ACC names 1st-ever director of diversity and inclusion

Ranna Parekh, MD, MPH, has been named by the American College of Cardiology as its first director of diversity and inclusion, according to a statement issued by the College May 23.

The ACC first established a task force on diversity and inclusion, headed by chair Pamela Douglas, MD, a professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, in 2016 to address persistently low rates of women and other minorities in cardiology. Parekh’s new role will involve identifying and exploring barriers to entry into the field of cardiology, as well as developing diversity- and inclusion-related educational projects. She’ll also lead and coordinate diversity and inclusion efforts within the ACC.

“Given the rapidly changing demographics in the United States, ensuring health equity will be even more critical in the upcoming years,” Parekh said in the release. “I am deeply committed to principles of inclusion, cross-cultural understanding and community involvement and am honored to be able to work with the ACC’s members in using the college’s diversity and inclusion principles to realize ACC’s vision of ‘a world where innovation and knowledge optimize cardiovascular care and outcomes’ for all.”

Parekh, who studied at Wayne State University and Harvard and completed her psychiatry training and fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital at Harvard Medical School, reportedly has more than a decade of experience in leading diversity awareness and nearly 20 years of experience practicing psychology. She’ll assume her new position July 29.