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We acknowledge the pain, anger and fear that is sweeping through Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities in our country and among our staff and faculty. While anti-Asian racism has been present in United States since the arrival of the first Chinese immigrants in the 1850s, these communities have been subject to historically high rates of discrimination, physical assault and verbal harassment in the last year as part of a racist response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The killing of eight people in the Atlanta area, including six Asian women, is the latest and most chilling example of this racism, but it is not an isolated event. In Western Washington, we have also seen more hate crimes this year, which often target the elderly and women, including the disturbing news last month that a Japanese American woman was badly injured while walking in Seattle’s International District.

At UW Medicine, our pledge to act against racism is inclusive. As we have done in support of our Black colleagues and Black Lives Matter, we are determined to combat anti-Asian racism with the same resolve and resources. We ask people whose heritage directly puts them at risk for harassment and violence to express your needs and how we can support you. We also ask that people of all races take part in these efforts:

  • Don’t be silent. Express your support for people who are threatened by racism and listen to their concerns.
  • Participate in anti-racism training to learn about systemic racism in medicine and to help reduce healthcare inequity.
  • Be an advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion at work and in the community.
  • Use the UW Medicine Bias Incident Reporting Tool to report workplace concerns, ranging from a one-time microaggression to more severe and sustained behaviors such as bullying.

Virtual Caucus: The UW Medicine Office of Healthcare Equity will offer a new caucus next week to provide additional support to our Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander colleagues. The caucus will provide a protected space to discuss issues and share experiences. It will be facilitated by Dr. Frederick Chen, chief of family medicine at Harborview Medical Center, and Tracy Hirai-Seaton, co-chair of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee at UW Medical Center.

Date: Thursday, March 25
Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 939 2436 9127

Passcode: 026187
One tap mobile: +12063379723,,93924369127# US (Seattle)

Finally, we recognize the emotional strain that many of us have experienced in the past year as a result of the pandemic, social isolation, economic hardship and political divisiveness. If you are looking for mental health resources, we encourage you to take advantage of our new UW Medicine program, Employee Mental Health Support, or the UW employee assistance program, CareLink.

We want to thank the members of the UW Medicine Healthcare Equity team for their leadership, and we thank each of you for your actions and commitment to achieve our goals for racial justice within UW Medicine and throughout our country.


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

Lisa Brandenburg
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

Timothy H. Dellit, MD
Chief Medical Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington
President, University of Washington Physicians

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

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

Don Theophilus, JD
Chief Advancement Officer, UW Medicine
Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Washington