UW Medicine has a new Bias Incident Reporting Tool to collect and respond to concerns ranging from a one-time microaggression to more severe and sustained behaviors such as bullying.
The tool exists online and is accessible to anyone in UW Medicine. Everyone in the UW Medicine system, from faculty to staff to researchers to trainees to students, can report an incident using the new tool. The tool is specifically for members of our UW Medicine workforce and learning community, not for patients or visitors.
People can also report incidents through existing channels, such as Human Resources, the University Complaint Investigation and Resolution Office, and the Title IX office, among others. This new tool is an additional reporting pathway.
“Microaggressions and other incidents of bias adversely impact the learning, teaching or working experiences of our colleagues and can affect our ability to provide the best healing experience for our patients. We know that incidences of bias are often unreported. The purpose of the new Bias Incident Reporting Tool is to provide an easily accessible place to report and better enable us to respond to these events and continue to improve our work climate here at UW Medicine,” says Paula Houston, EdD, director of the UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity.
The tool supports UW Medicine’s goal to be an organization that embraces diversity and advances equity while fostering inclusion and collegiality. While no one tool or strategy will alone improve the workplace climate, the new tool is an important step in the process.
How to submit a report
Anyone at UW Medicine who has experienced a form of discrimination, microaggression, harassment or bullying can submit a report about the incident online. Reports can be made anonymously, though the Bias Response Team encourages people to include their name in the report so the team can follow up with them.
After a report is submitted, someone from the Bias Response Team will review it and, if the submitter provided their name, reach out to them to get more information and help determine next steps. Those steps can take many forms, such as asking facilities services to remove graffiti, reaching out to an affected community to provide support or providing feedback to an individual or the affected department who might follow up with an individual.
If the submitter wants to launch a formal investigation, the Bias Response Team can assist. Submitting an incident via the Bias Incident Reporting Tool does not automatically open a formal investigation; however, there may be instances where it is necessary to conduct an investigation regardless of whether the submitter asks to do so or not.
All reports will be maintained in a secure database to help the team get an overall picture of bias incidents in the work environment.
Meet the Bias Response Team
The team is made up of individuals from across UW Medicine:
Chantal Cayo Chief Nursing Officer, UW Neighborhood Clinics
Nancy Colobong Smith Clinical Nurse Specialist, UW Medical Center
Giana Davidson Assistant Dean for Professionalism, UW School of Medicine
Jerome Dayao Chief Nursing Officer, Harborview Medical Center
Sharona Gordon Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education
Cindy Hamra Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Paula Houston Chief Equity Officer, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
Trish Kritek Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, UW School of Medicine
Raye Maestas Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
Santiago Neme Medical Director, UW Medical Center Northwest
Jennifer Petritz Employee Relations Director, UW Medicine
Martine Pierre-Louis Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Harborview Medical Center
Barb Van Ess Director of Personnel Policy, UW School of Medicine Chief Business Office
Maria Zontine Director of Human Resources, UW School of Medicine Chief Business Office
If you have questions about the new tool, please email the Bias Response Team at email@example.com