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Meet Dr. Africa Wallace, The Woman Who Broke Barriers as First Black President of Surgical Organization

Dr. Africa Wallace has became the first Black female president of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society (ECTSS) and the first president of any cardiothoracic surgery society after 60 years.

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Wallace is a board-certified thoracic surgeon and the director of thoracic surgery at Capital Health. He treats cancer and other illnesses at Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell using minimally invasive procedures such as video-assisted or robotic treatments.

The ECTSS’s newest member is also a part of Capital Health Surgical Group and Capital Health’s Robotic Center of Excellence, a group of specialist surgeons that provide a diverse range of robotic-assisted operations that meet the highest national quality requirements.

Dr. Wallace also co-directs Capital Health’s Lung Center of Excellence, a part of Capital Health Cancer Center that provides comprehensive care for lung illness identification, assessment, monitoring, and treatment.

She expressed excitement over the appointment in a statement, “The Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society works to advance the highest standards of excellence in patient care through education, research, and surgical training programs. I’m excited to lead an organization that aligns with my personal commitment to quality, diversity, and inclusion in health care and Capital Health’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the communities it serves.”

Dr. Wallace, in addition to her new job as president of the ECTSS, serves on the Society of Thoracic Surgery’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work Force. She is a member of the Association of Women Surgeons and the Association of Women in Thoracic Surgery.

Her current research interests include clinical outcomes of minimally invasive pulmonary and esophageal surgery, as well as racial disparities in thoracic cancer surgical therapy.

According to a Zippia analysis, despite the fact that Black Americans have the greatest rate of cardiovascular disorders and are thirty percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites, there will be less than 2% of Black cardiothoracic surgeons in the United States in 2021.

Dr. Wallace’s appointment fills the void and, hopefully, signals the start of many more such appointments.

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