Dr. Africa Wallace

Surgeon Becomes First Black Woman To Hold Presidential Position For A Cardiothoracic Surgery Society

Dr. Africa Wallace, director of thoracic surgery at Capital Health, has been appointed as president of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society (ECTSS), and is the first Black female to occupy the role.

“The Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society works to advance the highest standards of excellence in patient care through education, research, and surgical training programs,” the board-certified thoracic surgeon said in a press release.

“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.”

Wallace specializes in treating cancer patients at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell. As a thoracic surgeon, she also performs procedures for other conditions that involve diseased or injured organs. At the medical center, the doctor incorporates video-assisted or robotic surgery techniques. According to an article published by the Journal for Thoracic Disease, surgeons use the robotic approach to resect lung cancer.

Wallace is part of a team of surgeons who perform the robotic-assisted procedures. The team of medical experts make up the Capital Health Surgical Group and the team with Capital Health’s Robotic Center of Excellence. Capital Health’s Lung Center of Excellence, which is is co-led by Wallace, “provides comprehensive care in the detection, evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of lung disease.”

The new ECTSS president holds several other leadership roles. A press release states that Wallace is part of the Society of Thoracic Surgery’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Force and a member of the Women in Thoracic Surgery and Association of Women Surgeons. Her research focuses on using minimally invasive approaches in pulmonary and esophageal surgery to treat diseases such as cancer. Her research includes studies on “racial disparities in the surgical management of thoracic cancers.”

Wallace’s new appointment makes her the first Black female president of any cardiothoracic surgery society.