UW News

August 3, 2006

Health Sciences News Briefs

MEDEX’s Ballweg honored

Ruth Ballweg, program director of MEDEX Northwest, the UW’s physician assistant program, has received the Washington Rural Health Association’s Outstanding Contribution to Rural Health Award.

Ballweg has contributed to rural health care and physician assistant education locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. In Washington, she has created long-lasting relationships with health centers, rural clinics and hospitals, insurance companies and higher education institutions that identify potential physician assistant applicants.

She consults with programs nationally to improve their rural initiatives and has established a network of community colleagues throughout the Northwest and other western states.

Heitkemper appointed

Dr. Margaret Heitkemper, professor and chair of the Dept. of Biobehavioral Nursing and Health Systems, is one of 16 members named to the National Commission on Digestive Diseases.

The commission is chaired by Dr. Stephen James, director of NIH’s Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

The commission will conduct an overview of research in digestive diseases and develop a strategic plan for the next 10 years of research support in that field.

Heitkemper is also director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and a UW Corbally Professor in Public Service. Her own research has focused on links between women’s health, stress and gastrointestinal function.

Hawn wins 2006 Young Investigator Award

Dr. Thomas Hawn, assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has been awarded the Young Investigator Award of the American Society for Microbiology.

The 2006 Dade Behring MicroScan Young Investigator Award recognizes outstanding clinical research by a young scientist and supports the researcher’s educational and career goals.

Hawn, an infectious disease researcher who studies toll-like receptors, was recognized for his work on genetic determinants of susceptibility to infection.