Head of Seattle Children's Research asked to resign

A leading doctor and prominent figure at Seattle Children's Research Institute was asked to resign last week.

On Friday, Dr. Jim Hendricks, the President of Seattle Children's Research Institute was asked to step down, Dr. Jeff Sperring, CEO at Seattle Children's confirmed in a statement to Q13 News.

"Yesterday, I asked for Dr. Jim Hendricks, President of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, to step down," said Sperring.

"I’ve listened to our workforce, families, people in the community and other stakeholders. After many conversations and thinking about what is in the best interest of the institution, I acted," Sperring said.

The decision comes months after a leading doctor for Seattle Children's Odessa clinic, Dr. Ben Danielson accused the hospital of racism toward patients and colleagues.

Danielson was a senior medical director at Odessa Brown for nearly 20 years. In a Crosscut article, Danielson told the publication partial reasoning for his resignation was due to what he described the institution as being "replete with racism and a disregard for people who don't look like them in leadership."

Danielson also told the publication he experienced racism among the hospital's administration, but declined to name anyone.

Prior to his resignation, a complaint against Hendricks was made in 2009, but an investigation found no wrongdoing, Sperring said.

Seattle Children's announced a Board Assessment committee comprised of a diverse group of trustees and community members will hire an independent expert to look into racism and bias at the hospital. A re-review of the 2009 investigation will also be conducted.

"I appreciate the deep commitment we all have to this organization," Sperring said. "It is now time to move forward to focus on the care we provide to children and families while allowing the committee and outside expert to do their work."