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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

No Evidence of Price Increases after Seattle’s Initial Minimum Wage Increase

Before Seattle increased the minimum wage, many local businesses said they planned to raise prices in order to cover higher payroll costs. One year after the wage hike took effect, researchers have found scant evidence of any impact on prices – good news from a public health perspective. (April 18, 2016)

Boosting Global Health Partnerships for Chinese Universities

A landmark symposium hosted by University of Washington last week brought together leaders and faculty from five Chinese universities, and from across the UW campus and the Seattle community. (April 15, 2016)

Close Up April 2016: Vy Tran

As new immigrants to Seattle from Vietnam, Vy Tran and her mother worked long hours in a tofu factory. The exposure to giant machinery and hot cauldrons took its toll. "It was pretty overwhelming to see how much those years affected my mom's mental and physical health," Tran says. She decided to pursue a career in environmental health and to "making sure this never happens to anyone else ever again." (April 8, 2016)

Keeping hospital workers safe: A hands-on simulation on April 6

Doctors and nurses were among the first people infected during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  A potentially life-saving rehearsal is coming up April 6, in a course titled “Treating Patients with Highly Contagious Infectious Diseases: Using Technology to Advance Safety." (March 28, 2016)

Study Sheds Light on Mechanism of Brain Toxicity for Flame Retardant

New findings, recently published in Toxicology Letters, help paint an increasingly detailed portrait of how a now-banned class of flame retardant causes toxicity in the brain. (March 16, 2016)

Close Up March 2016: Wendy Barrington

Wendy Barrington is passionate about promoting health equity and credits her social justice orientation to her African-American and white background. Her experience living in different places -- from suburban Oregon and California to rural New Mexico -- has also spurred her interest in neighborhoods and health. “In all these places, I’ve seen differences perpetuated by systematic injustices,” Barrington says. “That has shaped my desire for wanting to do something to rectify that.” (February 26, 2016)

Donald Patrick Part of Team to Research Diabetes Prevention in Latino Youth

Donald Patrick, professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health, is a member of a team that received a five-year, $3.1 million grant to research diabetes-related disparities among Latino youth. (March 11, 2016)

UW SPH “SEAL” Team to Investigate Local Disease Outbreaks

A team of students from the University of Washington School of Public Health will be ready to leap into action when the next outbreak hits the Seattle area. (March 10, 2016)

Top EPA Administrator Offers Plain Speaking and Practical Advice

In a speech and very practical conversation with UW public health, policy, and environmental students and faculty, Gina McCarthy, top Administrator for the US Environmental Protection Agency, exhorted students to learn "how to communicate to people about why what we do matters," and to stop using terms such as "risk reduction." The science is key, but you have to talk about it in human terms, she said. (March 9, 2016)

Changing to Low-Fat Diet Improved Quality of Life in Older Women

Changing to a diet low in fat was linked to small but significant improvements in older women’s general health, vitality, and physical ability to perform everyday activities, according to new research. (March 8, 2016)

2015-2016 MHA Program Scholarships

The Master of Health Administration Program is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2015-2016 MHA Program Scholarships. The three essay-based scholarship winners will receive $5,000, with each distinguished presentation awardee receiving $3,500. These scholarships honor and support students who embody the program’s values of diversity, service and leadership, and who demonstrate knowledge of and ability to apply such values within the program, and within the health care profession's scope of practice. (March 7, 2016)

Extreme Heat Increases Emergency Medical Service Calls for Workers

While temperatures in the Pacific Northwest are generally perceived as moderate, when heat events do occur, the area may be vulnerable. New findings from the University of Washington School of Public Health show increased risk for heat illness and dehydration on hotter days for the working-aged population between the ages of 15-64. (March 2, 2016)

Study Examines Outcomes, Costs after Return Visits to ER

Short-term return visits to the emergency department (ED) are increasingly used as a measure of hospital performance. The theory is that people who return for treatment and admission must have received poor quality care or were improperly discharged the first time. A new study by the University of Washington Schools of Medicine and Public Health and collaborating institutions found just the opposite. (February 25, 2016)

Vaginal Ring Lowered HIV Rates in African Women

A vaginal ring containing an antiretroviral drug reduced the risk of HIV infection among African women, according to a study co-led by a University of Washington School of Public Health professor. (February 25, 2016)

2016 Distinguished Alumnus – Rogelio Riojas

Rogelio Riojas (MHA 1977) - founder, president and CEO of Sea Mar Community Health Centers – is the SPH Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.  He will talk about his life “From Migrant Work to Community Activist”   on Wed, April 27, at 7:30 pm in Kane Hall, Rm 210. (February 22, 2016)

An Endowment Honoring A Distinguished Health Care Leader

Led by Jeff Lehman (MHA 1974), president of Dialysis Consulting Group in Seattle, a committee of alumni from the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program is raising endowment funds in honor of health care leader and UW Health Services Emeritus Professor William “Bill” Dowling. This endowment, with the initial leadership gift from Lehman, will provide support for faculty in the MHA program. (February 18, 2016)

Double Eagle Endowed II Scholarship

The SPH Double Eagle Endowed II Scholarships support undergraduate students in public health who are committed to ensuring healthier communities in our region and abroad. Each student receives funding that can be used for tuition, travel, books, fees, and other educational needs. (February 18, 2016)

Calculating Healthy Years Remaining If You Are Over 65

Want to know how many healthy years you have left if you are 65 or older? SPH researchers have created an online calculator to help you figure it out. (February 18, 2016)

Dr. William Foege Will Be 2016 SPH Graduation Speaker

SPH is honored to welcome physician, epidemiologist, mentor, teacher, and humanitarian William Foege as its graduation speaker on June 8, 2016. (February 18, 2016)

Filling Gaps in US Gun Violence Research

SPH researchers seek to reduce deaths and injuries. “Every day in this country, 90 people die due to firearm injuries and more than 200 people get shot,” said Rowhani-Rahbar (PhD Epidemiology 2009), now an assistant professor of Epidemiology at the School of Public Health. The more he looked at the numbers, the more incredulous he became. Total deaths by guns in the U.S. are about 33,000 a year—rivaling the number of Americans killed by automobiles. (February 18, 2016)

Multimedia HIV Testing Campaign Worked with Latino MSM

A multimedia HIV testing campaign targeting Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) had a “significant and immediate impact” on beliefs and behavior, with HIV testing rates increasing over time. (February 17, 2016)

Miss Washington USA, a PhD Student, Promotes Healthy Lifestyle, Body Image

The new Miss Washington USA is a PhD and RD student in Nutritional Sciences who is conducting predoctoral research at the Fred Hutch on whether full-fat or low-fat dairy products affect the way the body regulates glucose. (January 27, 2016)

Close Up February 2016: Peggy Hannon

Promoting health at the workplace makes sense – after all, more than half of the adults in the U.S. go to a job every day. Peggy Hannon, new director of the School’s Health Promotion Research Center, helps companies adopt wellness programs that improve employee health while also reaching out to those workers most likely to suffer from health inequities. Stress, she says, is another hot workplace topic. (February 8, 2016)

Study Finds Trauma Centers Improve Outcomes for Injured Pregnant Women

Pregnant women suffering traumatic injuries experience better maternal and neonatal outcomes if they are treated at a designated trauma center, according to new research from the University of Washington School of Public Health. (January 29, 2016)

Professor Highlights Dietary Gap between Rich and Poor at White House Event

About 46 million Americans receive supplemental food assistance, with the average subsidy amounting to $4 per person per day. But Professor Adam Drewnowski told a White House audience it's not enough to meet nutritional needs. (January 27, 2016)

Safe gun storage improves when free storage devices supplied

A new systemic review finds that when gun owners are given a safe storage device and some counseling, they will likely practice safe firearm storage. (January 21, 2016)

American Cancer Society Program Boosts Workplace Health Promotion Efforts

An American Cancer Society program called The CEOs Challenge increased health promotion efforts at large companies, according to a University of Washington School of Public Health study. (January 15, 2016)

Steven Gilbert Wins Society of Toxicology Public Communications Award

Steven G. Gilbert was recognized by the Society of Toxicology with its Public Communications Award for broadening the public’s understanding of toxicological issues. (January 15, 2016)

Diversity Committee Wins 2016 Martin Luther King Award

The SPH Diversity Committee has been awarded the 2016 Martin Luther King, Jr Community Service Award by UW Health Sciences. (January 11, 2016)

Close Up January 2016: Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming was bound for the priesthood, but changed his career pathway when he was inspired by a gifted math teacher and then by a fellow math student who later became his wife. Fleming went on to become a leading biostatistician and a prominent advocate for rigorous evaluation of the benefits and risks of new drugs, biological products and devices. He had a key leadership role in a landmark clinical trial on the prevention of HIV transmission – a study that garnered Science magazine’s “Breakthrough of the Year” in 2011. (January 5, 2016)

Hands-on Hazards Class a Blast for Students

UW School of Public Health grad students learn how to recognize potential health and safety hazards through visits to worksites and industries. (January 6, 2016)

Paris climate talks a big deal for health, says UW professor

Kristie Ebi, UW professor of global health and environmental & occupational health sciences, has attended United Nations climate-change conferences since 2000. The agreement reached at the Paris conference in December, she said, was nothing short of monumental. Ebi sat for a Q&A about her experience in Paris. (January 6, 2016)

Students Choosing More Nutritious School Meals

Students are choosing healthier school lunches, thanks to a federal program that updated nutrition standards, a new SPH study has found. (January 4, 2016)

Needs of Older Adults Highlighted in New Fact Sheets

Two peer-reviewed fact sheets from the University of Washington School of Public Health and the William D. Ruckelshaus Center explore the eldercare workforce and policies that would allow older adults to remain in their homes for as long as possible. (December 28, 2015)

Norman E. Breslow, Key Figure in Public Health and Biomedical Research, Passes Away at 74

The public health community at the University of Washington and around the world was saddened by the loss of Norman E. Breslow on Dec. 9, 2015. Dr. Breslow, 74, died in Seattle after a long illness. (December 16, 2015)

Close Up December 2015 Susan Inman

Susan Inman was a first-generation college student. Now, as director of academic services for the Public Health Major, she helps undergraduates navigate the School of Public Health. She has also managed an explosion in student enrollment, from 80 undergraduates in 2012 to about 480 this winter. (December 3, 2015)

How Design Affects Health: UW Team from Schools of Public Health and Built Environments Selected for AIA Consortium

The School of Public Health and the College of Built Environments are part of a University of Washington interdisciplinary team selected to join a consortium seeking to further research and recognition of the strong influence of design on public health. (December 7, 2015)

An Online Calculator to Help Senior Citizens Predict Their Remaining Healthy and Able Years

Want to know how many healthy years you have left if you are 65 or older? Faculty at the University of Washington School of Public Health have created an online calculator to help you figure it out. (December 4, 2015)

SPH Faculty Tap into New UW Effort to Create More Livable Cities

A new University of Washington initiative, called Urban@UW, is thinking "upstream" when it comes to creating safer, healthier and more livable cities. (December 2, 2015)

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 Fraade-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)

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