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Prominent Black doctor who accused Seattle Children's of racism moves to UW Medicine

Dr. Ben Danielson will practice Pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine. He recently resigned his post as medical director at Odessa Brown Children's Clinic.
Credit: KING 5
Dr. Ben Danielson, medical director at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, in a previous interview with KING 5.

SEATTLE — Dr. Ben Danielson, a prominent Black doctor who resigned in protest from Seattle Children's in November, accusing the hospital of racism, has a new position.

Danielson will practice with the Department of Pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine, according to a statement from UW Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Ramsey. 

"Ben is in the process of planning a very exciting new program that will advance health equity. I have been working directly with Ben over the past month on this planning, and Ben and I look forward to providing more information over the coming weeks as the plans mature," Ramsey said in his statement. 

"I am confident that his work will continue to advance our mission of improving health for all people," Ramsey said. 

Danielson has dedicated his career to caring for patients of color in underserved communities. 

He was the medical director at the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic in Seattle's Central District, a place where low-income people can find medical care, which they might otherwise go without. 

Seattle Children’s owns the clinic.

Danielson resigned in November after he said a member of Seattle Children's administration called him and others racial slurs, according to the website Crosscut, which first reported the resignation. 

“The institution is replete with racism and a disregard for people who don't look like them in leadership,” Danielson told Crosscut about Seattle Children's. 

Danielson also said that two colleagues of color had either been fired or were pressured to resign and that his clinic was not provided adequate support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since Danielson's resignation, Seattle Children's has announced the formation of a new committee that will work with an outside independent expert to assess the organization's anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion practices. The committee will be made up of select Seattle Children's Hospital Board of Trustee members and representatives from the community.

"The recent departure of Dr. Ben Danielson at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic and resulting media coverage shined a light on many areas where we must engage and examine our system and processes. These events also made clear that we need to examine parts of our organization where we might not even see overt systemic racism," Seattle Children's said in a statement on its website dated Jan. 6, 2021.

RELATED: Celebrated Black doctor resigns in protest, alleging racism at Seattle Children's hospital