Our Solidarity in Facing Senseless Violence from Memphis to California

The following is a message shared by UW Medicine’s leaders on Jan. 30, 2023.

To the UW Medicine community:


We are thankful for all of your contributions to our mission of improving the health of the public, for all people. We are grateful and appreciate every one of you in this time of difficulty as we continue to experience the public health crises of racism and violence.

Friday ended with the release of horrific videos of Tyre Nichols’ brutal beating at the hands of law enforcement officers that led to his subsequent death. Many have resisted watching the video of his beating because of its violent nature. Our reaction is one of sorrow, outrage and frustration at this senseless attack of a young man. Our condolences go out to his family and the Memphis community, as well as the Black Community.

As President Cauce wrote in her blog, “Today we are mourning, maybe even despairing or enraged. But our community is part of a larger one working concertedly to create change, and that brave work is making an impact.” We invite you to read and reflect on her words.

Our own UW community continues to struggle with racism, intolerance and hateful messages conveyed by anti-Semitic and anti-Black posters that have been found on our campus. We are working diligently to bring restorative practices to our communities and develop new anti-racism policies and procedures across UW Medicine.

We are also distressed and share profound grief with our Asian American communities that were traumatized by senseless gun violence surrounding the celebrations of the Lunar New Year in California. We must do all that we can to prevent these horrendous acts.

February is Black History Month. As we reflect what it means to be Black in this country, let us focus our actions and interactions on our responsibility to bring about change. We must recognize and honor the humanity in each other and in those we are committed to serving, as we work together to make UW Medicine the best place to learn, work and receive care.




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

Bessie A. Young, MD
Vice Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Department of Medicine
University of Washington

Cynthia Dold
Interim President, UW Medicine Hospitals & Clinics
Interim 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

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

Don Theophilus
Chief Advancement Officer, UW Medicine
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

Anthony Dorsch
Executive Director
UW Physicians

Debra Gussin
Executive Director, UW Neighborhood Clinics
Associate Vice President, Primary Care and Population Health
UW Medicine

Jeff Richey
Executive Director
Airlift Northwest