Odessa Brown was born in Arkansas in 1920. During the Great Depression, Brown moved to Chicago and experienced some health problems, but she had difficulty obtaining the care she needed. At one visit to a Chicago area hospital, she was turned away and denied care. Brown reportedly said to the staff, "I am black and poor, but I will leave in peace so that I can keep my dignity."
Years later, at the height of the civil rights era, Brown was raising her four children in Seattle when she became a community organizer. She fought to bring quality healthcare with dignity to children in the Central District through a federally funded effort to solve inner-city problems by building "model neighborhoods.” Brown died of leukemia in 1969 at age 49. When the new children's clinic opened the next year, a thankful community named the clinic in her honor.
From that early beginning in 1970, when just one doctor delivered on Brown’s dream, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic has grown into a comprehensive facility with medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services that embrace patients and families in our community.