SEATTLE — Dr. Ben Danielson, a celebrated Black doctor who has dedicated his career to caring for patients of color in underserved communities has resigned in protest, accusing his former employer, Seattle Children’s, of racism.
“The institution is replete with racism and a disregard for people who don't look like them in leadership,” Danielson told the website Crosscut, which first reported the resignation.
Danielson was 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, Crosscut reported.
Daniels also told the outlet 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.
KING 5 was unable to reach Danielson, Thursday.
In a statement to KING 5, Seattle Children’s confirmed Danielson’s resignation and said it respects his decision.
“While some of the claims made were investigated a decade ago, we are examining the issues raised,” Seattle Children’s said.
“As an organization we are committed to racial equity, diversity and inclusion while also holding ourselves accountable and continuing to do the work required to address systemic racism when and where it exists,” the statement continued.
In response to Danielson’s resignation, a group of Seattle community and business leaders sent a letter to Seattle Children’s demanding an investigation and a virtual meeting, The Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
Signers included doctors, current and former elected officials, Macklemore, and former Sonics star Lenny Wilkins.
“We represent donors and other concerned people in this community,” the group wrote.