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

Mixing Opioids and Sedatives Steeply Raises Overdose Risk

Patients who are prescribed both opioids and sedating drugs are six times more likely to die of an overdose than people on opioids alone, according to researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. (August 17, 2017)

UW Superfund Program Receives $10 Million Award to Study Effects of Pollutants on Nervous System

The UW Superfund Research Program received a five-year, $10 million award from the NIH to continue studying the effects that environmental pollutants pose to the nervous systems of humans and fish. (August 15, 2017)

Addressing Depression during Teens Could Prevent Cannabis-Use Disorder

Young people with chronic or severe depression are at elevated risk for developing a problem with cannabis in later adolescence, according to a new study from the UW, authored by Isaac Rhew. (August 9, 2017)

One in Four Americans Receive Formal Firearm Training; Fewer Learn about Suicide Prevention

The United States does not have a national standard or requirement for firearm safety training prior to purchasing a gun, putting the responsibility on gun owners and those who live with them to find ways to learn firearm safety. Only about three in five U.S. firearm owners have received any formal gun training, according to a new study from the UW School of Public Health. (July 28, 2017)

Center Helps Develop Guidelines for One Health Epidemiological Studies

The University of Washington Center for One Health Research has played a major role in the development of a new set of guidelines for research in One Health, a growing field that looks at linkages between the health of people, animals, and the changing ecosystems we share. (July 26, 2017)

Close Up July 2017: Heather Fowler

After four years studying dairy practices in Washington state, Heather Fowler is turning her attention to the pork industry. This year's PhD Omenn Award Winner (the School's highest academic honor) is excited to put her degrees to work to improve food safety, protect people who produce pork, and prevent the spread of diseases from hogs to humans. (July 18, 2017)

Communities Cash in on Better Health, Lower Obesity Rates

Obesity, like other chronic diseases, disproportionately affects lower income Americans. But demonstrating whether and how income levels might cause obesity remains a challenge for public health researchers. A new study of Native American casinos in California finds that adding casinos reduces the prevalence of Native babies born large for gestational age. (July 25, 2017)

UW School of Public Health No. 3 in World Ranking

The University of Washington School of Public Health ranked No. 3 in the world and No. 1 among public universities, according to the Global Ranking of Academic Subjects for 2017. This widely-used ranking, emphasizing scientific impact, was conducted by researchers at the Center for World-Class Universities of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. (July 14, 2017)

Mothers' Lifestyle During Pregnancy May Impact Risk of Diabetes, Obesity

A new study from the School found that pregnant women who maintain total healthy lifestyles – they eat well, stay physically active, have low stress and don’t smoke – are nearly four and a half times less likely to have gestational diabetes. (July 11, 2017)

Population Health Initiative Updates

The Population Health Initiative seeks to create a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives. Read about major updates here. (July 5, 2017)

Survey Shows Almost All SPH Graduates Land Jobs Soon After Graduation

Ninety-five percent of the UW School of Public Health’s job-seeking graduates are employed soon after graduation, according to a survey of 2014-15 alumni. (July 3, 2017)

Increased Gun Violence Risk among Bullied Students

School-age adolescents who experience bullying are three times more likely to report access to a loaded gun, according to a new study from the University of Washington School of Public Health. That could increase their chances of being involved in gun violence, already a leading cause of death and injury among teenagers in the United States, researchers say. (June 26, 2017)

Dean Kaufman's Landmark Air Pollution Study Selected Best in 2016

Joel Kaufman, interim dean of the University of Washington School of Public Health, is lead author of the best environmental epidemiology paper published in 2016, according to the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE). (June 27, 2017)

SPH Center Builds Open Access Online Portal for Emergency Preparedness Training

Public health professionals can now access hundreds of online emergency preparedness training resources, thanks to a new portal developed by the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP). (June 27, 2017)

Researchers doing 'remarkable work' on gun violence despite scarce resources

Leading gun violence researchers presented cutting-edge methods for illuminating firearm violence in the U.S. at the Society for Epidemiologic Research’s 50th annual meeting last week in downtown Seattle. (June 26, 2017)

Noel Weiss Gives Cassel Lecture at National Gathering of Epidemiologists

Noel Weiss, professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, gave the prestigious Cassel Lecture this week at the 50th annual meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research in Seattle. Weiss explored the perils in the current public health trend of recommending interventions aimed at certain groups of people. (June 23, 2017)

US, PEPFAR can do more to influence policies that hinder fight against HIV/AIDS

A new study from the University of Washington School of Public Health suggests laws criminalizing homosexuality reinforce stigma in ways that harm efforts to stop the HIV epidemic. (June 22, 2017)

Close Up June 2017: Betty Bekemeier

As a young nursing student attending her required community health nursing class, Betty Bekemeier experienced firsthand the power of a positive role model. (June 5, 2017)

New Cost-Effective, Fast Method to Study Chemical Exposure in Zebrafish

Researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health are using a newly developed panel of zebrafish genes and a rapid testing platform to identify chemicals that trigger oxidative stress. The method is cost-effective and can be performed more quickly and with less tissue than other methods, according to a research brief released May 3. (June 19, 2017)

UN Leader Rallies Record Group of Graduates to Help Bolster Peace and Social Justice

About 3,000 people gathered in Seattle on Sunday, June 11, to celebrate the largest graduating class ever from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Speaker Dr. Natalia Kanem, assistant secretary general of the United Nations (UN) and acting executive director of the UN’s Population Fund, called on graduates to unite in promotion of peace and social justice. (June 13, 2017)

New Initiative Led by SPH Researchers Expands Food Environment Research in Developing Countries

Supermarkets are spreading across parts of Asia, global beverage companies are expanding into once isolated areas in Africa, and processed foods are arriving in towns where people live on $2 a day. These are just a few examples of how food environments are changing around the world. (June 9, 2017)

Dean Kaufman on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Interim Dean Joel Kaufman welcomed recommendations from a consultant on steps to improve equity, diversity and inclusion, and announced several key action steps. (June 2, 2017)

Marijuana May Complicate Tobacco Cessation

Adults who have used tobacco and currently use marijuana are twice as likely as those who have never used marijuana to be continued tobacco users, according to a new study from the UW School of Public Health. (May 31, 2017)

Close Up May 2017: Michael Yost

Getting people to work together can be a challenge, "but that is where all the interesting science happens," says Michael Yost, chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. He's working on building the department's interdisciplinary culture while partnering with businesses to improve sustainability. Next on his list? Focusing on the human microbiome as a theme for cross-cutting research. (May 18, 2017)

Survivor of Workplace Violence Calls for Empathy on Workers' Memorial Day

Rais Bhuiyan was shot in the face at point blank range by a self-described "Arab slayer" in the Dallas gas station where he worked. Six years later he tells his story during a Workers' Memorial Day event, hosted by the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences. (May 30, 2017)

UW Students Tackle Tobacco Epidemic, Vaping

This World No Tobacco Day, on May 31, the WHO and partner organizations call out tobacco as “a threat to development.” Through a unique program at the UW School of Public Health, Parveen and other students are bringing to light the impact the tobacco industry has on the health, economic and educational well-being of communities close to home. (May 26, 2017)

SPH Lifelong Learning Award Winner Has Wowed Students for 20 Years

Richard Gleason’s many accomplishments over 20 years with SPH were recently recognized by the University of Washington. He will be receiving the UW's Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award in June. (May 24, 2017)

Low-Cost Antibiotic May Help Control Malaria Transmission, SPH Researchers Say

A low-cost antibiotic used to treat and prevent infections, including in people living with HIV, may decrease the burden of malaria in vulnerable communities, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at the University of Washington School of Public Health. The study was a collaboration with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Kenya Medical Research Institute and Maseno University. (May 17, 2017)

Air Pollution May Lower Levels of ‘Good’ Cholesterol, Increase Risk of Heart Disease

People living near heavily trafficked roadways may be at higher risk of heart disease due to fine particles in the air that lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “good” cholesterol, according to a new study from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (May 17, 2017)

No Adverse Risk to Using Common Antimalarial Medication in First Trimester

Artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs), medications widely used against malaria, are safe to administer to women in their first trimester of pregnancy, according to new research published in PLoS Medicine. ACTs had previously been recommended at that stage of pregnancy only in life-saving circumstances. (May 17, 2017)

SPH Meeting on Race, Equity and Inclusion to be held on May 25 - Message from the Office of the Dean

Joel Kaufman and India Ornelas invite students, faculty and staff to a School-wide discussion about race, equity and inclusion, to be held on May 25. (May 25, 2017)

Close Up April 2017: Jeffrey Sconyers

Jeff Sconyers has worked on countless legal issues related to the delivery of health care services for more than three decades – most recently as general counsel for Seattle Children’s. Now, he's passionate about sharing his experience in law, policy and ethics as a senior lecturer in one of the country’s top Master of Health Administration programs. (April 24, 2017)

Antibiotic Used in Antiretroviral Therapy Could Help Curb Malaria Transmission

A low-cost antibiotic used to treat and prevent infections, including in people living with HIV, may decrease the burden of malaria in vulnerable communities. (April 27, 2017)

'Learning by Doing' Key Tenet of SPH program

Learning by doing is a central tenant of the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice program. Rooted in adult learning theory, problem-based learning requires students to actively engage in solving real problems. Now COPHP faculty have published a book to help other schools of public health incorporate the problem-based learning model that COPHP has refined over 16 years. (April 21, 2017)

Climate Change Data Helps Forecasts Future Dengue Cases in U.S.

Researchers are using climate data to simulate mosquito populations and their interactions with humans in order to map current and future risk of dengue virus transmission in the United States, according to a new study published this month in Environmental Health Perspectives. The maps suggest that, as climate changes, several areas in the southeastern U.S. may see elevated risk of dengue virus transmission over time. (April 19, 2017)

Husky 100 Taps 10 Students from the School of Public Health

Public health students are making headlines in this year’s Husky 100. One student, from The Gambia, overcame discrimination, disability and homelessness to become an attorney and global health advocate. Another student, committed to social justice, wants to improve LGBT health care settings. Yet another captured true stories of resilience from the UW community that would have otherwise not been told. (April 13, 2017)

Public Health No. 5 among the World’s Top University Programs

The University of Washington School of Public Health has some of the best research programs in the world, according to a new global ranking of academic programs at top universities. (April 7, 2017)

Professor Emeritus Deepens Support for the MHA Program

Austin Ross, a lifelong mentor to hundreds of students and professionals, and his wife Annette understand the value of investing in a public health education. (March 24, 2017)

New Endowed Professorship for Study of Population Health

Two long-time SPH faculty members recently established the Bezruchka Family Endowed Professorship for the Public Understanding of Population Health. (March 24, 2017)

School Celebrations

In February, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Department of Global Health and its many achievements. (March 24, 2017)

Formal Bond with Boeing to Boost Talent Pipeline

A new partnership with Boeing aims to bolster the School’s academic programs and improve the company’s talent pipeline. (March 24, 2017)

Karr Wins Presidential Early Career Award

Catherine Karr, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences, was named a recipient of the 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. (March 24, 2017)

Cortez Named 2017 Rattlinggourd Endowed Fellow

The Rattlinggourd Endowed Scholarship and Fellowship was established by Dylan and Susan Wilbanks. It fosters public health advances in Native American and Alaska Native communities by providing support to public health students who demonstrate promise in working with underrepresented communities. This year's recipient is Gabriel Cortez. (March 24, 2017)

Meeting People in Need Where They Are

What causes someone to live on the streets? Consider a story about one man who was unable to work because he had severe arthritis in both hips. The man couldn’t pay rent and had nowhere to go. A hip replacement would have put him back to work, but the surgeon would only operate if the man had a place where he could recover. (March 24, 2017)

Bridging the “Know-Do” Gap

How implementation science is improving health worldwide (March 24, 2017)

Fruit Juice Not Linked to Obesity in Children

Some parents see fruit juice as a tasty way for kids to get their vitamins, while others think fruit juice may be as harmful to child health as soda. Researchers from the UW School of Public Health looked at the link between fruit juice and weight gain in children, and discovered that there’s not much to worry about. (April 4, 2017)

Racial and ethnic disparities in low birth weight differ by maternal birthplace

A new study from the UW School of Public Health found that within certain racial and ethnic groups, women born outside the U.S. had a lower risk of having a low birth weight baby than their native-born counterparts, even after controlling for common pregnancy complications. (March 28, 2017)

Close Up March 2017: Nuttada Panpradist

Nuttada Panpradist aspires to be a leader in bioengineering, an advocate for equal access to health care and a role model for women. Unable to find work in the male-dominated field of chemical engineering in Thailand, she moved to Seattle and built connections en route to the UW. As a bioengineering PhD student and Global WACh certificate student, she designs low-cost tools to test for HIV and TB. She believes that, through collaboration and education, we can tackle the world's population health challenges. (March 23, 2017)

Biostatistician Highlights Successful Strategy to Curb Future Ebola Outbreaks

In 2014 and 2015, Ebola spread through West Africa like wildfire, affecting nearly 29,000 people and killing more than 11,000. During the course of the epidemic, researchers identified an experimental Ebola vaccine that provided 100 percent protection against the disease. (March 28, 2017)

Older Workers’ Physical Ability Not Matched to Job Demands

Older workers whose physical abilities do not meet the demands of their jobs are at high risk of occupational injury, according to a new study from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (March 28, 2017)

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