NANOS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Statement

NANOS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) STATEMENT

Mission Statement: To make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) an integral part of NANOS in all of our activities.

Vision Statement: NANOS is an organization built on inclusiveness and community where unity is forged by fully acknowledging and embracing our differences as our strengths. 

Recognition of disparities within health care along with our nations’ deep-seated socioeconomic inequalities creates an imperative for change.  Additionally, excellence and inclusion of diverse individuals enhances scientific and medical innovation. We at NANOS are acutely aware of the need to introspect, identify and become intentional about being part of positive change.

There is evidence that implicit or unintended bias interferes with assessing individuals for hire, evaluating competence and excellence of medical students and residents, and recognizing excellence and achievement in medicine. We also know that there are disparities in leadership in healthcare, in research and publication endeavors, in invited speakers at medical conferences, and in award recipients.

Historically, equity and inclusion have been integral to the NANOS culture and values and are woven into the NANOS Strategic Plan. We are proud of a history of greater equity and inclusion. Just a few examples:

  • NANOS is proud of having had 5 women Presidents since 2002.
  • NANOS has representation in more than 40 countries around the world and is proud of being such a diverse group and community.
  • Since 2018 NANOS has been supporting the AAO Minority Ophthalmology Mentoring program that promotes diversity in the field of ophthalmology by helping underrepresented in medicine students become competitive ophthalmology residency applicants.
  • In 2019 we initiated collection of demographic information, which was expanded in 2020 in order to be more inclusive as a medical society
  • Participation of NANOS members in AAN IDEAS activities 
  • NANOS members participate and engage LGBTQ+ Communities at American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) with instruction courses on LGBTQ+ health. NANOS President-elect, Peter Quiros, and Board Chair, Valerie Biousse, are amongst the founding members of the AAO LGBTQ+ community.
  • In 2022, NANOS membership approved the bylaws amendment that now allows an international member of NANOS to serve on the NANOS Board in an advisory role. Learn more here.
  • NANOS provides platforms for engagement, networking, and collaboration for women in neuro-ophthalmology (WIN listserv) and young neuro-ophthalmologists (YONO).
  • The NANOS education committees will include DEI and social determinants of heath concepts within the curriculum.
  • NANOS initiated the DEI taskforce and subsequently the DEI committee earlier than many national and international medical societies.

While we have this history of inclusion, we want and need to do better. With your help, we WILL do better.

Our aspirations:

  • We want neuro-ophthalmologists to represent all genders, races, ethnicities, and sexual orientation to better reflect the diversity of our country and the communities we serve.
  • We want to ensure equal access for health care for all patients with neuro-ophthalmic diseases.
  • We want to advocate for our patients and for our colleagues.
  • We want to ensure that the research we do includes the participation of subjects that reflect our whole society and inclusive of researchers from diverse backgrounds.
  • We want all neuro-ophthalmologists to feel welcomed and included in our society at every level from novice to expert.
  • We want to ensure equitable participation and representation in all committees and meeting activities.

Here is what we are doing:

The NANOS DEI Committee was created to address some of these issues and to identify additional issues of focus.   We are soliciting input from NANOS as well as attendees at our annual NANOS meeting. 

Here is how you can help:

We appreciate your observations of what we can do together to create an equitable and inclusive NANOS, what we can do to promote neuro-ophthalmology as a career to diverse trainees, and how we can better advocate for our patients.

Together we can overcome the challenges of today and build a better tomorrow for everyone.

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