Dear Members:

Recent days have been difficult for our communities and our nation. Still dealing with the fear and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now grappling with outrage, anger, and frustration after watching the senseless killing of George Floyd. As a nation, we are hurting. As a community, Black Americans are battling a sense of futility after struggling for centuries to bring about change.

As sleep medicine professionals, we strive every day to provide the medical care that will help people live more satisfying, healthier lives. If we are to fulfill this professional calling to improve the lives of all people in our communities, then we must be willing to confront the horror of racism and address the reality of health disparities. To look the other way is to fail our duty as health care providers. To remain silent is to fail our Black friends, neighbors, staff, colleagues, and patients, who are deeply suffering on so many levels right now. We choose to see and to speak.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) condemns racism and discrimination. We echo the cries of the Black community for justice and healing. We stand with our Black members, staff, colleagues, and patients. We will listen, we will learn, and we will support you.

The AASM recognizes that the diversity of its community — including leadership, staff, members, and volunteers — is a necessary component of the AASM’s mission to advance sleep care and enhance sleep health to improve lives. We are devoted to maintaining an inclusive space by respecting, valuing, and celebrating our unique attributes, backgrounds, and perspectives. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee is working to analyze and remove any barriers to full participation in the AASM and to develop resources to help improve equity and inclusion in sleep practices across the country. The committee welcomes your feedback and suggestions, which you can provide on our Diversity and Inclusion webpage. Thank you.


Kelly A. Carden, MD, MBA

Andrew Spector, MD
Chair, AASM Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

On behalf of the AASM Board of Directors:

Fariha Abbasi-Feinberg, MD
Nisha Aurora, MD, MHS
Douglas Kirsch, MD
David Kristo, MD
Raman Malhotra, MD
Jennifer Martin, PhD
Eric Olson, MD
Kannan Ramar, MD
Carol L. Rosen, MD
James Rowley, MD
Anita V. Shelgikar, MD, MHPE