can access these sessions at no cost when you create a free ASH account.

Making an Impact

Get to know the individuals who are leading the way in the creation of more inclusive and equitable patient and health care communities.

Navigating Her Own Journey to Hematology
After travelling the world, working in finance, and attending performing arts school, Dr. Tamara Dunn finds her own path to becoming a doctor.

From a Small-Town Farm in Oklahoma to Epidemiologist
Dr. Deirdra Terrell, a first-generation college graduate, grew up on a farm in a small town in Oklahoma, with death and disease as a large part of her identity.

A Competitive Runner on the Clinical Research Track
Dr. Christopher Flowers’s competitive streak led him far beyond his local, regional, and national track and field championships.

Inspiring Lyrics Help Fight Childhood Cancer
Dr. Rayne Rouce is not your “classic” physician. Her patients and their families are glad that’s the case.

A Chemistry Lover Finds Her Calling in Hematology
Dr. Lachelle D. Weeks was all set to pursue a career in chemistry when she fell in love with oncology, after learning that nitrogen mustards were used to treat cancer in a medicinal chemistry class.

Lift as You Climb: An Interview with Dr. Michael R. DeBaun, MD, MPH
Dr. Michael R. DeBaun speaks about his family code of serving others, which he passes along to generations of mentees.

Interviews With the ASH Minority Medical Student Award Program Awardees
The ASH Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP) provides underrepresented minority medical students with a mentored research experience to advance their careers as hematologists-in-training. Each year, we highlight several MMSAP awardees and their experiences as part of ASH’s robust career advancement pipeline.

ASH Celebrates the 20th anniversary of mri

MRI 20th Banner

The ASH Minority Recruitment Initiative (MRI) is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

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Now available

2022 AM DEI Sessions

Complimentary DEI and Maternal Health Content

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