Letter to Seattle Children's Workforce and Community
Letter to Seattle Children’s workforce and community from Susan Betcher, Chair of the Hospital Board of Trustees and Jeff Sperring, MD, Chief Executive Officer, regarding Covington & Burling’s Assessment of Seattle Children’s Efforts to Combat Racism and Promote Systemwide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
We want to communicate directly to our workforce, patients and families, the community, and other stakeholders – that the independent assessment of Seattle Children’s efforts to combat racism and promote diversity, equity and inclusion led by Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of the Covington law firm is complete. The Board has unanimously adopted their recommendations as set forth in their summary.
Moving forward, we will act with an unwavering commitment to deliver equitable treatment of pediatric care and pursue equitable treatment across Seattle Children’s workforce while promoting anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion for all. Where our past actions have not lived up to our aspirations and values, we are resolved to not only do better but lead the way. This is an enormous task, but one we fully embrace.
The Board has directed the Seattle Children’s Executive Leadership Team to establish a task force to develop an action plan by September 1st. The action plan will articulate an implementation path for Covington’s recommendations. It will identify specific public-facing metrics to track progress. The plan will include engaging with our workforce, patients and families and the broader community. The Board is engaging Covington to continue to assist Seattle Children’s in plan implementation and accountability of our progress over time.
We owe everyone who participated in this process – particularly our workforce, patients and families, and members of the community – our sincerest gratitude for speaking up and informing the work that Seattle Children’s must now do. We remain committed to our promise to protect the privacy of the more than 1,000 people across the Seattle Children’s community who provided information during this process and will hold all information provided to Covington and the Assessment Committee strictly confidential.
We also want to thank Dr. Ben Danielson for sharing his personal experiences, which helped in prompting this review, and for the dedication and extraordinary pediatric care he provided the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic community during his more than 20 years of service.
We are also grateful to the members of the Assessment Committee and AG Eric Holder and his team, for the time and commitment they lent to this process. Covington’s work was extensive. They conducted hundreds of interviews, held focus groups and reviewed thousands of documents. Their rigorous review of Seattle Children’s policies and data, and their confidential approach that allowed so many to come forward, has instilled trust in their overall process and recommendations.
Now the real work begins. As leaders, reflection and self-assessment are necessary. We can and must do more to live up to our mission of providing hope, care and cures to every child, enabling them to live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible. This is our responsibility, we take it very seriously, and expect to be held accountable for results.
With gratitude, humility, and resolve,
Chair, Seattle Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees
Jeff Sperring, MD
CEO, Seattle Children’s
For a message from the Assessment Committee, click here.
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, along with Seattle Children’s Guild Association – the largest all volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country – works with our generous community to raise funds for lifesaving care and research.