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“Somebody once told me that you can’t educate an unhealthy child and you can’t keep an uneducated child healthy,” says Dr. Ben Danielson, senior medical director of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) – Seattle Children’s only primary care clinic.

During two decades as OBCC’s medical director – two decades of “deeply listening” – he’s learned that helping kids outside the clinic matters as much as helping them inside it.

To keep this perspective top of mind, Danielson empowers his team to work together and find innovative ways to serve low-income families in their cultural and socioeconomic context. At the same time, he facilitates and organizes partnerships between OBCC and organizations around the community who serve similar populations – so everyone’s moving in the same direction.

“It’s not enough to put a patch on a problem – treat a cold, give a vaccine, write a prescription. We need to address the challenges that keep families awake at night – challenges that would bring most of us to our knees.”

One is hunger, which can cause asthma, hypertension and diabetes. Another is gentrification, which pushes minority and ethnically diverse families out of Seattle’s Central District, away from the clinic. “The community is saying it’s too hard to get to us. We need to listen deeply – and respond.”

He’s excited about Seattle Children’s response: plans for a second, larger clinic, located in South Seattle near a light rail stop for easier access.

“We’re making a statement; we’re choosing to be part of the solution instead of wringing our hands,” Danielson reflects. “I walk away from this clinic inspired and humbled every day.” He nods. “There’s no place in the world I’d rather be. That’s why I say ‘yes’ to Odessa Brown and its amazing future.”

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About It Starts With Yes

It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s is a bold initiative – $1 billion bold – to partner with our community and deliver on our shared vision to transform children’s health for generations to come. With your generous support, we can envision a day when we can say yes to hope, care and cure for every child. See what your yes can do and donate today.