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Flag Raising Today to Celebrate Pride Month

Today, at noon, UW Medicine will raise the Pride Flag at each of our hospital campuses. This annual tradition started in 2015 when we were one of the first healthcare systems in the country to raise the rainbow flag. While our events are limited by COVID-19 protocols, we will continue to fly the flags throughout Pride Month.

  • Harborview Medical Center: Staff will meet at View Park to hear remarks from Sommer Kleweno-Walley, interim CEO, and to be part of a physically distanced photo with the pride banner.
  • UW Medical Center – Montlake: Cindy Hecker, CEO, and EDI Committee members will raise the flag. Due to crowding and traffic concerns, staff should not gather outside the hospital entrance. Please help to maintain patient access by watching from a distance.
  • UW Medical Center – Northwest: Dr. Santiago Neme, medical director; Keri Nasenbeny, associate chief nursing officer; EDI Committee members and staff will raise the flag. Staff are encouraged to attend, physically distanced, near the bus stop across the street from the flagpole.
  • Valley Medical Center: The flag will be raised atop the hospital by LGBTQ+ and EDI Committee members and administrators. Staff are invited to watch from street level or on Facebook live.

In addition to today’s flag raising, we want to draw your attention to several other opportunities to learn about and show your support for the LGBTQ+ community during this Pride Month.

VICE TV Documentary: “The Neglected Pandemic: 40 Years of HIV & AIDS” includes footage from Harborview. UW Medicine will have three faculty members, one nurse and two patients in the film. Narrated by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, it will be shown at 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, on Viceland.

Pride Friday: Show your LGBTQ+ pride and allyship by wearing Pride colors and apparel every Friday throughout the month of June.

Pride T-shirts: In response to many requests, Pride T-shirts will be available at the Harborview gift shop and the gift shops at both UW Medical Center campuses.

Seattle Pride – Virtual: Seattle’s Pride Month is going virtual with two days of speakers, performances and activities on the theme of “resilience.” It will take place June 26-27. Visit Seattle Pride for more information and attendee registration.



How to Show Up for the LGBTQ+ Community: Learn how to support the LGBTQ+ people in your life. Read the article on Right as Rain.

LGBTQ+ Affinity Group: UW Medicine’s Office of Healthcare Equity invites members of the community to gather in a protected, supportive virtual space to share concerns, celebrate and be in community from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, June 25. Watch your email for more details and the Zoom link.

We know that the LGBTQ+ community has been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic on top of other barriers that they face on a daily basis. It is more important than ever to make this Pride Month a celebration of their strength and resilience.

 We are proud that each UW Medicine hospital has been designated as a “Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign for many years. Thank you for your work and for helping us create a safe and welcoming place for all employees and patients.

Sincerely,

Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.
CEO, UW Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington

Paula L. Houston, Ed.D.
Chief Equity Officer
Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs
University of Washington

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