Department of Urology

June 3, 2020

Events in America and Seattle: Open Letter from Hunter Wessells, MD

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The images of unrest and strife in American cities right now is shocking and troubling. I deeply lament the recent deaths of Black men and women occurring across the country, and the injustices being exposed in our society. My heart goes out to all who are suffering right now.

The Department of Urology has collectively made a commitment to counteract racism and healthcare disparities: recruiting diverse and talented faculty staff and trainees including individuals from underrepresented minorities; creating an inclusive environment where all feel welcome and can do their best work; and in our mission to care for the injured, vulnerable and underserved in our community, who are disproportionately persons of color.

It is evident that these actions are not enough, and we need to take up the University’s clear and strong stance against institutional racismPresident Cauce calls on us to “create a “new normal” where attention to issues of equity becomes habitual.” UW Medicine leaders and the UW Health Sciences Deans have issued statements calling on us to address law enforcement violence and inequities in our criminal justice system as a public health challenge.

Through our daily actions and interactions, we can confront the racism and disparities we are all living with. Let’s create an environment where everyone feels safe. Let’s redouble our efforts to deliver equitable and accessible healthcare. And let’s provide engagement and leadership as physicians and providers in the world beyond the hospital and clinics.

Sincerely,

Hunter

Hunter Wessells MD FACS

Professor and Nelson Chair of Urology

University of Washington School of Medicine