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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

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)

Some Groups More Affected by Air Pollution, Cardiovascular Disease Than Others

Air pollution has routinely been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but some groups are more affected than others, according to research from the UW School of Public Health. (March 16, 2017)

AARP Foundation Awards $750,000 Grant to the Health Promotion Research Center

The Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) at the University of Washington School of Public Health has been awarded a three-year, $750,000 grant from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Foundation, as part of its initiative to study and scale up evidence-based solutions for vulnerable older adults. (March 16, 2017)

Tent city challenges stigma, creates relationships and changes minds

Hosting an organized tent city at the University of Washington has helped to transform the way students, faculty and staff understand and approach the challenge of homelessness, while providing people without shelter a safe place to live. As the nearly 60 residents of Tent City 3 packed up this week, graduate students from the UW School of Public Health shared this insight and other results from an evaluation of the tent city’s stay on campus. (March 15, 2017)

Important SPH climate survey - Message from the Dean

Joel Kaufman encourages students, faculty and staff to take part in a confidential survey regarding the climate in the School of Public Health. (May 25, 2017)

Cooking at home tonight? It’s most likely cheaper and healthier, UW study finds

Researchers from the UW School of Public Health have been peeking into kitchens – via interviews – for years now and they’ve just published results showing people who cook at home more often are likely to eat a healthier overall diet. Just in time for National Nutrition Month – but they don’t want you to feel guilty. (March 10, 2017)

UW Project Boosts Health through Community Gardens in Navajo Nation

A University of Washington School of Public Health collaboration in two Navajo Nation communities is inspiring families to grow and eat more fruit and vegetables – setting them on a path to better health. The Yeego (Let’s go) Gardening! project features community garden plots and workshops that teach basic cultivation techniques. (March 2, 2017)

Close Up February 2017: Xiao-Hua "Andrew" Zhou

Andrew Zhou survived the Cultural Revolution to become one of China’s elite scholars. He was sent overseas to further his education, but his opportunities in biostatistics in North America seemed limitless, and he never moved back. Now, as director of the Biostatistics Unit at Seattle's Veterans Affairs health system, he helps to protect patient data and measure the cost and quality of care. (February 23, 2017)

Child Care Providers Could be Key to Improving Child Nutrition at Early Age

Most children in the United States spend about 33 hours a week in early child care and education settings, where they receive up to two-thirds of their daily nutrition. A new study from the UW School of Public Health suggests these environments provide a valuable opportunity to improve young children’s diet and support long-term child health. (February 16, 2017)

UN’s Natalia Kanem will be the 2017 SPH Graduation Speaker

Natalia Kanem, assistant secretary-general of the United Nations and deputy executive director of the UN Population Fund, will speak at the UW School of Public Health’s graduation celebration on June 11. (February 15, 2017)

Researchers Find New Pathway Linking Diet and Cancer Risk

A low-calorie, low-fat diet, with or without exercise, could reduce the risk of cancer in women by lowering levels of oxidative stress, according to researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (February 9, 2017)

Giant Cell Arteritis Estimated to Cost the U.S. Health Care System a Total of $1 Billion in the First Year of Treatment

Health care system spending on patients in the United States with giant cell arteritis—a little-known chronic disease of the blood vessels affecting 230,000 Americans—is $16,400 more in the first year following diagnosis compared to similar patients without the disease. (January 31, 2017)

Women Took Path Through UW to Lead Nations’ Efforts on Health

Bernice Dahn and Patricia Garcia are featured speakers at a symposium on campus Feb. 8: "Global Health: Next Decade, Next Generation." The daylong event marks the 10th anniversary of the UW Department of Global Health, as well as the anniversaries of seven other Seattle-based global health organizations. Dahn and Garcia will also jointly give the School of Public Health's Distinguished Alumni Award lecture, "Leading the Health of a Nation: The Impact of a Public Health Education," on Feb. 7 on the UW campus. (January 31, 2017)

Close Up January 2017: Anne McTiernan

Abandoned by her mother at age four and emotionally starved until 18, Anne McTiernan overcame adversity and obesity to earn a PhD in epidemiology and an MD in internal medicine. Today, she is a pioneer in women’s health research designing studies that aim to reduce the 25 percent of cancers caused by excess weight and sedentary lifestyles. (January 25, 2017)

Joel Kaufman Endorses Drug Task Force Recommendations for Safe Injection Sites

Joel Kaufman, interim dean of the UW School of Public Health, recently endorsed the King County Heroin and Opioid Addiction Task Force recommendations, including the development of so-called safe injection sites to reduce overdose deaths. (January 27, 2017)

MLK Award Recipient Improves Access to Healthy Food and Breastfeeding Support

Shelly Johnston, a recent MPH graduate of the Nutritional Sciences Program at the University of Washington School of Public Health, was honored Jan. 12 as a recipient of the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Volunteer Recognition Award. (January 18, 2017)

State DOH, UW Report: No Unusual Cancer Rate among WA Soccer Players

An investigation into a concern of elevated cancer in Washington State soccer players found less cancers reported than what was expected, given rates of cancer for similar age groups in Washington residents. (January 18, 2017)

Hypertension a Hidden Chronic Condition Among Adults in Suburban Nepal

More than 50 percent of adults with high blood pressure in suburban Nepal don’t know they have it, according to researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences. (January 18, 2017)

New Working Group of Researchers Aims to Boost Obesity Efforts

A new research working group at the University of Washington School of Public Health, formed by Jesse Jones-Smith, associate professor of health services, aims to identify innovative solutions to prevent obesity and promote healthy eating and active living. (January 17, 2017)

Tuberculosis Expert Receives Local Public Health Award

Masa Narita, adjunct professor of epidemiology and global health at the UW School of Public Health, received the Noreen Harris Award for Excellence in Public Health Epidemiology for his work in tuberculosis (TB) surveillance and epidemiology. The award is presented annually by Public Health – Seattle & King County. (January 17, 2017)

UW/Fred Hutch Study Provides Insights into Changing Global Medical Landscape

Korean Americans who traveled to other countries for low-cost medical care are nearly nine times more likely to be up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening compared to those who did not engage in medical tourism, say researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. (January 13, 2017)

UW Takes Important Steps Toward Understanding Child Stunting

About 162 million children worldwide under the age of five are considered too short for their age — a growth failure called stunting. Despite efforts to improve child growth, stunting has been difficult to prevent and treat, negatively impacting child health and development. (January 11, 2017)

Improving Veterinary Antimicrobial Practices Will Help Combat Growing Global Health Issue

Veterinarians play a key role in combating the global risk of antimicrobial resistance, say researchers from the University of Washington School of Public Health. However, a new study shows that, while veterinarians are concerned about the threat of drug-resistant bugs, they face financial barriers to obtaining tests to guide therapy. (December 29, 2016)

Close Up December 2016: Joel Kaufman

Joel Kaufman is known as a scientist, physician and research mentor. He studies the links between air pollution and cardiovascular disease while wearing the many hats of mentor, physician, family man, and now interim dean. Find out more about his personal side as well as his vision for the School. (November 9, 2016)

Epidemiology Chair to Retire

Victoria Holt will retire from the University of Washington effective August 1, and will serve as Chair of the Department of Epidemiology until that date. (December 23, 2016)

Nutrition Doc’s Memoir Tells of Struggles with Food, Family

Anne McTiernan was sent off to boarding school at the age of four. Emotionally starved, she went on to struggle with food, body image and weight fluctuations for more than a decade. (December 23, 2016)

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