June 4, 2020 | A heartbreaking pattern of social justice failures, coupled with COVID-19’s consequences, has appropriately put the disparities in our nation’s healthcare system and larger culture under a worldwide spotlight. These disparities account for a disproportionate disease impact among African Americans and other non-white populations. We must commit to a future in which healthcare inequities are addressed and eliminated.
Achieving this goal requires hard work. The American Epilepsy Society reaffirms our commitment to performing this work in the pursuit of solutions. We embrace our responsibility as a medical and scientific society to include the full range of issues that impact patient outcomes, notably the special needs of underserved populations and supporting the continued development of a diverse healthcare workforce. Codified in and derived from our mission and values statements are these AES priorities:
- We work for meaningful advances in prevention, treatment, and cure for all people with or at risk of epilepsy
- Equitable access to epilepsy care and broader health care is an imperative
- Diversity of experience and background enriches our work as a Society and directly improves treatment of and outcomes for the diverse patient population our members serve
- Our work is conducted with integrity and respect for the experiences of all stakeholders
We know that achieving these goals requires a long-term Society-wide commitment to learning, reflection, collaboration, and creativity, which we make with both humility and hopefulness.
We underscore this commitment by condemning, in the clearest and strongest terms, racism and discrimination in any of its manifestations.
As the leading professional society for scientists and clinicians studying and treating epilepsy, we commit the collective AES voice—in partnership with policymakers and other medical, patient, and public health organizations—to fostering effective and sustainable change.