Newswise — CHICAGO (June 1, 2020) – The pain and anger surrounding the recent death of George Floyd in Minnesota is understandable and justified, as his death represents a painful national legacy of institutional racism. While the most recent wave of civil unrest and protest-related violence may seem appropriate to some, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) condemns at the same time racism, in any form, and violence.

African Americans in the United States face racism and systemic inequities that also include significant health disparities. As the world’s largest organization of heart and lung surgeons, STS is acutely aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death for African Americans. African Americans also have the highest incidence and death rate from lung cancer and have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Racism cannot be tolerated or ignored. It jeopardizes safety and undermines public health. STS and its cardiothoracic surgeon members worldwide are working hard to raise awareness and are committed to mitigating health inequities and diversifying its workforce in order to provide the best possible care for all patients. The Society also stands with African American students, trainees, colleagues, and members as everyone navigates this difficult time.

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For more information, contact Jennifer Bagley at 312-202-5865 or jbagley@sts.org. 

Founded in 1964, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a not-for-profit organization representing 7,500 cardiothoracic surgeons, researchers, and allied health care professionals worldwide who are dedicated to ensuring the best possible outcomes for surgeries of the heart, lung, and esophagus, as well as other surgical procedures within the chest. The Society’s mission is to enhance the ability of cardiothoracic surgeons to provide the highest quality patient care through education, research, and advocacy.

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