The visions and missions of the ABR and radiology societies focus on improving patient care. Medical imaging impacts most people at some point, and radiology professionals have the potential to be unifying change agents across an inequitable healthcare system.
To help address these issues, the ABR was one of 11 partners that formed the Radiology Health Equity Coalition (RHEC) in 2021. The coalition was convened by the American College of Radiology.
“As a certifying body, the ABR sees their partnership with the coalition as a crucial extension of the social contract — to provide the best care possible to the broadest range of the population,” said ABR Executive Director Brent Wagner, MD, MBA.
The coalition also includes the American Medical Association Section Council on Radiology, Association of University Radiologists, National Medical Association Section on Radiology and Radiation Oncology, Radiological Society of North America, Society of Chairs of Academic Radiology Departments, Society of Interventional Radiologists, Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, American Association of Physicists in Medicine, and American Society of Radiologic Technologists, with other specialty and state radiology organizations joining the initiative. There are 37 total members.
The RHEC collects, assesses, and disseminates resources and best practices, advocates for and connects with patients and the community, and collaborates on programs and services to improve access and use of preventive and diagnostic imaging.
The organization’s goals are to strengthen the ability of clinicians and radiologists to deliver care that is:
Just as important, the RHEC supports initiatives to provide radiology services for every type of race and ethnicity, care setting, location, and socioeconomic status.
A few of the coalition’s accomplishments include:
Project Health Equity: The Promise Fund of Florida’s partnership with the Florida Radiological Society, previously known as Halo Logic, is now referred to as Project Health Equity. This project collaborates closely with the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the Hispanic Health Alliance to increase access to care for all women, aligning their goals, missions, and data collection efforts.
Maryland radiology bill: Through the advocacy efforts of the Maryland Radiological Society, a bill was passed through the state legislature to provide more equitable access to breast cancer screening and diagnostic procedures and propose policies to improve patient safety and promote health equity.
Learning network: The coalition is working on creating a network for radiologists and community health partners that allows them to participate in quarterly sessions focused on specific health equity topics.
National Lung Cancer Screening Day: As a co-sponsor with the National Lung Cancer Roundtable, Go2 for Lung Cancer, and the ACR LCS Steering Committee, the RHEC is collaborating with several sites in underserved areas to launch this year’s National Lung Cancer Screening Day.
Cancer Atlas Project: RHEC is actively involved in the development of the Cancer Atlas Project in collaboration with the Harvey Neiman Health Policy Institute. This project aims to engage distinct categories of stakeholders: community members and leaders with firsthand experience of health equity needs and stakeholders capable of using project data for program and policy development.
Partnership with the Cancer Action Coalition of Virginia (CACV): RHEC formed a strategic alliance with the Cancer Action Coalition of Virginia, focusing on addressing cancer treatment disparities within the state. RHEC has been invited to participate in CACV’s Lung Cancer Taskforce, which presents significant opportunities for collaboration and impact.
Educational resources: RHEC has produced several educational resources, including the Community of Practice Webinar Series and the Diversity in Clinical Research Symposium. The Community of Practice Webinar Series covers innovative approaches to community and stakeholder partnerships, as well as improvements in workforce diversity and research equity.
The RHEC Annual Impact Report is available online.