AMIA Announces Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Friday, June 19, 2020

This member-led initiative will guide the upcoming 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the creation of the AMIA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to advise AMIA on specific, actionable steps to further address matters of racial diversity, equity and inclusion. The 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan will be completed by the end of 2020, and while it will include a continued commitment to growing AMIA as a diverse and inclusive community, the need for the DEI Task Force to advise the Strategic Planning Task Force is of critical importance.

The AMIA DEI Task Force will be led by AMIA Board Member Tiffani Bright, PhD, Biomedical Informatician Evaluation Research Team Lead at IBM Watson Health, and will be comprised of approximately 7-10 AMIA members. The Task Force will be expected to report monthly to the AMIA Executive Committee and the AMIA Board of Directors.

In addition to providing guidance on the upcoming Strategic Plan, some of the immediate charges of the task force are:

  • Strengthen pipeline of self-nominated leaders for 2020 election nominations due June 30, 2020;
  • Determine course of action for implementing ongoing leader education on diversity, equity and inclusion, especially for the Board of Directors and new leaders taking office in January 2021;
  • Create a set of DEI principles and tools (i.e. exploratory questions) to guide AMIA elected and volunteer leaders toward more diversity, equity and inclusion when composing committees, calling volunteers, selecting volunteers, evaluating speakers, and engaging members;
  • Develop a presence for activities and/or presented content at the AMIA 2020 Annual Symposium;
  • Conduct environmental scan and report of DEI activities in similar associations and societies for future task force/committee review;
  • Make recommendations for activities and/or presented content for future upcoming AMIA meetings.

 “The AMIA Board of Directors shares the concerns of our members about systemic racism in our society,” said Patricia C. Dykes, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, AMIA Board Chair and Program Director of Research at the Brigham and Women’s Center for Patient Safety, Research, and Practice. “We agree we can do better. Increasing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are key to ensuring future success for both AMIA and the informatics field.”

“I am proud to lead this initiative on behalf of AMIA,” said Bright. “This is indeed a team effort and I am encouraged by the steps AMIA is taking to ensure AMIA truly feels like our professional home. Continuing the transformation of our professional organization to reflect society and the communities we serve enables members and the broader informatics workforce to influence and lead the transformation of healthcare.”