Seattle Children’s is dedicated to becoming an anti-racist and equitable health organization.
To realize this vision, we’ve adopted a long-term comprehensive plan with our Anti-Racism Organizational Change and Accelerated Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan. This plan was designed with the guidance and support from our patients, workforce, community and trusted expert leaders on anti-racism work, equity, inclusion and diversity over the last year.
Seattle Children’s executive leaders will hold ourselves and our teams accountable to fostering an inclusive work and care environment. That means racism is not tolerated. Our recruiting efforts must ensure we attract and retain workforce members who represent the diversity of our patients. And we must examine and dismantle organizational policies and systems that allow racism to persist, and replace them with new systems that create racial equity.
The long-term outcomes of this plan are:
- Best-in-class care that eliminates disparities based on race/ethnicity
- A work environment free of microaggressions, discrimination and racism
- A workforce that reflects our patient population
These tactics all support achieving excellence and health equity for ALL of our patients. We will track our progress toward achieving these outcomes and be transparent with our progress. Success on this journey is critical to delivering on Seattle Children’s mission to provide hope, care and cures to help every child live the healthiest and most fulfilling life possible.
Anti-Racism and Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) – What’s the difference?
EDI is about providing fair opportunities for all, a sense of belonging and policies that promote full participation. Some examples are our inclusion network program, gender neutral bathrooms, EDI and bias reduction training, and equitable hiring and employment practices.
Anti-racism is the process of actively identifying, challenging and changing systems of racial inequity and creating new systems of racial equity. This means Seattle Children’s will not tolerate discriminatory behavior, violence, racism or hate speech of patients, families or workforce members and will continually review and update policies that inadvertently discriminate against anyone.
The Path to Anti-Racism
This process builds on years of work and advancement in equity, diversity and inclusion. It is not the beginning of Seattle Children’s work, yet we recognize we have a great deal of work to do to become the anti-racist organization we want to be.
To achieve our vision we are putting in place:
- Workplace no tolerance policies
- Improvements to treatment of patients
- Division-level policies
- Workforce (staff and faculty member) anti-discrimination policies
- The dismantling of over-policing
We are also reexamining every facet of our organization’s care and structure to serve the goals of equity, diversity and inclusion. We expect this plan will only be strengthened by additional findings and recommendations of Covington & Burling, the firm leading an independent assessment of Seattle Children’s race, equity, diversity and inclusion practices.
Some Highlights of the Anti-Racism Organizational Change and Accelerated Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Plan
Patient and Family Experience:
- Eliminate disparities for Black, indigenous and persons of color (BIPOC) patients and families
- Improve experience and increase participation rate for BIPOC research participants and families
- Revise and embed anti-racism focus in patient rights and responsibilities
- Hold departments accountable for updating policies to ensure they’re anti-racist
- Modify workforce policies to address concerns about bias and discrimination
- Review and update policy and standard work for patient visitor background checks
Education and Leadership:
- Leaders to complete workshops on bias reduction, racial literacy and anti-racism
- Design and launch Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council
- Introduce anti-racist leadership competencies
- Evaluate and embed anti-racist practices in employee lifecycle
- Improve system to ensure confidential reporting of bias and discrimination
- Enhance follow-up and team restoration for race-related employee relations issues
Data Analysis and Transparency:
- Expand the visibility of health disparity data and metrics
- Evaluate employee relations discipline and separations outcomes
- Identify and eliminate disparities in all safety and quality outcomes
- Introduce anti-racism presence on external website
- Add commitment to equity and anti-racism to employee code of conduct
- Invite all current workforce members to pledge commitment to equity and anti-racism
While we commit to this anti-racism roadmap, we also invite scrutiny and accountability. In the past months, issues were raised that concern us very deeply. Seattle Children’s takes any claims of racism seriously and our patients, families and workforce should feel supported and safe.
The outside assessment by Covington & Burling, along with recommendations for action, will assist Seattle Children’s leadership to accelerate the pace of our existing work to become an anti-racist organization.
We have an opportunity, if we do this right, to be a part of creating systemic change at Seattle Children’s and to dismantle the systems that allow racism to persist in our healthcare system. We believe it is critical to be part of the national movement for racial justice, and that this 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 supported and respected.