On the Pulse

Family of Odessa Brown, City Leaders and Community Members Gather to Celebrate OBCC Central’s Future Home

11.7.2023 | Ashley Speller

Sophia Richardson, the granddaughter of OBCC’s namesake shared opening remarks at the fall homecoming eventHundreds gathered in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood to celebrate the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic’s (OBCC) future location on 18th Ave. S. and S. Jackson St. at a community homecoming event to learn about the services that will be provided, meet their neighbors, enjoy food from local vendors and celebrate the day with family-fun activities.

OBCC was also honored to have Odessa Brown’s granddaughter Sophia Richardson, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, District 2 Councilmember Tammy Morales and leaders from Seattle Children’s join the festivities. The clinic’s new site, which was recently announced by Seattle Children’s, will serve area patients and families with expanded services in 2024 to address the community’s greatest pediatric healthcare needs.

Various speakers discussed the future clinic’s impact and ability to provide critical services in the Central District [Pictured left to right: Dr. Shaquita Bell, Mayor Bruce Harrell, Gerald Hankerson, Jamie Phillips]“Remaining in the Central District has been our full commitment at OBCC and Seattle Children’s,” shared Jamie Phillips, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Seattle Children’s, during opening remarks. “We heard from many of our community leaders, as well as our community representatives on what was needed, and are excited about where this building is going to go and the necessary care that’s going to be delivered.”

That care will largely focus on expanding OBCC’s ability to serve mounting mental health needs, a critical service identified by our patient families, community partners, regional providers and recommendations from the OBCC Governance Council.

“Access to mental health and behavioral health services are astronomically hard to find,” explained Dr. Shaquita Bell, OBCC’s senior medical director in a recent interview with KOMO News. “We want to ease that, and we want to make that so much simpler by opening this clinic.”

Mayor Bruce Harrell, who grew up just a few miles from OBCC Central, said he was proud to see the immense efforts being made to foster a healthier and more united community.

Children spent the afternoon enjoying family-fun activities including pumpkin painting and DIY slime making“We are building a stronger community for people often who have been underrepresented, undercounted—perhaps looking at the disparities in our community and we are working together to address it,” said Harrell. “We have to love each other’s culture. We all have beautiful brilliance going through our veins, and in Seattle, with this kind of effort by the Children’s hospital and Odessa Brown, that is our strength.”

Since 1970, OBCC has offered healthcare for babies, children and teens, regardless of their family’s economic situation, and aims to create the healthiest generation of kids by focusing on growing wellness rather than simply treating generational cycles of illness.

The future clinic helps further fulfill the legacy of Odessa Brown, a Black woman who became a community organizer at the height of the civil rights era and fought to bring quality healthcare with dignity to children in Seattle’s Central District.

The Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic aims to create the healthiest generation of kids by focusing on growing wellnessSophia Richardson said that if her grandmother, Odessa Brown, were here today, she would be full of joy, and is hopeful that the important work of OBCC can continue making an impact beyond Central and South Seattle.

“Throughout other cities in the state of Washington, and then further on to other states and countries,” Sophia shared during her speech at the homecoming event. “I would love to be here, along with all of you and ride that journey.”

Volunteers from the Friends of OBCC Guild also joined in on the celebration which honored the patient families, generous donors, workforce and community members who each played an instrumental role in making the Central District clinic’s reopening possible.

Patient families, generous donors, workforce and community members played an instrumental role in making OBCC Central’s reopening possible [Pictured left to right: Antwanette Lyons; Dr. Shaquita Bell, Councilmember Tammy Morales, Sophia Richardson, Francesca Vega]Learn more about the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic by visiting Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) – Seattle Children’s (seattlechildrens.org) and follow the latest updates on the OBCC Facebook page.