SPH, State Health Department Hold First ‘Partnership Summit’

Partnership Summit - John Wiesman Secretary of Health

In September, the UW School of Public Health and Washington State Department of Health joined forces for a daylong workshop on the UW campus. Participants shared examples of successful collaborations – such as a “Working with Tribes Toolkit” – and discussed ways to sustain them. They also identified new opportunities. The Partnership Summit drew so much interest that Associate Dean Janet Baseman hopes to hold more workshops.

“The better aligned we are in academic public health and practice-based public health, the more likely we will be able to tackle population health problems,” Baseman said.

The School and DOH have a long-standing relationship. Last year, they created a joint Academic Health Department, one of about 50 such collaborations across the country. (UW Schools of Public Health and Nursing have also formed an academic health department with Public Health – Seattle & King County.)

“Through this formalized partnership, we can better leverage the expertise, knowledge and experience of both academia and the practice community,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman. “As public health practitioners, we succeed when we use evidence-based approaches and practice-based evidence in our decision-making to improve health outcomes for all Washingtonians.”

Among its many goals, DOH aims to provide a minimum of 10 guest lectures per calendar year, at least five internship or practicum opportunities for students, and data-sharing for classes and research. The School and its Northwest Center for Public Health Practice will provide faculty expertise and collaborate on grant opportunities.

“It’s an honor to partner with the Washington State DOH leadership team, who have been so progressive and have taken a leading role locally and nationally,” said Dean Hilary Godwin. “We have so much to learn from each other.”