We demand racial justice from Seattle Children's Hospital

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On December 31st, an article titled "Revered doctor steps down, accusing Seattle Children’s Hospital of racism" was published in Crosscut. Dr. Ben Danielson is a highly accomplished and revered physician in the Seattle Area. He was the Medical Director at the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic located in the Central District of Seattle. “He was the face of equitable healthcare, and served generations of black and brown families”.

The Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic exists today as a result of grassroots leadership by Black advocates and medical providers who organized to create the health care that local institutions long refused to provide. It is both a privilege and a responsibility for Seattle Children’s to steward that history. It should be honored through tireless, effective work to eradicate racism within the institution of Seattle Children’s and transforming health disparities impacting Black and Brown children and advancing and supporting the professional development and leadership of Black and Brown health care providers and other health care providers of color.

Seattle Children's hospital needs to be held accountable for the racism and anti-Blackness that not only Dr. Danielson, but hundreds of families and staff have experienced within this institution. They need to work on addressing the issues described by Dr. Danielson AND make substantial changes that eliminate racism and anti-Blackness in every aspect of the Institution and leadership.

We are concerned families, parents, stakeholders, providers, and community members. We demand answers and justice from Seattle Children's Hospital and to address the following:

  • Holding racist providers and leadership accountable especially those that used the derogatory and anti-Black terms discussed in the Crosscut article
  • An examination of why and when security was being called particularly on Black families, and a forced reduction in "code purple" 
  • An equitable and non-judgemental pathway for families, children, and youth to report racism with immediate and actionable steps
  • Access to translation services mentioned in the Seattle Times and Crosscut
  • Guarantees and protection especially for BIPOC staff to speak out without fear of retaliation
  • A community drive approach to racial equity for and by community
  • A recognition and apology of the harm caused to community, Dr. Danielson, his patients and all those impacted delivered by Dr. Jeff Sperring.