School of Nursing Centennial

April 24, 2018

Nursing workforce diversity

Mary Lee Pearson Bell

Diversified public health nursing

While training at Harborview Hospital, Mary Lee Pearson Bell once had a male patient say to her, “I do not want you to put your black hands on me.” She fought this racism by changing the system. At the King County Department of Health, Bell hired staff who reflected the communities they served. Bell also developed an innovative clinical program in Seattle Public Schools to meet adolescent health needs.


“Public health provided me with the opportunity to work in many different communities and with many professional nurses who were truly dedicated to diversity and the provision of high quality care to community residents.”


BSN (1959)


Alumni, Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association, Washington State Nurses Association Hall of Fame, Harborview Medical Center

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