On the Pulse

Meet Seattle Children’s Chief Diversity Officer, Alicia Tieder

7.6.2023 | Johanna Sanchez-Vargas and Ashley Speller

Alicia TiederSeattle Children’s senior director and chief diversity officer has an unwavering passion that is inspiring and igniting transformation within the organization.

Alicia Tieder leads multiple teams, including the Center for Diversity and Health Equity (CDHE), Workforce Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (WIDEA), and Patient Family Education.

In early 2023, Tieder celebrated her eight-year anniversary at Seattle Children’s – a journey that initially began on the Social Work team and has now evolved to an advocate of change.

On the Pulse shares more about her background and passion for creating a workplace that prioritizes equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism.

Why did you decide on a career in healthcare?

Tieder: In college, I wanted to be a nurse, which ultimately led to me learning more about public health and the large-scale impact you can have in protecting the health of people.

I was introduced to health disparities and the adversely affected groups of people who systematically experience greater obstacles to health.

I transitioned to pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Washington (UW) School of Social Work as it offered the opportunity to study multi-generational social work with children, families and elders within diverse communities.

While at the UW, I worked with youth and families providing crisis intervention in homes, schools, and emergency departments across King County with a focus on suicide prevention and safety.

After I graduated, I worked as a social worker with the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families and met Seattle Children’s Safe Child and Adolescent Network (SCAN) team while on a case.

What roles have you had at Seattle Children’s?

Tieder: I joined the organization in 2015 as a clinical social worker and worked across various clinics including General Medicine, EndocrinologyReconstructive Pelvic Medicine and Prenatal diagnosis and treatment.

In 2019, I became the manager for CDHE, and as time progressed, I was promoted to director then senior director. Last year, I was named senior director and chief diversity officer.

Seattle Children’s is committed to being an anti-racist institution, and the teams that I have the honor of leading, facilitate these efforts through consultation, education, and collaboration, and persistent advocacy.

I lead these teams whose work tackles health equity, workforce diversity, and inclusion, and improving health outcomes for patients through an equity and anti-racism framework.

What motivates you most about your work?

Tieder: I never get tired of this work; pushing forward to make change motivates me every day. I always remember that this is a marathon, and I’ll never let minor or major setbacks stop me.

At the end of the day, we pick and choose our battles. It’s all about compromise and moving forward, even if it isn’t at your desired pace.

We are part of an organization with a vast amount of expertise and dedication. So many people are willing to help.

If we remember that every data point or metric that needs to improve represents not only numbers but human beings, we can make change happen. After all, change is the most constant thing in life.

What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

Tieder: I enjoy immersing myself into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the fantasy of the superheroes and their stories. Sometimes I’ll restart all the Marvel movies from the beginning and let them play in the background — it is my happy place.

I love spending time with my family. I am a mom to 3-year-old twins, a 6-year-old, and a 19-year-old stepson. My husband is also a pediatric hospitalist here, so you might say our family is all-in on Seattle Children’s mission.