Children's Hospital recognitions

“No one thing led Dr. Ben Danielson, the beloved medical director of the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, to leave his post of more than 20 years last month,” David Kroman writes for Crosscut. “Rather, it was a collection of moments that, when added together, gave him little faith that leadership at Seattle Children’s Hospital — of which Odessa Brown is a part — cared about staff or patients of color. Danielson felt marginalized and alone as the rare Black voice in a position of authority, he said in a recent interview with Crosscut. He said Seattle Children’s would gladly place Odessa Brown, which serves mostly low-income and people of color, on a pedestal to raise money, but would not show that same level of interest when it came to daily care. Amid a national reckoning with racism, the hospital’s executives would offer symbolic overtures to equity, but take little action toward righting its own wrongs and those of the broader medical system, he said — particularly around a lack of translation services and the frequency with which security was being called on patients of color. He added that staff, himself included, feel scared to speak out about racism for fear of retaliation by upper management.  Danielson began to seriously consider quitting last summer. A colleague was fired without explanation and another felt pushed into resigning from her leadership post. Both are people of color. At the same time, a member of the Seattle Children’s Hospital administration, who Danielson said had used the n-word several years earlier in reference to him and referred to people of Asian descent as ‘japs,’ remains a front-facing member of the team. (Danielson declined to name the person.)” David Kroman, “Revered doctor steps down, accusing Seattle Children’s Hospital of racism,” Crosscut.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...