Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan

Actions and Background

Seattle Children’s will take a phased approach to the work outlined in the Seattle Children’s Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. The actions are listed below, as well as some background on how the anti-racism action plan was collaboratively developed.

  • Phase 1 = action complete in 0 to 18 months
  • Phase 2 = action complete in 18 months to 3 years
  • Phase 3 = action complete in 3+ years

Make And Sustain an Unequivocal Commitment to Anti-Racism and EDI

  • Embed commitment to anti-racism in Seattle Children’s mission, vision and values. (Phase 1)
  • Develop explicit accountability measures, guidelines and an audit system focused on EDI. Require hospital steering and oversight committees to have diverse representation. (Phase 1)  
  • Launch the Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (HEDI) Council as an organizing force for anti-racism and EDI activities. Publicly report progress on a quarterly basis. (Phase 1)
  • Require all board of trustee members to complete EDI and anti-racism training during onboarding and annually. (Phase 1)
  • Create a structure of transparency, accountability and autonomy that supports Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) to lead its clinical care and operations. This structure should empower faculty and administrative leadership to grow, thrive and manage their unique service model. Seattle Children’s will also clarify roles and responsibilities and publish the OBCC leadership structure. (Phase 1)

Lead the Institution With Purpose and Decisive Action

  • Roll out anti-racist and inclusive behavioral competencies, expectations and corresponding accountability in performance evaluations and merit increase processes. (Phases 1–3)
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees will hold the Executive Leadership Team accountable for setting and achieving anti-racism goals, including embedding responsibility for ongoing EDI efforts in compensation plans. (Phases 1–2)
  • Evaluate and adjust Seattle Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees governance and structure for anti-racism and EDI work oversight. (Phase 1)

Hire to Increase and Sustain Diversity

  • Create and implement a strategy for recruitment, development and retention of racially and ethnically underrepresented groups. (Phases 1–3)
  • Partner with Inclusion Networks (IN) to create a candidate pipeline and enhance opportunities for racially and ethnically diverse workforce members. (Phase 2)
  • Develop and implement career pathways to support internal mobility that is intentionally inclusive of racially and ethnically diverse workforce members. (Phases 1–2)
  • Establish a formal career mentorship and sponsorship program that is intentionally inclusive of racially and ethnically diverse workforce members. (Phase 2)

Build and Sustain a Culture of Inclusion in the Workplace

  • Review and revise workforce policies to anticipate, eliminate and prevent racism and inequity. (Phases 1–2)
  • Strengthen, support and recognize workforce leadership and/or participation in Inclusion Networks. (Phases 1–3)
  • Support sustained EDI and anti-racism performance across the workforce through mandatory training that involves both understanding and practice. (Phases 1–3)
  • Integrate anti-racism trainings into learning and development programs. (Phases 1–3)
  • Identify and eliminate disparities in experience and outcomes across terms of employment, specifically cultivation, hiring, onboarding, evaluation, advancement, corrective action, retention and separation. (Phases 1–3)
  • Reorganize and optimize Human Resources and Medical Staff Services processes to support the organization’s anti-racism efforts. (Phases 1–3)

Include All Patients on the EDI Journey

  • Co-create with patients and families a new equitable and anti-racist approach to replace the Code Purple policy. (Phase 1)
  • Embed anti-racism into standard approach to gather, track and implement interventions for improving health outcomes for racially and ethnically diverse patients/families who use a language other than English (e.g., fewer non-MBI CLABSIs, fewer missed appointments). (Phases 1–3)
  • Improve experience and increase resources for interpretation and translation services for patients and families who use a language other than English. (Phases 1–3)
  • Evaluate adherence to and effectiveness of the new law enforcement engagement policy; standardize data collection and analysis, and increase transparency. (Phases 1–3)
  • Evaluate OBCC’s operational budget, independent of donor funding, taking into consideration needed services (e.g., Sickle Cell Disease Clinic) to restore trust with the OBCC workforce and best serve children’s needs. (Phases 1–3)

Listen to the Workforce, Patients and Families

  • Develop and implement multi-channel feedback and customer service strategy to allow for real-time feedback and resolution for patients, families and workforce. (Phases 1–3)
  • Assess data collection modes for patient experience surveys to ensure we are capturing diverse, vulnerable, and historically-underserved populations. (Phases 1–3)
  • Revise and simplify the current Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities document to reflect antidiscrimination protection. (Phase 1)
  • Engage community partners in Seattle Children’s initiatives that impact patients, families and the community. (Phases 1–3)

Communicate Transparently

  • Share goals, metrics, ongoing progress and challenges through quarterly reporting. Reports could include workforce demographics and engagement results, as well as patient satisfaction and patient care outcomes. (Phases 1–3)
  • Assess effectiveness of communication capabilities and channels via audit. Develop and implement a comprehensive communications approach for internal and external audiences, including the development of an interactive website focused on anti-racism and equity work. (Phases 1–2)
  • Expand leader conversation series, Center for Diversity and Health Equity (CDHE) learning events, anti-racism discussion series and other forums to empower and support leaders in communicating about the work and experiences in their areas and to foster sharing of learnings and best practices. (Phases 1–3)

Lead the Way

  • Advise U.S. News & World Report on EDI practices for Best Hospitals project on health equity and inclusion through participation in their workgroup. (Phase 1)
  • Charge the chief academic officer, Seattle Children’s Research Institute leadership and Center for Diversity and Health Equity research leadership to partner with the Center for Quality and Patient Safety to create a learning laboratory to implement, evaluate and share health equity research findings and disseminate into clinical practice to address health disparities. (Phases 1–3)
  • Grow, track and report on a health equity scholarship portfolio (e.g., publications, presentations, etc.) across Seattle Children’s. (Phases 2–3)
  • Develop a system-wide collection of Social Determinants of Health data and roll out across ambulatory and inpatient settings. Proactively share best practices with other children’s hospitals. (Phases 1–3)
  • Expand career pathways to engage and develop diverse research trainees, workforce and faculty through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs from elementary school to early career faculty positions. (Phases 1–3)

How Seattle Children’s Arrived at Our Anti-Racism Action Plan

Seattle Children’s Assessment Committee

In early 2021, Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Board of Trustees created an Assessment Committee to review issues of systemic racism, diversity, equity and inclusion at Seattle Children’s. After conducting a competitive process, the Assessment Committee chose Covington & Burling LLP, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, to lead an independent review of Seattle Children’s and produce actionable recommendations. Learn more about their work which is the core of the current Action Plan.

Seattle Children’s anti-racism progression

Seattle Children’s first anti-racism action plan was shared in January 2021. Named the Anti-Racism Organizational Change and Accelerated Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan, this plan was designed with the guidance and support from our patients, workforce, community and trusted expert leaders on anti-racism work, equity, diversity and inclusion. The initial plan prioritized the following focus areas:

  • Patient and family experience
  • Workforce experience
  • Policy review
  • Data analysis and transparency
  • Education and leadership
  • Communication and community engagement 

The current Action Plan includes these priorities which support the Covington & Burling recommendations.

Action Plan Task Force

A Task Force comprised of team members in both clinical and non-clinical roles partnered with Seattle Children’s Executive Leadership Team to develop the Action Plan. Members were selected because of their expertise in anti-racism and EDI. Additionally, some members are also parents who represent our patient families.

Workforce and community feedback

Seattle Children’s is accountable to the communities it serves. The changes Seattle Children’s is making to improve equity, diversity and inclusion impact the care patients and families receive.

Seattle Children’s gathered feedback on the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan (en Español) and conducted both external community and workforce member feedback sessions. Feedback is shaping Seattle Children’s decisions and informing the actions taken to address systemic inequities and racism in healthcare. Real-time feedback matters and must translate into actions that foster high-quality care to enable Seattle Children’s to continue delivering on its mission: to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.