SPH Stories

Featured stories about SPH people, research and impact.

In March of 2021, Horacio Chacon Torrico arrived in Seattle to begin his second year of graduate studies at the University of Washington School of Public Health, after having completed the first two quarters remotely from his home in Lima, Peru. Within no more than a week of arriving, he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. But as he scrolled through his Facebook feed, he saw posts from friends in Peru who grieved their lost loved ones from the pandemic.

When people think of addiction, they may be used to thinking in binaries: Someone is addicted to a substance or they are not. Someone is committed to becoming sober or they haven’t accepted their addiction. Someone is in rehabilitation or they’re not receiving any treatment.

But not only are these binaries around addiction inaccurate, they are stigmatizing and don’t leave room for understanding the broad spectrum of substance use disorders and the wide array of treatment options for people with these health challenges.

Dear Colleagues,

As champions for health equity and the health of all people, we at the University of Washington School of Public Health (UW SPH) urge the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold Roe v. Wade.

Growing up, the young Joyce (Evans) Tapley heard stories of family members and friends dying from diseases that were preventable. Her paternal grandparents died of tuberculosis when her father was a child. She witnessed her family, who is Black, routinely not receive the same level of treatment for illnesses that their white counterparts did when sharing similar symptoms to doctors. 

It was at age 8, after Tapley's maternal grandmother died of breast cancer, that she first remembers thinking to herself, “I’ve got to do something about this.”  

Seven interdisciplinary teams that include School of Public Health researchers were awarded Tier 1 and Tier 2 pilot grants from the UW Population Health Initiative in Winter Quarter. These grants are intended to encourage collaborations among investigators – and with community-based partners – for projects that address critical challenges to population health. 

This year’s annual Husky 100 awards have recognized 11 students within the School of Public Health for making the most of their time at the University of Washington. 

These students are studying for doctorates, master’s, or undergraduate degrees, including majors and minors within SPH fields. 

The University of Washington’s School of Public Health and Dean Hilary Godwin are pleased to announce India J.

Ahoua Koné, co-chair of the School of Public Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, has received the 2022 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award.

This award honors individuals or groups who exemplify Martin Luther King, Jr.’s principles through: Commitment to addressing community needs, particularly communities of color and low income; development and implementation of significant programs to improve the human condition; and outstanding efforts to protect and empower all individuals.

When Dorothy Thomas couldn’t get into a Spanish course as an undergraduate, she opted to take French instead. She never expected that the language would become one of the many tools in her still-expanding toolkit that add up to a promising career in global health.

Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence

Inquisitive, thoughtful, dedicated, outstanding leader, exceptional and a rising star – these are just some of the many adjectives used to describe Elizabeth Irungu in the letters of recommendation that accompanied her nomination for the Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence in the UW School of Public Health. 

Gilbert S. Omenn Award for Academic Excellence

In three years at the University of Washington, Kush Doshi has become a sought-after speaker and adviser on racial and health equity – all while completing two degree programs and gaining valuable real-world experience in community health. 

The UW School of Public Health has announced that Deepa Rao, PhD, MA will serve as the interim senior associate dean, effective June 1, 2021 through the end of the 2021-22 academic year. This position replaces the position of vice dean for strategy, faculty and improvement that was previously held by Jared Baeten.

Fifteen students from the University of Washington School of Public Health have been selected as part of this year’s Husky 100, which recognizes 100 UW undergraduates and graduate students who are applying what they've learned in the classroom and making a difference on campus and in their communities.

Dr. Bruce Weir, a professor in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge for his fundamental contributions to the theory of population and quantitative genetics and to forensic science.

Experts in public health, medicine, law, sociology and toxicology use evidence of police brutality during Seattle-area 2020 anti-racism protests to set research agenda

The University of Washington School of Public Health ranked No. 3 among publicly funded schools of public health and seventh overall on the latest rankings of graduate schools from the U.S. News and World Report. The national rankings were released March 30, 2021.

Rankings are based solely on the results of a peer assessment survey sent in the fall of 2020 and early 2021 to deans, administrators and faculty at more than 188 public health schools across the country that are accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health.

Analysis of data on 53,581 individuals from diverse backgrounds offers insights into population health

Just over a year since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States was identified in the Seattle area, the novel coronavirus continues to dominate news headlines and scientific jargon like ‘variants’ and ‘genome sequencing’ has become part of everyday conversations.

For nearly three decades, Grace John-Stewart, a professor of global health and epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health, has devoted her career to improving HIV prevention and treatment.

How planned giving helps attract the best and brightest to public health

From cleaning agents and personal care products to paints and pesticides, chemicals touch every part of our lives. An estimated 80,000 to 90,000 chemicals are in commercial use today, yet only a few hundred are known “to the level of no surprises,” says Bruce Fowler, a University of Washington alumnus and expert on the toxicology of metals.  

Former Dean Gilbert S. Omenn, MD, PhD, and his wife, Martha A. Darling, have made one of the largest individual gifts to the University of Washington School of Public Health in support of the 50th Anniversary for the SPH and the launch of the UW Population Health Initiative. These funds will create modern research and service lab facilities in the Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences (DEOHS), facilitating collaboration, intellectual exchange, training, and public/private innovation.