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Commitment to Health Equity and Anti-Racism

What is Health Equity + Anti-Racism?

What is anti-racism?

At Seattle Children’s, embedding anti-racism into our work means that we are identifying, challenging and changing the culture, structures and behaviors that perpetuate systemic racism.

Being anti-racist requires urgency, investment and stamina.

What is health equity?

Health equity means that everyone has an opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing barriers to health and ensuring access to quality healthcare for all. Seattle Children’s centers health equity through an inclusive and anti-racist framework.

Learn more from Seattle Children’s Center for Diversity and Health Equity

HEAR Action Plan

Dismantling systemic racism is an integral part of how Seattle Children’s provides care and promotes health equity. Committed workforce members have been addressing health disparities and racism at Children’s for many years, and their work has evolved and seen several iterations over time.

The Health Equity and Anti-Racism (HEAR) Action Plan — the most recent outline of Children’s formal efforts — guides our actions and promotes accountability across the organization. Looking to the HEAR Action Plan, Children’s prioritized the issues that workforce and community members shared were most important to them.

While the plan outlines a roadmap from 2021 to 2026, this work is forever.

2023 Progress Highlights

In December 2021, Seattle Children’s began releasing quarterly HEAR Action Plan progress updates. Many outcome areas show measurable progress and impact, and others offer insights into where we can grow. Past reports can be found here, and we invite you to explore the latest report below. 

View the Latest Full Progress Update

En español

Missed Appointments

A picture and a quote from Gurk Parhar, Missed Appointment Coordinator for Seattle Children's OBCC. The quote reads "This work is preventative, and we do our best to help families. If families are having transportation problems, the clinic will provide them with ORCA transit gift cards."

Read the Full Story

Research Diversity

A picture and a quote from Ana Medina-Lamas, a mother of a patient at Seattle Children's. The quote reads, "There was no middle person, so I felt like I was getting clear information from [Maria, bilingual recruitment coordinator], and she was getting clear information from me.""

Read the Full Story in English

Lee el cuento en español

Listen to the interview in Spanish:
Escuche la entrevista a la familia Medina Lamas en español:

Central Line Infections

A picture and quote from Kelli Williams, a Family Advisor for Seattle Children's. The quote reads, "Our family didn't know the ins and outs of the hospital or working with providers, and we had a lot of questions... I challenged the CLASBI team to think about and be mindful of the feelings and emotions of families that come to us with a cancer diagnosis."

Read the Full Story

Outcome Measures

The progress of Seattle Children’s Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan is measured through annual outcome measures. Learn more about Seattle Children’s commitments outlined in the HEAR Action Plan and explore the 2024 fiscal year goal progress below.

A key showing definitions for a green checkmark and a yellow checkmark

Executive Accountability

Link executives' pay to achievement of HEAR Action Plan outcomes.

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Goal: Project completed by FY24 end

50% completedThe Seattle Children's Hospital Board of Trustees adopted a revised equity-related executive compensation model, which includes three equity-related goals. Executive pay is based on the results of final fiscal year goal achievement, with 15% of executive compensation being linked to equity-related goal achievement.

Behavioral Response Project

Reduce disparities in violent restraint use in the Emergency Department for Black/African American and Hispanic/Latinx patients by 7%.

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Goal: Project completed by FY24 end

50 percent completed

The Behavior Response Team is now part of daily Emergency Department meetings, stregthening collaborative intervention to support all mental health patients in the Emergency Department.

Employee Diversity

Increase employee representation by 3% for a total of 43.5% through hiring and retention strategies to further reflect Seattle Children’s diverse patient population.

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Goal: 43.5%

42.4% of employess identify as racially/ethnically diverseRetention is a FY24 focus with engagement survey data highlighting the importance of leadership rounding.

Family Experience Survey

Achieve an overall average score of 81.9% for the Family Experience Survey (FES) from Press Ganey.

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Goal: 81.9%

81.4% of patient families likely to recommend Seattle Children'sScores vary widely by care area and improved scores are expected later in the year.

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH)

Implement a resource referral database for patients who screen positive for SDOH and add one additional screening question.

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Goal: Project completed by FY24 end

50% completedImplementation planning is in progress with database vendor.

Seattle Children's fiscal year is Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Data as of March 31, 2024.

Research Participant Diversity

Increase the diversity of research participants by 1% for a total of 36.6% to further reflect Seattle Children's patient population.

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Goal: 36.6%

37.2% of research subjects identify as racially/ethnically diverseResearch participant enrollment has met goal and likely to increase.

Data Snapshot

Seattle Children’s aims to have a workforce that reflects the diverse patients and families we serve and a representative leadership team and Board of Trustees. Research shows this improves health outcomes, patient and family experience and innovation. See progress in the data below. 

Click on a chart to enlarge.

Leadership and Collaboration

Becoming a leader in health equity and dismantling racist systems requires organization-wide commitment as well as action by individuals and teams. Accountability for making change lies with leaders, but progress is not possible without the efforts of workforce and community members. Learn more about the people and groups behind health equity and anti-racism work at Seattle Children’s.


Dr. Jeff Sperring

Dr. Jeff Sperring
chief executive officer

Myra Gregorian

Myra Gregorian
chief people officer

Alicia Tieder

Alicia Tieder
chief health equity officer

Looking Forward

Pursuing a future where every child has access to exceptional care is in our DNA — it's who we are and what we do at Seattle Children’s. The HEAR Action Plan and progress reports represent the most recent efforts to integrate equity and anti-racism at Seattle Children’s, but this work is never done. Leadership is motivated to evolve this work over time, celebrate progress, learn from setbacks and listen along the way.

The continued interest and commitment of the workforce to Seattle Children’s health equity and anti-racism journey is at the core of the progress being made. Seattle Children’s invites you — our workforce members, patients and families, and community partners — to continue with us on this health equity journey.

A patient's family talks to a Seattle Children's provider

Get Involved

Interested in supporting efforts to improve health equity at Seattle Children’s? We invite you to get involved. 

Are you a patient family? Become a family advisor

Are you a workforce member? Learn more about Seattle Children’s Inclusion Networks