Honoring Our Colleagues
February is the heart of winter, when most of us in northern climates have had enough of cold temperatures and gray skies. Even though the days begin to show light in the mornings and a little more light in the evenings, it is a challenging month all the same.
As we emerge from winter and begin to leave February behind, we take time to honor those colleagues who have struggled to find their way in medicine against a system that was not always welcoming, through the celebration of Black History Month. Throughout this edition of ACOInformation, you will find stories that remind us of these achievements that have paved the way for others and have helped improve healthcare for those who have historically had limited access to care.
Although minority representation was sparse when I began medical school, Barbara Ross-Lee, DO was named the first female Dean of an American Medical School shortly after I graduated from the Ohio University (Heritage) College of Osteopathic Medicine, paving the way for improved access to underserved populations.
William G. Anderson, DO was the first Black American to lead the American Osteopathic Association, worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, and eventually earned his right to provide the care that he was trained to provide.
Judith A. Lightfoot, DO, MACOI, became the first Black President of the ACOI in 2014. She is an infectious disease specialist and continues to serve the ACOI in many capacities. I have been very fortunate to have worked alongside her during my tenure on the board and I appreciate her mentoring and wisdom.
Watson Ducatel, DO, MPH, FACOI, Chair of the Committee on Health Equity and Inclusion in Medicine, will present an article in this edition written by Timothy J. Barreiro, DO, FACOI and Op-Ed Titled “A House Divided.” This Committee (formally the Minority Health Committee), has recently undergone a revision in its name and its focus. The Committee will provide us with a monthly update, highlighting issues around health care disparities and ways to reach neglected or underserved populations, as well as addressing minority health issues.
The ACOI asks you to Stay True to Why You Pursued Medicine through Principle-Centered Medicine™. We continue to serve osteopathic internists and improved patient care through education and advocacy. It gives us great pleasure to recognize and celebrate the diversity of our members and their achivements. We celebrate all of our members who worked tirelessly and inspired us to continue the work of ACOI. We will strive to find a common path to improve the lives of those with limited access to healthcare, and at resolving healthcare disparities in our communities.
Michael A. Adornetto, DO, MBA, FACOI