The California Medical Association (CMA) has long believed that diversity and inclusion strengthen the health of our profession and California’s communities. To that end, CMA launched a Diversity and Inclusion Technical Advisory Committee (D&I TAC) in 2014 to usher in a new generation of policies and initiatives focused on:
- Developing resources and programs that demonstrate why diversity and inclusion is a business imperative
- Implementing policies and practices that make diversity and inclusion goals a permanent strategic focus
- Designing a strategic plan to achieve diversity and inclusion within CMA, including the Board of Trustees (BOT), component medical societies, CMA staff and leadership
- Supporting efforts to achieve diversity and inclusion within the physician workforce and in California medical schools
The D&I TAC presented research at the July 2018 BOT meeting highlighting the benefits of diversity and inclusion efforts toward clinical outcomes and demonstrating why it is a business imperative, as well as recommendations for new CMA policy and procedures with joint engagement between the Network of Ethnic Physician Organizations (NEPO) and the Ethnic Medical Organization Section (EMOS).
CMA is also researching the effectiveness of pipeline programs designed to encourage students to enroll in medical school and to pursue careers in medicine, and how organized medicine can be a partner in strengthening current programs.
In 2020, CMA breathed new life and urgency into these commitments transforming the D&I TAC into a standing BOT committee: the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. Since then, CMA has
- Taken steps to combat institutionalized racism
- Urged for the examination of systems and actions to begin to realize the aforementioned goals, including supporting legislation and ballot initiatives, merging wellness and JEDI work
- Amended the CMA Articles of Incorporation to include “health equity and justice” as a part of CMA’s guiding principles