The American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO) is deeply saddened by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others who came before them.
This moment is unique, as social injustice joins forces with a global pandemic and economic crisis impacting all, but especially devastating communities of color. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the extent of this inequality, with data showing that Latinx, African Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans are disproportionately affected by the virus as well as by its economic impacts. And we know, as radiation oncologists, that it is broader than COVID-19 — people of color face lower life expectancy, higher rates of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and cancer.
As radiation oncologists, physicians, as healers, we cannot ignore the consequences of structural racism and discrimination on our patients and our colleagues.We urge all our members to use collective voices to oppose racism and address health care inequality at the local, state, and national level.
Together, we can make a difference.
Sheila Rege, MD