50 Changemakers of Public Health

To celebrate the UW School of Public Health’s 50 years of impact, the School is recognizing 50 alumni from around the world who have a demonstrated record of distinguished service and achievement across public health disciplines and settings. These 50 Changemakers of Public Health are leaders, trailblazers, educators, innovators, influencers and health equity heroes that represent just a slice of the School’s community of more than 10,000 alumni worldwide who are addressing some of the most pressing population health issues of our time.

In the midst of a pandemic and an unprecedented movement for social and racial justice, some of these changemakers are conducting studies to disrupt the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, and others are working with community organizations to change the complex interplay of factors that keep some people from being as healthy as others. These alumni have led groundbreaking research to bring an end to the global HIV epidemic, prevent cancers and other chronic diseases, improve worker health and safety, and address gun violence in America.

These changemakers are collaborating across sectors to expand access to mental health care, improve maternal and child health, and strengthen health systems. They’re also tackling climate change, tobacco, oral health, substance use and houselessness. Some changemakers are creating new approaches to understand big data and building the statistical foundation needed to make advances, improvements and even breakthroughs in public health and medicine. They’ve started nonprofits, influenced health policy and led nation’s efforts on health, and they’re passing all of this knowledge on to the next generation of public health leaders. Meet the 50 Changemakers below!

Fighter for the Somali community

Mohamed Ali

MPH 2008, Global Health

Improving global oral health through prevention, innovation

Salima Alibhai

Online Executive MPH 2013, Health Services

Using nutrition to eliminate health disparities in chronic disease risk

Cheryl Anderson

MS 1997, Epidemiology; PhD 2001, Nutritional Sciences Program

Saving lives by revolutionizing women’s health care

Garnet Anderson

PhD 1989, Biostatistics

Collaborating to achieve ‘no new infections’ of HIV

Jared Baeten

PhD 2001, Epidemiology

Bringing equity to the forefront in NYC and beyond

Mary T. Bassett

MPH 1985, Health Services

Putting an end to AIDS in Kenya

Elizabeth Bukusi

MPH 2000, PhD 2006, Epidemiology

Building bridges with industry to improve workplace safety

Janice Camp

MSPH 1984, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Uncovering COVID-19 in Seattle

Helen Chu

MPH 2012, Epidemiology

Disentangling complex human diseases & aging

Gary Churchill

PhD 1988, Biostatistics

Turning the tide of HIV in Thailand

Donn Colby

Online Executive MPH 2001, Health Services

Increasing cancer screening among underserved populations

Gloria Coronado

MS 1997, PhD 2001, Epidemiology

Rebuilding Liberia’s post-war health system

Bernice Dahn

MPH 2005, Health Services

Creating an equitable world for women and girls

Onyinye Edeh

MPH 2013, Global Health

Finding game-changing solutions for global health

Chris Elias

MPH 1990, Health Services

Building community resilience to prevent ACEs & foster equity

Wendy Ellis

MPH 2011, Health Services

Protecting worker health, safety in the pork industry

Heather Fowler

PhD 2017, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Investigating virus-host interactions to control infection

Michael Gale Jr.

PhD 1994, Global Health (Pathobiology)

Pushing for fearless approaches to improve health in Peru

Patricia Garcia

MPH 1998, Epidemiology

Mentoring a new generation of diverse epidemiologists

Bizu Gelaye

MPH 2011, PhD 2013, Epidemiology

Promoting peace through public health

Amy Hagopian

MHA 1983, PhD 2003, Health Services

Partnering with communities to improve Native health

Jeffrey Henderson

MPH 1999, Health Services

Setting a standard of public service in Snohomish County

Ward Hinds

MPH 1975, Epidemiology

A leader in Seattle’s community health center movement

Christine Hurley

MHA 1977, Health Services

Protecting the most vulnerable during emergencies

Karin Huster

MPH 2013, Global Health

Improving maternal and child health through perinatal care

Patricia Janssen

MPH 1993 (Maternal and Child Health), PhD 2001, Epidemiology

A pioneer in gun violence research and prevention

Arthur Kellermann

MPH 1985, Health Services

Advancing HIV prevention and treatment worldwide

James Kiarie

MPH 2001, Epidemiology

Protecting the Pacific from the effects of climate change

Saori Kitabatake

MPH 2017, Global Health

Tackling air & water pollution in Alaska

Denise Koch

MS 1999, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Paving the way for a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer

Laura Koutsky

PhD 1987, Epidemiology

Innovating data science methods and education

Jeffrey Leek

MS 2005, PhD 2007, Biostatistics

Top statistician leads health research in Taiwan

Kung-Yee Liang

PhD 1982, Biostatistics

Creating high-impact statistical methods for genomic data

Xihong Lin

MS 1992, PhD 1994, Biostatistics

Leading the DRC through six disease outbreaks

Eteni Longondo

MPH 2005, Health Services

Fighting to end homelessness among society’s most vulnerable

Daniel Malone

MPH 2007, Health Services

Tackling the world’s worst HIV epidemic

Rosa Marlene Manjate Cuco

MPH 1996, Health Services

Improving health education, outreach to Seattle’s immigrant communities

Farah Mohamed

MPH 2016, Global Health

Using creativity to prevent new HIV infections in Africa

Kenneth Mugwanya

PhD 2016, Epidemiology

Helping governments strengthen health systems & defeat malaria, TB, HIV

Robert Newman

MPH 1998, Epidemiology

Addressing mental health and suicide in China

Michael Phillips

MPH 1985, Epidemiology

Uncovering the adverse reactions of commonly used drugs

Bruce Psaty

MPH 1986, Epidemiology

Addressing the needs of Washington’s Latinx communities

Rogelio Riojas

MHA 1977, Health Services

National thought leader on injury prevention and control

Frederick Rivara

MPH 1980, Health Services

Reducing preventable deaths in Togo by removing barriers to care

Jennifer Schechter

MPH 2011, Health Services

Finding the intersection between public health and policy

Emma Spickard

BS 2019, Public Health-Global Health (College Honors)

Innovating the study of workplace exposures

Katherine Teschke

PhD 1994, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Discovering a passion for worker safety & entrepreneurship

Vy Tran

BS 2016, Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences

Expanding access to effective mental health care

Jürgen Unützer

MPH 1996, Health Services

Pioneering methods to understand environmental exposures

Clarice Weinberg

PhD 1980, Biostatistics