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Quick Read:

  • This month, we are recognizing the contributions to UW Medicine and the rich cultural heritages of our Hispanic/Latinx employees.
  • “Somos (we are) UW Medicine,” our theme for the month, reflects our goal of creating an inclusive workplace for all employees.
  • The UW Medicine Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Survey is providing insights into the experiences of Hispanic/Latinx employees.

During Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, we recognize the contributions of our Hispanic/Latinx staff, faculty, trainees and students to patient care, teaching and research at UW Medicine. We also celebrate their rich cultural heritages from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Central and South America as well as Indigenous and other Spanish-speaking cultures.

Our Hispanic/Latinx employees are part of the second largest racial or ethnic group in our country based on U.S. census data. With 63.7 million residents, they represented 19.1% of the total population in 2022. In Washington state and King County, they represented 14% and 10.5% of the population, respectively.

Our cultural observance theme, “Somos (we are) UW Medicine,” speaks to our goal of creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for employees and patients from Hispanic/Latinx communities. For employees, the Hispanic/Latinx Affinity Group meets quarterly to provide a supportive space to talk, be heard, connect and celebrate in community within our work environment. See the registration page for details.

In support of inclusivity, we also have a new tool this year thanks to the participation of more than 10,000 employees in the UW Medicine Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Survey. While you can find detailed survey information and analysis online about all employees, here is a brief overview of what we are learning from our Hispanic/Latinx survey respondents.

EDI Survey: Hispanic/Latinx Respondents (n=686)

Note: Hispanic/Latinx employees accounted for 7% of total survey responses. According to UW data, 6.8% of UW Medicine staff identify as Hispanic/Latinx.

  • Reflecting the rich cultural tapestry of the Hispanic/Latinx community at UW Medicine, approximately one-third of survey respondents are foreign-born and over a third identify a first language other than English. This group encompasses individuals with roots in Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and indigenous backgrounds.
  • More than half (60%) report working in classified staff positions; respondents also reported working in professional staff positions (22%), faculty roles (10%) and other roles (8%).
  • As a group, many have a positive sense of “belonging” when asked questions about feeling connected to UW Medicine’s mission, feeling valued by their coworkers and supervisors, and feeling comfortable with their identity at work.
  • UW Medicine will be more inclusive when they see more members of their communities at all levels of the organization and in faculty and leadership roles. Only 1.4% of survey respondents are at professional staff grades 11 or higher, which indicates a leadership position.
  • Our health system needs to be more accessible to people who do not speak English as their first language. Information about UW Medicine, including patient-facing materials, should be translated into Spanish and other languages.

As part of our celebration of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month, which continues through Oct. 15, we encourage you to check the information and resources, including digital assets and posters, that are posted on The Huddle.

Thank you for supporting our cultural observances and our ongoing work to achieve greater inclusivity for all employees and patients at UW Medicine.


Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Interim CEO, UW Medicine
Interim Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and
Interim Dean of the School of Medicine,
University of Washington

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

Brad Simmons
President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

Jacqueline Cabe
Chief Financial Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

Ruth Mahan
Chief Business Officer, UW Medicine
Chief of Staff, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

Becca Kelly
Interim Chief Advancement Officer, UW Medicine
Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

Anneliese Schleyer, MD
Interim Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Interim Vice President for Medical Affairs,
University of Washington

Cindy Hecker
Chief Executive Officer
UW Medical Center

Sommer Kleweno Walley
Chief Executive Officer
Harborview Medical Center

Jeannine Erickson Grinnell
Chief Executive Officer
Valley Medical Center

Erica Floyd
Interim Executive Director
UW Physicians

Pranika Laing
Interim Associate Vice President/Executive Director
UW Medicine Primary Care and Population Health

Jeff Richey
Executive Director
Airlift Northwest