University of Washington School of Public Health

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SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

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Center wins 2018 APEX award for action guide about dementia

The Healthy Brain Research Network (HBRN) within the Health Promotion Research Center in the University of Washington School of Public Health has won a 2018 APEX Grand Award for Publication Excellence. (August 17, 2018)

National panel of experts says limit low-calorie sodas, stick to water instead

A group of leading nutritionists, doctors and researchers caution against the regular and long-term consumption of diet beverages, especially for children. In a science advisory published July 30 in Circulation, the group recommends that people should drink more plain or carbonated water instead. (August 13, 2018)

Researchers Win $2.7 Million NIH Grant to Reduce Child Mortality in Mozambique

A project by the University of Washington, in partnership with the Ministry of Health in Mozambique, has received a five-year, $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to jump-start stalled declines in child mortality by improving interventions delivered at or near the time of birth. (August 7, 2018)

Biostatistics professor receives 2018 Simons Investigator Award

Daniela Witten, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been named a 2018 Simons Investigator in Mathematical Modeling of Living Systems by the New York-based Simons Foundation. (August 1, 2018)

Biostatistics students win at 2018 WNAR student paper competition

Four students from the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health took home top honors last month at the 2018 student paper competition hosted by the Western North American Region (WNAR) of the International Biometric Society. (August 1, 2018)

Reducing obesity among public housing residents

A new study led by a University of Washington health promotion researcher shows that an intervention in public housing communities has the potential to reduce obesity among residents. (August 1, 2018)

UW SPH launches new major in food systems, nutrition and health

The University of Washington will offer a new major this year to undergraduate students interested in the connections between food systems, nutrition and health. A Bachelor of Arts in Food Systems, Nutrition and Health (FSNH) was approved in July by UW President Ana Mari Cauce and by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. (July 30, 2018)

Public health major evolves into 'Public Health – Global Health' degree

The University of Washington School of Public Health’s popular public health major has been renamed the “Public Health—Global Health Major” to better reflect its domestic and global competencies. The change, approved recently by UW President Ana Mari Cauce, takes effect immediately. (July 23, 2018)

Students push public transit policy

Students from the University of Washington School of Public Health met with the Seattle City Council’s Sustainability & Transportation Committee last month to discuss ways to expand access to public transit benefits for low-income and small business workers. (July 20, 2018)

Shaping the future of research and action on war and health

Scholars from the UW School of Public Health were among 20 experts invited by The Lancet to Beirut, Lebanon, last month to discuss ways to advance the academic field of “war and health.” (July 18, 2018)

11 faculty promoted, 4 receive tenure

Eleven core faculty members in the UW School of Public Health were promoted and four were conferred tenure, effective July 1. (July 17, 2018)

Hilary Godwin begins as new dean of UW SPH

Hilary Godwin, PhD, a nationally recognized teacher, leader and researcher, took the reins July 15 as the newest dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health. (July 16, 2018)

Study finds genetic risk for placental abruption, could prevent maternal deaths

Scientists from the University of Washington School of Public Health have identified genetic factors that may increase a woman’s risk for placental abruption, a leading cause of maternal and neonatal death worldwide. (July 11, 2018)

Center awarded $3 million to support public health training and learning

The Health Resources and Services Administration recently awarded the University of Washington School of Public Health’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice more than $3 million to support regional public health training and workforce development efforts over the next four years. (July 11, 2018)

SPH center awarded $3.1 million NIH grant to expand workplace wellness program

Peggy Hannon, director of the Health Promotion Research Center at the University of Washington School of Public Health, was recently awarded a five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand a workplace wellness program for smaller employers nationwide. (June 27, 2018)

Close Up: 2018 Omenn Award Winners

Each year, the School honors two outstanding graduate students – one doctoral and one master's – for their academic excellence and commitment to public health. This year's winners of the Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence are Miriam Calkins, who received a PhD in environmental and occupational hygiene, and Katrin Fabian, an MPH graduate in global health. (June 12, 2018)

'Difficult and dangerous' work raises health risks for Alaska salmon fishermen

Commercial salmon fishermen in Alaska suffer from hearing loss at more than five times the national rate, suggests a new study led by the University of Washington School of Public Health. (June 21, 2018)

Understanding the climate impacts of 1.5 and 2 degrees of global warming

A central goal of the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to only 1.5 degrees. A new research paper shows that each pathway to achieve a 1.5-degree-warmer world would likely result in vastly different regional temperatures. (June 14, 2018)

Public health as a superpower

Nearly 3,500 people gathered at the Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday, June 10, to celebrate the graduating class of the University of Washington School of Public Health. Speaker Benjamin Danielson, a distinguished pediatrician and social justice activist, praised the public health perspective as a superpower and called graduates “equity’s greatest hope.” (June 14, 2018)

Higher carbon dioxide levels reduce rice’s nutritional value

Higher concentrations of carbon dioxide are associated with reductions in protein and multiple key nutrients in rice, according to a new field study by an international team that included scientists from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (June 13, 2018)

SPH biostatistician named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association

Kenneth Rice, an associate professor of biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been named a fellow of the American Statistical Association, the nation’s pre-eminent professional statistical society. (June 12, 2018)

Read Ben Danielson's 2018 UW School of Public Health Graduation Speech

Dr. Benjamin Danielson was chosen to speak at the UW School of Public Health's graduation celebration on June 10, 2018. Read his full speech. (June 11, 2018)

Gun storage study makes impact in policy sphere

An SPH study found that 63 percent of firearm-owning households in Washington state do not store their firearms locked and unloaded. The study, led by the Department of Epidemiology, received widespread local media coverage and was highlighted by Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan in a legislative proposal to the Seattle City Council to require safe storage of guns. (June 4, 2018)

School hires first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Victoria Gardner, EdD, MEd, was hired as the School’s inaugural Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). Gardner, who will also use the title of Chief Diversity Officer, comes to SPH with nearly three decades of experience at the UW School of Medicine, where she served as director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. (May 31, 2018)

Janet Baseman named new associate dean

Interim Dean Joel Kaufman appointed Janet Baseman (PhD, Epidemiology ’05) as acting associate dean for public health practice. (May 31, 2018)

Pamela Collins, director of global mental health

After eight years at the National Institute of Mental Health, Pamela Collins joined the UW in January to lead its global mental health program, a joint effort of the Departments of Global Health and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. (May 31, 2018)

Breaking ground on new population health building

The UW broke ground this spring on a new population health facility that will house much of the School of Public Health, including the Department of Global Health. (May 31, 2018)

Ali Rowhani-Rahbar named Bartley Dobb Professor

Associate Professor Ali Rowhani-Rahbar (PhD, Epidemiology ’09) was selected for the Bartley Dobb Professorship for the Study and Prevention of Violence, effective July 1. (May 31, 2018)

Grayston Society creates impact

In founding our School of Public Health in 1970, Emeritus Dean Dr. J. Thomas Grayston laid the foundation for more than 40 years of leadership, building a towering legacy in public health education and research.  To honor Tom’s impact, the Grayston Society was established in 2014. (May 31, 2018)

Alumni Q&A: Kung-Yee Liang makes it to the top in Taiwan

Kung-Yee Liang (PhD, Biostatistics ’82) is the new president of Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes (a blend of the CDC and NIH). One of the world’s preeminent biostatisticians, he pioneered statistical methods that have yielded new insights into disease risk factors and genetic epidemiology. He also led the country’s first medical university. (May 31, 2018)

Hilary Godwin named next dean of SPH

Hilary Godwin, PhD, has been named the next dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective July 15. (May 31, 2018)

Grayston-Day Fellows find ways to boost health equity

The Grayston-Day awards seek to increase the number of health professionals from diverse communities by funding the education of underrepresented students in the public health field. The 2017-18 fellows are Ali N'Simbo and Dajzsa McDaniel. (May 31, 2018)

How one SPH department recruits students who 'look like the people we serve'

Every year, the Department of Health Services selects a student from each of its eight graduate programs to receive a grant known as the Health Services equity, Excellence and Distinction Award, or HSEED. Created by Chair Jeffrey Harris, the award helps the department to recruit students who look like the people we serve. (May 31, 2018)

UW student tackles biggest barrier to tobacco control you've never heard of

Believe it or not, some local communities cannot pass local tobacco control laws that are stronger than state-level policies. This is due to a relatively unknown rule, called preemption, which keeps local governments in Washington state from effectively regulating menthol and flavored tobacco products or from raising the tobacco-buying age to 21. (May 30, 2018)

New grant to study alcohol use in transgender community

Emily Williams, associate professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a two-year, $456,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study alcohol use among transgender adults. (May 30, 2018)

Rising CO2 Levels Reduce Nutritional Value of Rice

Higher levels of carbon dioxide were shown to reduce the nutritional quality of rice, researchers from the UW School of Public Health and an international team of experts found. (May 25, 2018)

Passion for public health passed down within UW sorority

Sisters of the UW's Alpha Chapter of Chi Omega pass the baton in more ways than one. A dozen current sorority members were inspired by six recent graduates to pursue their undergraduate studies in public health. (May 14, 2018)

Study seeks to understand crash risk among older adults

The fatal crash rate tends to increase when drivers turn 65 – but there are few validated tools available for predicting when an individual driver’s risk may start to increase. (May 11, 2018)

SPH researcher receives $2.4 million to test healthy food program for American Indians

Amanda Fretts, assistant professor of epidemiology at the UW School of Public Health, has received a $2.4 million grant to test a program to improve the dietary habits of American Indians with type 2 diabetes. (May 2, 2018)

Close Up: Mauricio Sadinle

A first-generation college student from the Colombian coffee belt, Mauricio Sadinle deviated from the family business to pursue higher education. With help from an unlikely pen pal, he used statistics to quantify the toll of Colombia’s war with rebels. Now, he uses statistics to improve the quality of data and to unlock data's full potential. (April 25, 2018)

Researchers help guide research agenda for malaria elimination and eradication

University of Washington researchers took part in a collaboration that recently set forth a new research agenda to accelerate malaria elimination and, in the long term, global eradication. (April 25, 2018)

Emerging contaminants may affect Puget Sound chinook salmon, UW researchers find

Juvenile chinook salmon migrating through contaminated estuaries in Puget Sound pick up drugs that may affect their survival and growth when it matters most. (April 23, 2018)

SPH researchers study air quality near U.S.-Mexico border region

Edmund Seto, of the University of Washington School of Public Health, has received a $100,000 grant to further study air quality near one of the busiest land border crossings in the world – the San Ysidro Port of Entry between San Diego and Tijuana. (April 16, 2018)

Finding links between disability and death among U.S. vets

New research shows that veterans born in 1958 or later, who sustained service-related illnesses or injuries, are dying at the average age of 43 from causes mostly due to suicide, assault or accidents. The findings did not include fatalities in the field of combat. (April 12, 2018)

SPH researchers take part in largest-ever genetic study of stroke

An international group of researchers, including scientists at the University of Washington School of Public Health, studied more than 520,000 people from around the world and identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke. (April 2, 2018)

Champion for child health Ben Danielson to be 2018 SPH graduation speaker

Dr. Ben Danielson, a distinguished pediatrician who heads the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle’s Central District, will speak at the UW School of Public Health’s graduation celebration on June 10. (April 2, 2018)

Oral cholera vaccine may miss the mark for younger children

Oral cholera vaccine provides significantly less protection for children under 5 compared to older children and adults, according to a re-analysis of data from a vaccine trial in India. Findings published in BMC Infectious Diseases suggest re-vaccination is key when children are older. (March 29, 2018)

UW course gets students fired up about food and nutrition

A University of Washington course brings students out of the lecture hall and into the kitchen to learn about food science and nutrition. (March 27, 2018)

UW Biostatistics Ranks No. 1

The Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health maintained its top national ranking among biostatistics programs. (March 20, 2018)

New evidence links neighborhood environment to mental health

People who live in disadvantaged areas are at greater risk for depression, according to a study led by researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (March 13, 2018)

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