Dr. Africa Wallace becomes first Black woman to lead a cardiothoracic surgery society in the U.S.

BY Preta Peace Namasaba November 10, 2023 10:07 AM EDT
Dr Africa Wallace. Photo credit: Capital Health

Dr. Africa Wallace has been named the president of the Eastern Cardiothoracic Surgical Society (ECTSS). She is the first Black woman to hold this position in the health professional body’s 60 year history and the first Black woman to lead a regional surgical society and any cardiothoracic surgery society.

“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. Africa Wallace

Dr. Wallace is the director of Thoracic Surgery at Capital Health. She is a board certified thoracic surgeon and performs procedures to treat cancer and other conditions of injured organs in the chest. Her expertise focuses on using minimally invasive techniques such as video-assisted or robotic approaches.

She is part the Capital Health Surgical Group, a collection of the region’s foremost surgical experts. Dr. Wallace is also a member of the company’s Robotic Center of Excellence, a team of experienced surgeons who provide a multidisciplinary suite of the highest national quality robotic-assisted procedures. She serves as co-lead of the Lung Center of Excellence which is part of Capital Health Cancer Center and provides comprehensive care in the detection, evaluation, monitoring, and treatment of lung disease.

In addition, Dr. Wallace serves on the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Work Force of the Society of Thoracic Surgery. She is a member of the Women in Thoracic Surgery and Association of Women Surgeons.

Dr. Wallace obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Harvard University and received a medical degree from the Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She completed her general surgery residency at Georgetown University Hospital and her cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pennsylvania. In addition, she completed postgraduate training as a minimally invasive thoracic and esophageal surgery fellow at UPMC.

Dr. Wallace is currently researching the racial disparities in the surgical management of thoracic cancers. She is also interested in the intersection between clinical outcomes and their relationship to minimally invasive approaches to pulmonary and esophageal surgery.