Meet the Medical Directors of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic: Dr. Christen Manangan

A three-part series featuring the medical directors at OBCC focused on integrating care and building community together

Christen Nicole Manangan, PHD

This is part three of a three-part series. In prior weeks, On the Pulse featured Dr. Kenisha Campbell and Dr. Kari Sims.


As a Pacific Northwest native, Dr. Christen Manangan always dreamed of working in the Seattle area.

“Seattle has always been my home,” Dr. Manangan said. “My hope, my dream, was always to serve the Seattle community.”

She joined the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) nearly six years ago and now as the Behavioral Health Director, she feels honored to be a leader at a clinic with such an exciting future ahead.

“Without a doubt, there has been so much change in the last two years, but we are excited about the work happening and the long-standing vision for OBCC,” Dr. Manangan said.

Dr. Manangan wears many hats, all representing the same goal: to provide more preventive, early interventions and to meet families where they are in the community and beyond. Most of her days are split between seeing patients and working with OBCC leaders and staff members to collaborate on program development efforts.

Seattle Children’s OBCC opened its newest location in Othello Square in March of 2022, building on the organization’s vision to provide the community with a truly integrated program where patients come in for medical, dental and behavioral health services all in one place.

The model is especially important today as the demand for behavioral health services continues to grow.

“There are so many people struggling right now,” Dr. Manangan explained. “We know we are in a mental health crisis. There is a shortage of providers, and there is a higher percentage of patients needing more intensive services. We are working fast to redevelop ourselves, to cast wider nets and provide a greater variety of services so we can serve more people.”

As someone who has enjoyed caring for kids for as long as she can remember, Dr. Manangan naturally gravitated toward pediatrics. Her first two jobs were as a camp counselor and babysitter.

“All along the way, I have always wanted to work with kids,” she said. “There was never this ‘Ah ha’ moment. It just always was.”

Dr. Manangan also had an affinity toward science and healthcare and found that psychology was also a good fit for her. Growing up in Seattle, she was proud to attend the University of Washington as an undergraduate and later completed her graduate training at Seattle Pacific University.

After graduate school, she moved to San Francisco for a predoctoral internship at UC San Francisco’s (UCSF) Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center. At UCSF, she gained in-depth training in providing trauma-informed, culturally responsive mental health care within a community hospital setting. Her training equally emphasized the importance of addressing mental health disparities through systems-level work. From that experience, Dr. Manangan wanted to find a similar opportunity in Seattle.