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Seattle Children’s anti-racism plan calls for boosting diversity, investing in Odessa Brown clinic

Seattle Children’s released a 21-page action plan pledging to be an anti-racist organization. The report comes after months of investigation.

SEATTLE — After the departure of a prominent doctor and months of investigation, Seattle Children’s hospital released an “action plan” Wednesday to become an anti-racist organization.

Dr. Ben Danielson was the medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) when he resigned in late 2020, citing a history of racism in the organization.

The hospital hired a law firm led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to thoroughly look into complaints of systemic racism. The results of that investigation were used to help develop the plan.

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In a foreword for the plan, CEO Dr. Jeff Sperring wrote, “there is a great deal of work for us to do to eliminate the systemic racism that exists at Seattle Children’s.” The plan says the changes can’t happen overnight, but “we promise to act with great urgency.”

The 21-page report highlights several ideas, including eliminating the hospital’s Code Purple program. It’s a warning program people would use for help when they felt patients used threatening language. Research showed “Code Purple” disproportionately called on people of color versus white patients.

The report called for more investment in the OBCC.

"There is much work to do to rebuild trust with OBCC workforce, patients, and communities and we are committed to doing so,” the report reads.

Other plans include building and supporting a more diverse workforce.

The report also suggests tying executive pay to the implementation of the anti-racism plan and adding more diverse members of the board.

Click here to read the full report.

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