Press Releases

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of Covington & Burling to lead examination of institutional racism, equity, inclusion, and diversity practices at Seattle Children’s

New community and board trustee members named to Assessment Committee

Statement from Assessment Committee member Colleen Fukui-Sketchley

The nationally recognized law firm Covington & Burling will lead an independent, external assessment of Seattle Children’s race, equity, inclusion and diversity policies and practices.

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. To truly realize that mission we must remain committed to rooting out institutional and systemic racism that exists in health care today. This assessment, along with recommendations for action, will assist Seattle Children’s leadership to accelerate the pace of our existing work to become a truly anti-racist organization.

We take recent claims against Seattle Children’s seriously and believe they must be examined. We expect that Covington’s assessment will look at an array of systemic and institutional issues including the specific items raised in the wake of Dr. Ben Danielson’s departure. This holistic approach and commitment to a full examination will allow the organization to deliver the best possible care in an environment that understands, respects and nurtures all patients, families and members of our workforce.

We have an opportunity, if we do this right, to be a part of creating systemic change at Seattle Children’s. If we achieve that goal, we will leave this organization in a better, and more equitable, place for patients, families and Seattle Children’s workforce. I also believe, if we do this right, that this process could serve as a health equity roadmap for other institutions to follow.

Seattle Children’s leadership respects that this will be an independent endeavor led by the Assessment Committee and Covington & Burling. The examination will include recommendations for actionable items Seattle Children’s leadership can adopt and carry out.

This assessment is a major step toward making Seattle Children’s a place where every child and family member feels valued, safe and seen and where Seattle Children’s workforce feels respected and valued.

To dismantle the systems that allow racism to persist in our healthcare system and at Seattle Children’s we believe it’s critical to be part of the national movement for racial justice.

“We’re grateful for the Assessment Committee’s confidence and take seriously the responsibility entrusted to us.  We look forward to working with the Committee to undertake this important evaluation,” said Eric Holder, a partner in the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice at Covington & Burling and the 82nd Attorney General of the United States.

Assessment Committee Members

Ken Denman – Partner at Sway Ventures, Board Member – Costco Wholesale, Motorola Solutions, LendingClub, as well as a University of Washington Foundation Board Member and Seattle Children’s Board Trustee.

Abigail Echo-Hawk – Citizen of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma. Chief Research Officer for the Seattle Indian Health Board. Director of the Urban Indian Health Institute.

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley – Develops and leads pioneering strategies and seamless execution of inclusion initiatives as Director of Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity at HashiCorp. Seattle Children’s Board Trustee.

Governor Gary Locke – Former Washington State Governor, U.S. Commerce Secretary and Ambassador to China. Interim President at Bellevue College.

Frankie Manning, MSN, RN – Retired Chief Nurse Executive, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, and Army Nurse. The first nurse to join the King County Health Board. Served on the Washington State Board. Nursing career spans over six decades.

TJ McGill – Co-Chair of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Capital Campaign. Mr. McGill is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Evergreen Pacific Partners, a Northwest based firm focused on investing in middle market companies in Western North America.

Racquel Russell – Vice President of Partner Success within the Zillow Premier Agent division. Former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama, focused on building and advancing the President’s agenda on urban affairs and economic opportunity. Seattle Children’s Board Trustee.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s mission is to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. Together, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Research Institute and Foundation deliver superior patient care, identify new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients.

Ranked as one of the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s serves as the pediatric and adolescent academic medical center for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho – the largest region of any children’s hospital in the country. As one of the nation’s top five pediatric research centers, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is internationally recognized for its work in neurosciences, immunology, cancer, infectious disease, injury prevention and much more. Seattle Children’s Foundation works with the Seattle Children’s Guild Association, the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care and research. Join Seattle Children’s bold initiative – It Starts With Yes: The Campaign for Seattle Children’s – to transform children’s health for generations to come.

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