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Addressing Racism Across an Organization

November 4, 2023
Children's Hospitals Today
Contributed by: Bill Russell
In 2019, Seattle Children's pledged to combat systemic racism actively, leading to structural changes and increased diversity in the workforce. The hospital’s three-phase Health Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan has delivered measurable improvements, with employee diversity up 6%, managerial diversity up 3%, executive diversity up 9%, and board diversity up 8%. Policies were examined and amended to address existing disparities, and the hospital pursued initiatives for equity in patient care outcomes. No-show rates at the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic reduced through more accessible reminder systems and responsive scheduling. Human resources altered procedures to ensure affected parties receive follow-up support after racially or ethnically insensitive incidents. Diverse perspectives were included in recruitment processes, and job descriptions were revised for inclusivity. Existing policies were audited to remove discriminatory practices. A publicly available dashboard tracks progress towards being an anti-racist organization and a 2022 workforce survey displayed a positive staff response to these efforts.
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