by Jasmine M. Pulido
On Wednesday, Aug. 18, at 10 a.m., King County Equity Now (KCEN) hosted a community conference with speakers from a variety of local and state-wide Black-led organizations to make public their demands as an organizing coalition calling for Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH) to compensate for harm done to Black people.
KCEN along with the Tubman Center for Health and Freedom, Black Community Impact Alliance, the African American Health Board (AAHB), and Surge Reproductive Justice are joining the growing demands for CEO Jeff Sperring and board of trustees chair Susan Betcher to resign from their posts as senior SCH leadership. Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center, the last Black Panther clinic in the nation, also expressed a desire to join the budding coalition during the call.
“I think you are going to begin to see Black folks from across the state getting to come together in alignment around this issue,” Candace Jackson from the AAHB said on the community conference call.
Continue reading KCEN Calls on Donors to Divest, Joins Growing Demands for Seattle Children’s Resignations
by Jasmine M. Pulido
After six months of investigation into systemic and interpersonal racism at Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), followed by considerable community backlash when findings from the assessment weren’t originally released, SCH’s board of trustees has now unanimously voted to publicly disclose Covington & Burling’s 11 finding statements as well as more detailed recommendations made in the report.
The Covington & Burling law firm and former Attorney General Eric Holder were hired by SCH to do an independent assessment on the hospital after racial allegations were publicly raised by Dr. Ben Danielson’s resignation last November. An assessment committee, composed of three members of SCH’s board and four community members, were also brought in to oversee the independent investigation. The assessment committee read the entire report but signed nondisclosure agreements (NDA) which prevented them from divulging any information on its contents.
Last week, CEO Jeff Sperring and board chair Susan Betcher furnished only a summary of recommendations made by Covington’s report and declared an action plan to be delivered by Sept. 1. Details of the recommendations were omitted as well as the findings from the report.
But SCH employees posted a petition demanding for the findings to be released in full, public apologies to Dr. Danielson and the patients, families, workforce, and SCH community for harm done, and resignations of the CEO and board chair.
Continue reading Call for Resignations Persist Despite Seattle Children’s Release of Investigation Findings
by Susan Fried & Emerald Staff
Around 100 people turned out for a rally, march, and vigil for Kaloni Bolton on Saturday at Westlake Park. The 12-year-old died after suffering an asthma attack at Valley Medical Center (VMC) Urgent Care in December and being forced to wait an extended period of time after being turned away from the first clinic before receiving treatment. Bolton went into cardiac arrest and passed away after two days on life support. Bolton’s family alleges her death was due to anti-Blackness, medical racism, and negligence.
Since Bolton’s passing, there have been consistent community demands for justice. Black Nurses Matter held a Renton march in Bolton‘s honor this spring. This past Saturday, July 24, the Westlake Black Health Equity Rally was hosted by The Breathe for Kaloni Foundation and Decolonizing Science, a podcast run by Ashley Paynter, a Black scientist currently obtaining their Ph.D. in the field of biological sciences. It was attended by many members of Bolton’s large extended family with one message: #BreatheForKaloni. Speakers included her cousin Zipporah White, her mother Kristina Williams’ attorney James Bible, and Claude Burfect, a vice president of the Seattle- King County Branch of the NAACP. After a rally, protestors marched through downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill. The march was followed by a vigil for Bolton back at Westlake Park.
To learn more, listen to Bolton’s family tell her story on podcast Episode #6 of Decolonizing Science and follow @breatheforkaloni on Instagram.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Family and Community Remember 12-Year-Old Kaloni Bolton, Demand Justice
by Ashley Archibald
If you ask her family, Kaloni Bolton, 12, was a bubbly, peaceful person who kept everybody upbeat and uplifted. She was tough, always had an opinion and a personality that balanced the family out.
Bolton died on Jan. 1 after suffering an asthma attack on Dec. 29. Her family alleges that Bolton received substandard care from Valley Medical Center (VMC), a nonprofit health care provider that oversees two urgent care facilities in Renton that Bolton and her sister visited before Bolton was transferred to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
“The entire system failed her, failed her family,” Lylia Nichols told a crowd of protesters on Saturday, May 8, outside of the first urgent care facility that Bolton accessed. “We hold Kaloni up because the system failed our whole community.”
Continue reading Black Nurses Matter March Highlights Need to Address Medical Racism
by Adana Protonentis and Jasmine M. Pulido
True accountability is about nurturing relationships.
Continue reading Dr. Ben Danielson’s Resignation Begs the Community to Question: What Is True Accountability?
It is generative and proactive. Accountability is a practice of relying on those we are in relationship with to help us see when we have stepped outside of our integrity and help us find our way back. In short, accountability is about caring.
This is what Dr. Danielson modeled, when he spoke of examining his own complicity in a system that exploited Black and Brown families as fundraising tools, while refusing to make meaningful investments in their wellbeing. Dr. Danielson’s integrity demanded that he leave Seattle Children’s Hospital (SCH), as an act of care for the families he served. He was willing to sacrifice his 20-plus-year tenure at one of the most prestigious medical institutions in the nation to stay aligned with this level of accountability.
If we view accountability in this relational way, we get insight into how Dr. Danielson’s approach to health care deeply held the communities he served. When the Emerald spoke with South Seattle families, we asked them, “What did Dr. Danielson’s care feel like?”