Three SPH Faculty Elected to Institute of Medicine

Friday, October 12, 2012

Three faculty members from the University of Washington School of Public Health were elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

The inductees are among 70 new members and 10 foreign associates announced Monday, Oct. 15, during the IOM's 42nd annual meeting in Washington, D.C. The distinction recognizes outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

The School of Public Health inductees are:

  • Chris Elias, a clinical professor in the School's Department of Global Health and president of global development for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Thomas Fleming, professor of Biostatistics and professor of Statistics
  • Andy Stergachis, professor of Epidemiology, professor of Global Health, adjunct professor of Health Services, and adjunct professor in the Department of Pharmacy

The Institute of Medicine, founded in 1970, is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences and gathers experts to address issues from breast cancer and nutrition to patient safety and post-traumatic stress disorder. New members are elected by current members.

Chris Elias
Chris Elias

"It is, of course, an honor to receive such a prestigious recognition from my peers," said Elias, who earned an MPH from the School of Public Health in 1990. "The Institute of Medicine has long provided expert advice on the most pressing national health and health care issues. Increasingly, the Institute is also playing an important role in shaping global health policy and practice. It will be my pleasure to help the Institute fulfill its essential mission."

Elias earned an MD from Creighton University in 1983 and received the School of Public Health's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2010. At the Gates Foundation, Elias leads the foundation's efforts in integrated and innovative delivery, finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in developing countries who need them most. Previously, he led Seattle-based PATH, an international non-profit working to improve health in more than 70 countries.

 Tom Fleming
Tom Fleming

Fleming is the former chairman of the School's Department of Biostatistics, where he has worked since 1984. He earned a PhD in probability and statistics from the University of Maryland in 1976 and is also a member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

"I am pleased about the opportunity this provides to call attention to the remarkable quality of the University of Washington, and its Department of Biostatistics and School of Public Health," Fleming said. "I have been inspired by my collaboration with colleagues in the academic and scientific communities at UW and at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and by those with whom I have worked nationally and internationally in the science and regulatory oversight of clinical research for the prevention and treatment of diseases."

 Andy Stergachis
Andy Stergachis

Stergachis recently served on the IOM Committee on Strengthening Regulatory Systems in Developing Countries, and directs the UW's Global Medicines Program. Through his affiliation with the School of Public Health's Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, he works on emergency preparedness with the public health community. He is also affiliated with the UW Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program.

"I am extremely honored to be recognized by the IOM members," said Stergachis, who holds a PhD in pharmacy administration from the University of Minnesota and a BPharm from Washington State University. "My first involvement with the Institute of Medicine was in 1995 when I served on their Committee to Study the Interactions of Drugs, Biologics, and Chemicals in Deployed U.S. Military Forces. Since then I have been fortunate to be called upon on several occasions to be of service to the IOM and see first-hand the lasting impact of its reports and other activities."