Health Equity Program

For More Information

Tiffany Go, MPA
Health Equity Program Manager
Phone: 206.606.6859

Eliminating Health Care Disparities

As part of our commitment to health equity at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, our Health Equity Program is working to address institutional and systemic racism in health and cancer care.

Health Equity Steering Committee

The Health Equity Steering Committee (HESC) provides oversight of health equity activities across Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center and is responsible for the development and prioritization of the organization’s health equity strategy. The HESC ensures the Health Equity Program is effective in identifying and reducing disparities within clinical care delivery, clinical trials, community outreach, and research. The HESC members represent various disciplines including clinical, research, administrative staff and patients across the organization.

Mission Statement

To eliminate health care disparities within Fred Hutch’s patient population and improve the experience of our patients, families and communities by working collaboratively across the enterprise to dismantle structures that contribute to health inequities.


Health equity means that all of our patients have fair and just access to the medical care they need. To be truly equitable, we must challenge existing power structures and systemic and societal factors that create obstacles to high-quality care for everyone.

Health Equity Steering Committee members represent the following departments, divisions or groups:

  • Patient Experience & Equity
  • Breast Oncology Clinic
  • General Oncology
  • Office of Community Outreach & Engagement
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Core
  • Community Oncology
  • Supportive Care Services
  • Enterprise Analytics
  • Breast Equity
  • Clinical Operations
  • Hematology & Heme Malignancies Clinics
  • Research Administration
  • Quality, Safety & Value
  • Pancreas Cancer Specialty Clinic
  • Medical Staff Office
  • Hutchinson Institute of Cancer Outcomes Research
  • Clinical Research Support
  • Clinical Operations Research Services
  • Patient and Family Advisors
  • Lung Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program

WSHA Health Equity Collaborative

Fred Hutch is proud to be part of the Washington State Hospital Association (WSHA) Health Equity Collaborative, a network of hospitals working to identify and address health inequities.

In fall 2021, we began an initiative to improve the collection of race and ethnicity data for new patients. Why is data collection so important? To better understand the equity challenges we’re trying to solve, we need to fully understand who our patients are, so we can ensure everyone is served equitably. 

The phases of the project include doing an in-depth assessment and data review, crafting an action plan and sharing lessons learned with other members of the collective.


General Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We want to make sure all our patients get the best care possible. When you tell us about your racial/ethnic identity, it helps us review treatments and ensure everyone gets the highest quality of care.

Although we’re all unique individuals, our racial and ethnic identities may mean we have a higher or lower risk of certain diseases. We can work to reduce these risks by making sure everyone gets high-quality health care — including you!

The information you give us will help us provide better services and programs to everyone.

Your information is kept private and confidential and is protected by law. The only people who will see your information are members of your care team and others who are legally authorized to see your medical records.

No, it’s not illegal to ask. Collecting and reporting race and ethnicity data is legal under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. But you can choose not to answer.

We are collecting this information from all patients.

It’s up to you. You can choose the race and/or ethnicity categories you identify with, and we’ll update your records based on what you tell us.

If you don’t know your race or ethnicity, you can choose not to answer these questions.

No. We will never ask you any questions about citizenship or documentation.

It’s OK if you do not want to answer some or all of the questions. Whether you answer the questions or not, we will provide you with the best possible care.

If you have concerns about the quality of the care you’re receiving, please contact Patient Relations at 206.606.1056 or

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Pronouns Collection

We want to make sure that all our patients get the best care possible. We ask patients how they describe themselves, their relationships, and their identities so we can continue providing safe, inclusive, and high-quality care for all patients.

UW Medicine and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center routinely review patient demographic information to ensure we have all your information to better serve you. We update this information for everyone.

A term used for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The Q generally stands for queer when LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and media use the acronym.

Pronouns are used in place of a proper noun (like someone’s name). We use pronouns most often when referring to someone without using their name. A few examples are she/her, he/him, they/them or using someone’s name.

We can’t always tell what someone’s pronouns are by hearing them or looking at them. Staff may share their pronoun, so others know they are welcome to share their own pronouns.

That’s okay. We ask for pronouns out of respect in addressing patients the way they want to be addressed. If there is another name you would like to go by, let us know and we will make a note in your chart. 

Gender identity is one's own internal sense of self and their gender, whether that is man, woman, neither, both, or something else.

How a person characterizes their emotional and sexual attraction to others.

All patients have unique health needs, and some patients, including LGBTQ patients, may not get their specific health needs addressed. Some important health services may not be delivered if we aren’t aware of patients’ identities. There are many reasons why this may happen, like discrimination or misdiagnosis if a provider assumes a patient’s gender identity or sexual orientation. We want to make sure that everyone gets high quality health care by asking patients about factors that research shows influence their health.

We’ll make sure to have an interpreter on the phone, in person or via video interpreter to assist you.

That’s okay. We can note in your medical record that your identity isn’t listed.

By noting your pronouns, we want to address you the way you want to be addressed. The other information will help us provide better services and programs for you and everyone.

Your information is kept private and confidential and is protected by law. The only people who will see your information are members of your care team and others who are authorized to see your medical record. 

We collect this information from all our patients.

It is perfectly alright if you do not want to answer some or all the questions. You can decline to answer at any time. This information helps us provide the best care possible. We will provide you the best care possible regardless of you answering these questions.

Information about how you describe yourself and your identity helps us make sure we provide the highest quality of care for all patients. By knowing more about you, we can get a better idea of health risks you may have and better meet your health needs. 

No, it is not illegal to ask. Washington state law and accreditation bodies require hospitals and health systems to collect patient demographic information. You have a right to decline some or all the patient demographic questions we ask you at any time.

We will make a note of all the categories you would like to include in your medical record.

While the SOGI questionnaire follows best practices with WA state law, our electronic medical record system doesn’t currently have all the options we recognize. We'll note your additional details in your chart that is visible to your care team. You can update your primary identities in your personal profile in the MyChart App or Web App or contact your scheduler to make this change. 

We can make a note of this in your medical record. You can always update this information another time in your personal profile in the MyChart app or MyChart Web App. 

You’re welcome to submit a quality-of-care complaint to Patient Relations by visiting