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 Members
August Hunter (co-chair)
Harlyn Susarla, DMD, MPH (co-chair)
Kenisha Campbell, MD, MPH
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.
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.
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.
To help better shape the community and provide input on diversity, as a security officer for the Tukwila School District, Marva Harris ensured that she provided students fairness and consistency.
According to Harris, "Students and staff trusted me with whatever decisions I made because I would always tell them that we could find a solution and, once the solution was agreed upon, we could live with that decision. I always had an open-door policy for my students and staff. . . . I dealt with students with behavioral issues, so I always ensured that they were heard and treated fairly. I always tried to find the good in them because it was there."
August Hunter (co-chair)
August Hunter is a first-year 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.
Taeya Kadoch is interested in serving on this cabinet because she is passionate and committed to advocating for our underrepresented patients and peers. She has witnessed countless acts of inequality and injustice within the healthcare system and believes every patient and workforce member should have equal rights to quality healthcare. "We must dismantle the racial inequities and biases that take place in medicine and advocate for our patients to achieve the best health outcome possible," according to Kadoch.
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.
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.
OBCC Community Care Coordinator
Drew Swanner is the injury prevention community care coordinator at Odessa Brown Children's Clinic. 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 brought new initiatives to OBCC, from car seat inspections to anti–human trafficking work to designating OBCC as a Safe Place. Beyond the clinic'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.
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.