Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Governance Council
The Odessa Brown Children's Clinic (OBCC) Governance Council works with the OBCC senior medical director to provide strategic leadership of the clinic to achieve equity, diversity, and inclusion priorities. The Governance Council will make recommendations to the OBCC senior medical director regarding policies, procedures, and decisions on using OBCC's discretionary budget. The council ensures that the needs and perspectives of the OBCC community inform decision-making. The council ensures that the OBCC administration implements these community-based decisions and monitors program outcomes. Additionally, the council collaborates with broader Seattle Children's leadership to promote trust with OBCC staff, patients, and the communities that OBCC serves.
Odessa Brown Children's Clinic is an enduring community partner dedicated to promoting quality pediatric care, family advocacy, health collaboration, mentoring, and education in a culturally relevant context.
Governance Council Goals
- Meet quarterly and develop annual metrics of success to guide work, establish priorities and inform the data cycle
- Provide policy guidance and advise the senior medical director on clinic policies and decisions related to diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Monitor the progress of the Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan and provide recommendations to the senior medical directorto help achieve the plan's goals
- Make decisions regarding the expenditures and use of the discretionary clinic budget aligned with OBCC goals
- Identify systemic issues of inequity at OBCC and develop recommendations for solutions
- Monitor the use of analytical tools (e.g., equity impact tool) and strategies to promote best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion
- Foster effective relationships and communication with key stakeholders
- Serve as a representative between the senior medical director and other OBCC stakeholders as needed
- Provide perspective and representation aligned to the needs and experiences of the group he/she/they represent
- Guide candidate profiles and involvement in hiring decisions (e.g., ensuring a diverse workforce, interviewing candidates for leadership positions)
Governance Council Member Commitments
- Model equity, collaboration, and fairness in decision-making and the treatment of others.
- Attend all required meetings and training. Council members must attend all monthly meetings unless co-chairs approve an excused absence.
- Governance council members are expected to work as a team with a shared goal of highlighting the importance of collaborating with Seattle Children's with a spirit of partnership.
- Eliminate existing biases and disparities to ensure equitable outcomes for all.
- Demonstrate professionalism, confidentiality, and integrity in all working relationships.
- Participate in self-development opportunities and engage in regular self-reflection and continuing education.
- Hold ourselves and others accountable for the decisions made by the group.
Governance Council Members
As a Black woman, Jami Bess has had experiences in predominantly white and racially diverse all-Black spaces. She has completed the Undoing Institutionalized Racism training and completed a past reflective supervision assessment for racial equity. Bess has also participated in establishing an equity-based model as part of a practice profile creation for a new King County program.
"In my work, families are searching for pediatricians who will treat them respectfully, honor their cultural needs and prioritize language accessibility. I want to listen, learn, and share information in the community wherever I can," says Bess.
Kenisha Campbell, MD
OBCC Medical Director
Dr. Kenisha Campbell is the medical director of clinical operations at Seattle Children's Odessa Brown Children's Clinic (OBCC) and is one of the three leaders dedicated to providing equitable pediatric care to current and future generations. As medical director of OBCC's two locations in the Central District and Othello Square, Campbell is passionate about improving the standard of care and quality of life of the broader community, especially vulnerable populations.
Campbell graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University and completed her medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of Rochester's Golisano Children's Hospital, followed by her fellowship training in adolescent medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and her master's in public health at the University of Cincinnati. Campbell practices as a board-certified pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist in the Division of General Pediatrics at Seattle Children's Hospital. She is also a clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington. She joined Seattle Children's Hospital faculty in May 2022 to become the medical director of operations at Odessa Brown Children's Clinics.
Karimu Easter (ex-officio member)
Karimu Easter, the granddaughter of Odessa Brown, is a Health Coach that teaches people how to empower their lives through nutrition and improving their overall daily habits in order to lead a healthier active lifestyle. Her work encompasses educating people about proper balanced nutrition, how to make their favorite recipes healthier, instructing fun group workout sessions, organizing fitness challenges, and more. In addition, she has served in positions centered around coordinating healthy active lifestyle leadership trainings and events. She thoroughly enjoys participating in youth and business mentorship as well. Prior to becoming a Health Coach, she worked in higher education for over 9 years and also worked for an international charity. She uses her Communications degree throughout all the work she’s involved in, from public speaking, being a guest speaker on panels regarding mental and physical health, to volunteering with organizations supporting Equality Equity and Justice.
OBCC Medical Assistant
According to Awa Gumaneh, she grew up in a tiny country in West Africa where girls and women are still oppressed. Her passion for healthcare stemmed from seeing a girl in her community genitally mutilated daily. So, she thought, what better way to help those she cares for dearly than having a career in healthcare and getting involved with the community, wherever that may be? Coming from a background where quality healthcare with dignity and compassion is often available to only the rich and 1% of her country and community, Awa is dedicated to leveling the playing field to the best of her ability.
August Hunter (co-chair)
August Hunter is a student at Harvard University, concentrating in economics. In high school, Hunter took the initiative as a student leader of the Student Equity Council, where she focused on implementing student voices to facilitate effective DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) conversations among peers in pursuit of executing strategic equity and inclusion plans. In addition, as an African American woman, she established a safe space for Black students and faculty through her leadership in the Black Student Union to help strengthen and provide advocacy for the Black community on Overlake's campus.
Hunter carries her passion for soccer and entrepreneurship as the co-founder of her sister soccer business, Smith and August Hunter Fútbol Training. Additionally, she plans to pursue a career in the financial services industry. She is an equity research analyst at BLK Capital Management. This 100% Black-owned and student-run long/short equity hedge fund strives to promote the financial education of talented Black students nationwide. Additionally, Hunter holds an interest in the medical humanities and held a position as a co-facilitator for the Narrative Medicine and Health Equity Reading Group, which sought to illuminate the historical and sociological factors informing the health disparities unveiled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christian Love (he/him) is a doctoral candidate and the associate director for graduate academic and student services in the College of Education at the University of Washington. His research interests lie at the intersection of understanding the experiences of first-generation Black male students, equity-minded transformational leadership, community development, and cultivating an inclusive campus environment for students. He is also the former program manager for the Othello-UW Commons, where he developed programming and effective partnerships between the University of Washington and community-based organizations in South Seattle. Born and bred in Detroit, Mich., he attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he studied psychology with a minor in Afro-American and African studies. In his spare time, Love enjoys ballroom dancing with his wife, Ester, reading and singing to his young daughters (Elise and Colette), volunteering, watching movies, and playing sports (i.e., basketball, football, soccer, ultimate Frisbee). Love is excited to join the Odessa Brown family and bring his knowledge, commitment to community, and leadership to the newly formed Governance Council.
Ofelia Rosas is a proud Latina mother of two children. She is a Mindfulness Spanish facilitator and received her training at the University of Washington. Ofelia has worked with Mindfulness and Compassion program in the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic. She led the Finding Calm classes within the Community of Mindful Parenting. Her community involvement includes advocating for Latino communities in Seattle schools like DLEC, Maple Elementary School and ReWA. Currently, she is working with Washington Family Engagement as a PLTI Spanish Facilitator. According to Ofelia, “Along this path as a mother and Facilitator, I have learned the importance and impact of practicing Mindfulness to take care of our mental Health. In her free time, she loves to spend time with my children, dance, go hiking and horticulture.
Harlyn Susarla, DDS (co-chair)
OBCC Dental Provider
Dr. Harlyn K. Susarla completed her undergraduate education at Wellesley College, obtained a Master of Public Health from Boston University, and was awarded her DMD from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. In addition, she completed residency training in pediatric dentistry at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.
As a board-certified pediatric dentist and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), Harlyn advocates for children's oral health and is strongly committed to service. She is the immediate past president of the Washington State Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Committee on Early Career Pediatric Dentists, a delegate for the Seattle King County Dental Society and a fellow of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, as well as a member of the medical staff at Seattle Children's Hospital, the Washington State Dental Association, the Northwest Pediatric Dental Study Club and the Harvard Odontological Society.
She has also published numerous book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed literature. In addition, Harlyn enjoys spending time with her husband and two young daughters, attempting various culinary endeavors, traveling, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Community Outreach Project Coordinator
Drew Swanner is a community outreach project coordinator at Seattle Children’s. Having studied exercise science at Willamette University, worked as an EMT, and at multiple children's hospitals in the injury prevention space, he is new to Seattle but not the pediatric healthcare sector. Dedicated to preventative and educational work, Swanner has executed several health and safety fairs aimed at equipping underserved communities with free safety devices and information and is looking for more ways to reduce health inequity through prevention efforts. Beyond his work at Children’s walls, he takes advantage of Seattle's outdoor activities.
Sara Tadesse-Bell is a principal scientist in product development at Genentech, focusing on patient-centered outcomes research. She is an alum of Seattle University (class of 2007) and has her MPH from the University of California Berkeley. Tadesse-Bell is passionate about health equity and inclusive research and is committed to removing the barriers to healthcare access. She is a well-regarded member of the Seattle Ethiopian community and is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Supervisor, Desktop Support - Research IT
As a leader of the Sickle Cell Task Force, Ken West believes that it is essential for the members of the sickle cell community to be involved in this work. As an employee of the Seattle Children's Research Institute, a member of the Metropolitan Seattle Sickle Cell Task Force, and a person with a disability, he brings a unique perspective to this cabinet. As a Seattle Children's Research IT Desktop team supervisor, he continues to have discussions with his team about EDI (equity, diversity, inclusion).
West states, "I have learned that people need to know how EDI affects them. It is good to talk about it, but if you do not feel that you are one of the affected, then there needs to be a direct correlation made to people of all communities so that people understand that we are all impacted, and we all have a voice."
Jazmin Williams is a mother of two brilliant, outgoing, creative, beautifully melanated kids. Her birthing experiences and passion for supporting her community led her to work in birth work and reproductive justice. Answering her calling to be a birth worker, Williams founded BLKBRY, a full-spectrum doula and lactation practice with a freestanding doula center, perinatal pantry, and community milk bank. Williams has also been a guest speaker at the UW School of Nursing and Bastyr University to teach about healthcare inequalities for Black families. As a member of several coalitions and committees, she strives to impact and reform policies that affect marginalized and targeted communities.