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Recent events have accentuated deep-rooted issues in our society that demand our attention now. We recognize our call to make lives better and the need to bring about an end to structural and systematic racism. We condemn the brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other victims of discrimination and injustice. It is not enough to agree there are social inequities. It is time for action. The AHPBA embraces and supports policies to decrease inequities in healthcare, and continues to advocate for and promote diversity and inclusion. Generations are clashing together, and it is our duty as educators to nurture lessons learned and stamp out prejudice wherever we see it. While we recognize we are not an authority on inequalities and racism, as individuals we care deeply about racial justice and human rights. The mission of the AHPBA remains to advance patient care to improve patient lives. As we embrace each other in this time of need, we as leaders in healthcare and the field of HPB surgery, pledge to use our voices to influence and demand actionable change.
During this unprecedented time, the AHPBA recognizes the challenge that COVID-19 presents to health care providers and our patients and the importance of this next phase of surgical management in the COVID era. After initially suspending all elective surgeries, the American College of Surgeons, and numerous other public health experts have now recommended that elective surgeries resume in areas with appropriate resources. As per the American College of Surgeons, the keys to successful reintroduction of elective surgery include COVID-19 awareness and preparedness. Given that many/most hepato-pancreatic-biliary malignancies tend to be aggressive in nature, HPB surgeries have continued throughout this pandemic, albeit at a lower rate. As the operative volume begins to ramp up, continuous reassessment of local and regional factors along with COVID-19 awareness and preparedness remain essential for a safe and successful environment for all healthcare providers and patients. For more information see the Joint Statement from the ACS, ASA, AORN and AHA on Resuming Elective Surgery after COVID-19 Pandemic