A Black Woman Is Now Leading A Major Surgical Organization For The First Time In Its History


Dr. Africa Wallace

A Black woman is breaking barriers for other minorities in surgical fields.

Dr. Africa Wallace, director of Thoracic Surgery at Capital Health, was tapped as the president of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society (ECTSS) which was founded in 1963. She is first Black woman to hold the role, and also the first of any cardiothoracic surgery society, per a recent new release announcement.

“The Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society works to advance the highest standards of excellence in patient care through education, research, and surgical training programs,” said Dr. Wallace in a statement. “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.”

In 2021, there were less than 2% Black cardiothoracic surgeons in the U.S. despite Black Americans leading in cardiovascular issues, and being  30 percent more likely to die from heart disease than non-Hispanic whites.

According to the Cleveland Clinic cardiothoracic surgeons performs surgery on your heart, lungs or esophagus and other parts of your chest. Surgeries can range from a heart valve replacement or heart transplant to treating lung cancer or esophageal cancer. Cardiothoracic surgeons have extensive training and can specialize in heart surgeries or other areas. Cardiothoracic surgery is used to treat diseased or injured organs in the chest. 

Dr. Wallace is a surgeon at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell and a part of Capital Health Surgical Group and Capital Health’s Robotic Center of Excellence.


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