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School of Public Health

University of Washington School of Public Health

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SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

Related links: SPH in the News | SPH Research News | SPH Close Up

Close Up December 2015: Victoria Holt

Online courses, increased undergrad and public health practice programs, and more effective grant strategies are all on the agenda for Victoria Holt, new chair of the Department of Epidemiology. (November 10, 2015)

Report Outlines Likely Climate Change Impact on Puget Sound Region

A new report by the University of Washington projects dramatic changes in the Puget Sound region due to climate change; an entire chapter is devoted to the potential effect on human health. (November 23, 2015)

CDC Funds Three New Health Promotion Projects

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded $2.56 million to the School's Health Promotion Research Center to fund three special interest projects. (November 20, 2015)

Evaluating Effort to Improve Veterans' Access to Health Care

The School of Public Health will help evaluate a new effort to improve veterans’ timely access to health care. (November 20, 2015)

Older Drivers – When Should They Give Up the Car Keys?

By 2024, one of every four drivers will be over 65. PhD student Laura Blanar's research is trying to identify the point of cognitive decline at which driving becomes too risky. (November 20, 2015)

Public Health and Visual Design Harness the Power of Infographics

Researchers at the Center for Public Health Nutrition teamed with graduate and undergraduate students of the UW's Visual Communication Design program to create several food-related infographics. (November 20, 2015)

Studies Highlight Mental Health Care Gaps in Mozambique

Two recent studies highlight the challenges of meeting the mental health care needs in Mozambique, which was recently estimated to have Africa’s highest suicide rate. (November 4, 2015)

Meet the ARCS students from SPH

Ten SPH students from Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Environmental Health are current ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Scholars. (November 2, 2015)

The Castner Fund: Giving Back to the Environment and SPH

It’s not every day that an Environmental Health undergraduate determines his next career step is dental school, but in the case of Dr. Russell Castner, that’s precisely what happened. The 1971 graduate in Environmental Health surveyed the landscape of career opportunities and decided dentistry was a better option. (October 21, 2015)

SPH Scholarship Roundup - Autumn 2015

These SPH student support funds, made possible by generous donations from friends and alumni, recognize academic merit and promise. If you are interested in learning more about supporting our students, please contact Megan Ingram, 206-616-7197 or (October 21, 2015)

SPH Making an Impact - Autumn 2015

From teaching public health to diverse high school students to tracking school lunch times in Seattle, our students, alumni and faculty work to create healthier communities. (October 21, 2015)

Dementia — The New Epidemic

Dementia cases could triple by 2050, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2015. “Dementia is the new epidemic facing the Western world,” says Annette Fitzpatrick, research professor of Family Medicine and Epidemiology. (October 21, 2015)

Keeping an Aging Nation Healthy

10,000 baby-boomers turn 65 every day. The field of “healthy aging”—keeping older Americans physically and cognitively healthy for as long as possible—is an important research opportunity for the UW School of
Public Health. (October 21, 2015)

Study Finds Racial Disparities in Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

African-American and Hispanic women were more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer than non-Hispanic Whites and were at higher risk of not receiving recommended treatment across breast cancer subtypes, according to a study led by a PhD epidemiology student. (October 30, 2015)

Self-reported Food Spending Closely Tracks Store, Restaurant Receipts

People are good at estimating how much they spend on food, both in restaurants and at home, according to data from the Seattle Obesity Study. That should open the door to new studies in nutrition economics on whether eating healthy adds to consumer food costs. (October 29, 2015)

Team Honored as 'Safer Chemistry Champion' for Reducing Toxics

Staff in the University of Washington Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences were honored Oct. 27 with a “Safer Chemistry Champion” award presented by the Washington Department of Ecology. (October 28, 2015)

SPH to Offer MPH and Master of Urban Planning Concurrent Degree Program

A new three-year program will prepare students for careers in public health or planning, and for the cross-disciplinary work that will be needed in the future. (October 26, 2015)

Are Seattle Schoolchildren Getting Enough Time for Lunch?

A recent report by graduate students in the Nutritional Sciences Program found that Seattle schoolchildren on average sat down for fewer than 13 minutes to eat lunch – far fewer than the 20 minutes called for in local and federal guidelines. (October 22, 2015)

SPH Alumna Develops New Feeding Cup for Infants with Breastfeeding Difficulties

Alumna Christy McKinney (PhD, Epidemiology ’06) spearheaded the development of a new feeding cup for preterm infants and newborns with cleft palates – infants who commonly have breastfeeding difficulties. (October 20, 2015)

Close Up October 2015: Aaron Katz

Aaron Katz says he was "wired" to do something that mattered, such as working on health policy. Since he moved to Seattle in 1978, he's been a tireless advocate for health reform and new methods of teaching. (October 8, 2015)

Flu Shots Increased During Workplace Promotions at Restaurants

Flu vaccinations nearly doubled among workers at Seattle restaurants taking part in a workplace intervention tested by the University of Washington School of Public Health. (October 16, 2015)

Fostering the human-animal bond

One four-legged friend at a time, PhD student Dr. Heather Fowler is giving back to the community as a volunteer veterinarian at the Doney Clinic. (October 13, 2015)

Victoria Holt Named New Chair of Epidemiology

Victoria Holt, a faculty member since 1991, has been appointed Chair of the Department of Epidemiology. (October 7, 2015)

Study Finds Links Between Race/Ethnicity, Cultural Factors and Cognition

A study led by Research Professor Annette Fitzpatrick found that race, ethnicity and a number of sociocultural factors were significantly associated with performance on cognitive tests. But researchers are urging caution in interpreting the results. (October 6, 2015)

Feel-Good Day Focuses on the Homeless and their Pets

Gemina Garland-Lewis, research coordinator at the Center for One Health Research, organized animal services for the first shared human/animal Feel Good Day Sept. 4 in the U District. The semi-annual event, led by Facing Homelessness, offers free services for the homeless, including haircuts and massage therapy. (October 1, 2015)

Maternal Stress Linked to More Cavities in Children

Young children whose mothers were chronically stressed had a higher prevalence of cavities, according to a study by the UW Schools of Public Health and Dentistry, and King's College London. (October 1, 2015)

SPH Launches New Undergraduate Student Assistance Fund

Five undergraduates are recipients of awards from the School's New Undergraduate Student Assistance Fund. (September 18, 2015)

Close Up September 2015: Victoria Breckwich Vásquez

Victoria Breckwich Vásquez's lifelong endeavor has been to understand the challenges faced by her mother, a single mom from Peru who became a nurse in Los Angeles. Today, Vásquez channels her passions into improving the health of Latino communities, including a little-studied group of forestry workers in southern Oregon who are vulnerable to on-the-job injuries. (August 31, 2015)

PhD Student Receives Bullitt Foundation Fellowship: To Launch One Health Dairy Project in Washington State

A PhD student at the University of Washington plans to tackle issues in sustainable dairy farming with funding from the Bullitt Foundation. Dr. Heather Fowler was selected for the Foundation’s Environmental Fellowship Award, a highly selective prize of $100,000 given to a single graduate student. (September 9, 2015)

Commercial Car Wash Chemical Can Harm Workers, Study Finds

A new report highlights the health hazards faced by workers handling hydrofluoric acid in commercial car and truck washing operations. (September 9, 2015)

On Katrina Anniversary, Study Warns of Public Health Impacts of Climate Change

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina lashed New Orleans, a new study warns that future public health impacts of climate change in Gulf Coast states may be “especially severe.” (August 31, 2015)

Three Faculty Elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Three members of the University of Washington School of Public Health are among the 24 new members who will be inducted into the Washington State Academy of Sciences next month for their outstanding record of scientific achievement. (August 27, 2015)

PhD Student Wins Young Investigator Award from International AIDS Society

Graduating PhD student Kristjana Ásbjörnsdóttir received the International AIDS Society (IAS) Lange-Van Tongeren young investigator prize for her research on HIV-infected infants and their response to antiretroviral therapy. (August 27, 2015)

Public health a 'perfect topic' for UW Upward Bound students

More than 80 Seattle high school students in the UW Upward Bound program were immersed in public health issues during a six-week summer course. Themes included how to overcome the social determinants of health. (July 24, 2015)

Close Up August 2015: Dennis Stillman

Dennis Stillman became director of Master of Health Administration programs earlier this year. But he's no stranger to the School, having taught aspiring health care leaders here for nearly two decades. Find out what he says about his own career, the challenges posed by the Affordable Care Act, and a hooded witness in a Senate hearing. (August 4, 2015)

Gender Differences Seen in Cancer Patients and Fertility Preservation

Young adult males with cancer were more than twice as likely as female patients to report that they had discussed options to preserve their fertility before treatment, a study in the journal Cancer finds. (August 5, 2015)

Health Services Can 'Tackle Just About Anything,' New Chair Says

Jeffrey Harris, new chair of the School's Department of Health Services, sees tremendous opportunities, including researching the impact of the Afforadable Care Act and improving the health of Latinos. (August 4, 2015)

Pharmacy Assistant Program Graduates First Batch of Students

The first 50 students have graduated from an innovative pharmacy assistant training program in Malawi that was part of a collaboration involving the UW Global Medicines Program. (July 21, 2015)

Six New Gene Locations Identified for Colorectal Cancer Risk

An international team of researchers has identified six new locations in the human genome where people could be more at risk for colorectal cancer (July 20, 2015)

Close Up July 2015: Judith Wasserheit

Judith Wasserheit, a long-time leader in research on sexually transmitted diseases, chairs the University of Washington's Department of Global Health, a post she has held for nearly a year. Find out where she wants to take the department. (July 2, 2015)

Jeffrey Harris Named New Chair of Health Services

Jeffrey R. Harris has been appointed Chair of the Department of Health Services within the University of Washington School of Public Health, effective Aug. 1. (July 15, 2015)

New Endowed Fellowship Honors Former SPH Dean Patricia Wahl

An endowed fellowship to support outstanding graduate students in Biostatistics has been created in honor of former Dean Patricia Wahl. (June 30, 2015)

SPH Scholarship Roundup

Every year, the School awards student fellowships and scholarships, thanks to the generous support of donations from friends and alumni. (June 30, 2015)

SPH Making an Impact Summer 2015

From crafting national reports on our food systems to raising funds for earthquake survivors in Nepal, our students, alumni and faculty work to create healthier and safer communities. (June 30, 2015)

Healing Survivors of Sexual Violence in the Congo

UW clinical psychologist professor Debra Kaysen teaches a type of therapy that is easing the anguish of rape survivors in war-torn countries. (June 30, 2015)

Easing the Global Burden of Mental Health

Stigma, poor mental health, and substance abuse drive many global health problems, including diabetes, preterm birth, trauma injuries, self-harm and motor vehicle deaths. The UW's Global Mental Health Program are conducting research and training to address gaps in global interventions. (June 30, 2015)

SPH Faculty Member Wins Pumphandle Award

Steven Macdonald, clinical associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, received the Pumphandle Award "for outstanding achievement in the field of applied epidemiology" from the Council of State & Territorial Epidemiologists. (July 10, 2015)

Agent Orange Report Leads to Policy Reversal

Professor John Kissel's research on Agent Orange exposure helped convince the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to reverse a long-standing policy generally denying disability claims from certain U.S. Air Force reservists. (July 10, 2015)

Lack of Sleep, Frequent Snoring Linked with Poorer Breast Cancer Survival Rates

Women who didn't get enough sleep and snored frequently before being diagnosed with breast cancer had significantly poorer survival rates, according to a new study led by Amanda Phipps, assistant professor of epidemiology. (July 7, 2015)

Biostatisticians Contribute to UW Study Pinpointing Ivory Poaching

Researchers from the School's Department of Biostatistics supported a UW study that used DNA analysis to identify elephant poaching hotspots in Africa. (July 2, 2015)

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