UW Medicine

Bias Reporting Tool

UW Medicine is an organization that embraces diversity and advances equity while fostering inclusion and collegiality. We are a community where support and respect are expected at all levels. We also realize there are times when individuals at all levels in our system engage in bullying, demonstrate negative biases, and express racist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic or other bigoted beliefs. These behaviors challenge the UW Medicine values which adversely impacts the learning, teaching, working or healing experiences of others. This tool has been created to formally report those incidents.

Reporting can include a variety of concerns ranging from one-time micro-aggressions to more severe and sustained behavior. We are committed to responding to these events and continuing to improve our climate.

You can report anonymously with this tool. However, we believe we can more fully respond to concerns if you include your name and contact information. It also allows us to follow up with you about next steps both in regards to supporting you as the reporter and informing our next steps to address the incident.

Bias Reporting Tool

Initial Community Report 2021 [PDF]

Keyboard Typing

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a “bias incident”?
    1. A “bias incident” is intended to capture any form of discrimination, bullying, microaggression, or harassment against a member of the university community based on perception of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Our goal is to be broad in our definition of reportable events as we must hear about what is happening in our community in order to execute our goal of building a more inclusive environment.
  2. Why should I use this tool?
    1. One of the challenges in large organizations is that most instances of unprofessional or harmful behaviors are not reported. Having a centralized way to report problems and identify areas, topics, and individuals where attention is needed allows for the targeted interventions we seek to undertake to improve our community.

      While you may choose to submit an anonymous report we would encourage you to provide some contact information. We want to obtain as complete a picture as possible regarding the experiences of our learners, staff and faculty. This tool is one mechanism we will use to accomplish that goal. While we cannot reach out to obtain more information or respond to anonymous reporters to provide feedback or offer additional resources, we still welcome these contributions to add to our collective knowledge and a better understanding of the current climate.

      Anonymous complaints cannot be followed up on unless adequate information is provided. Information will be tracked to determine trends to be used for potential recommendations (such as future trainings in our community).
  3. What happens after I submit a report?
    1. It depends. Some of the members of the Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) work on one of our human resources teams. If they review the report and feel that it should be assessed by human resources, it will be forwarded to a human resources professional who will contact you to learn more and determine next steps.

      If reporter has issued a complaint or is involved in a current human resources or academic human resources process in relation to the incident, we will try to provide referral to other UW complaint resolution options.

      If the complaint/incident reported requires review by Human Resources, it will be forwarded to (a) a UW Medicine Human Resources Consultant (HRC); (b) a Campus Human Resources Consultant); (c) the School of Medicine Human Resources Director; or (d) for academic personnel matters, a member of the Personnel Policy Unit (PPU) in the SoM Business Unit. The HRC, SoM HR director, or PPU team member will be the person who contacts the reporter to determine if HR investigation is required and/or the appropriate follow up is needed.

      In other situations, a member of the BIRT team (not affiliated with human resources) will reach out to you to learn more about the event (if you have provided contact information). We will then work with you to determine 1) what you may need as a reporter and 2) what steps can be taken regarding the incident. In either case, the information will be maintained in our database, providing us with an overall picture of the kinds of things our students, trainees, staff and faculty are experiencing.

      After gathering initial information, the committee will determine what kind of follow up activity is appropriate. The committee may take certain actions directly, such as asking facilities services to remove graffiti, reaching out to an affected community or individual to provide support, or providing feedback and suggested action steps to a department or individual. Formal investigations are discussed below.
  4. Will my report result in an investigation of the matter?
    1. It is important to note that the Bias Incident Response Team is neither a formal investigative nor an oversight body, however we seek to support the initiation of investigations where appropriate. There are times when the issue will require review by a professional and we will facilitate this. In many cases, it will be entirely up to the person making the report to decide if they want to have a formal investigation initiated, which we acknowledge is an additional burden. If you submit a report and provide contact information, the committee will support you by clearly communicating your options for having the matter investigated, providing information about relevant resources, and working with you to determine how you can be supported in taking such action. In certain instances, we may be compelled by law to follow up on a matter, including reporting to an appropriate investigative body (e.g., Safe Campus, UW Medicine Compliance).

If you have previously reported a bias incident using the UW Medicine Bias Reporting Tool and would like to provide feedback on the process, please complete our brief survey. We welcome your feedback as we continue to improve this tool.

If you have non-urgent questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to any member of the team below or email biasresponseteam@uw.edu (please note, this is not a regularly monitored email for correspondence and should not be used in an emergent or urgent manner).

Bias Incident Response Team Members

Elaine Acacio UW Medical Center, Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Chantal Cayo Chief Nursing Officer, UW Neighborhood Clinics
Nancy Colobong Smith Clinical Nurse Specialist, UWMC
Giana Davidson Assistant Dean for Professionalism, UW School of Medicine
Jerome Dayao Chief Nursing Officer, Harborview Medical Center
Melinda Frank Director, Learning Environment
Cindy Hamra Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education
Paula Houston Chief Equity Officer, Office of Healthcare Equity, UW Medicine
Trish Kritek Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, UW School of Medicine
Santiago Neme Medical Director, UW Medical Center Northwest
Chiedza Nziramasanga Senior HR Consultant, UW Medicine
Jennifer Petritz Employee Relations Director, UW Medicine
Martine Pierre-Louis Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, Harborview Medical Center
Barb Van Ess Director of Personnel Policy, UW School of Medicine Chief Business Office
Maria Zontine Director of Human Resources, UW School of Medicine Chief Business Office