March 25, 2014

News digest: Health innovator launch, students promote bill, self-help seminars, students win

New UW Health Innovators Collaborative kicks off
The University of Washington’s new Health Innovators Collaborative is being launched with a spring seminar series featuring speakers in biomedical technologies, academics and health information technology fields.

The new initiative is a partnership between UW Medicine and Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association and its goal is to help spread information and educational opportunities, and encourage partnerships and shared resources in Washington state that promote innovations in health care.

“The stimulus for this is the mounting evidence of profound change in American health care and the significance those changes will have for all participants in the health care ecosystem,” said Lee Huntsman, a UW professor of bioengineering and president emeritus.

The four lectures are free and open to the public. The first, “Seismic Changes of Healthcare Necessitate New Approaches to Innovation: A National Perspective,” is Tuesday, April 1, 4:30 p.m. in the William H. Foege Auditorium (room S060). A reception will follow in the north first floor lobby. The organizers ask that attendees register ahead of time for planning purposes.

These spring lectures are likely the beginning of a longer, more involved health care initiative, Huntsman said. The bioengineering department is offering a spring companion graduate course to this lecture series, and organizers plan to evaluate the success of the seminars in stimulating conversation around the future of health care before deciding on further steps.

For more information, contact Huntsman at huntsman@uw.edu or 206-915-5119.

UW School of Law student activism prompts legislation
When the Washington state Legislature passed SB6074, the Homeless Children Education Act, on March 7, several UW School of Law students had reason to celebrate.

That’s because the bill, which will improve tracking and reporting of education data for homeless students, was brought to the Legislature’s attention by students from the school’s Children and Youth Legislative Advocacy Clinic.

The bill will require the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to collect and report to the Legislature data on the educational outcomes of homeless students. That office recently reported that 30,600 students were counted as homeless this year, about a 12 percent increase over the 2011-12 school year and a 47 percent increase from 2007-08. Learn more about the legislation at the School of Law website.

Seminars focus on aging parents, teaching tolerance and relieving stress
UW CareLink, a program offering a range of services for UW faculty and staff, has announced its spring 2014 seminar series. All UW faculty and staff can attend as many of the three lunchtime workshops as they wish:

  • Changing Relationships: You and Your Aging Parent/Relative – Wednesday, April 23
  • Teaching Children to Embrace Cultural and Racial Differences – Wednesday, May 28
  • Creating Resiliency in the Face of Stress – Thursday, June 26

Experienced counselors facilitate each of the seminars. The first two sessions focus on common areas of concern on the home front: aging parents and teaching tolerance to kids. The June seminar offers ways to stay healthy amid workplace stress and competing personal demands.

Sessions are from noon to 1 p.m. in the UW Tower Auditorium. Find full course descriptions and register on UW Human Resources WorkLife Events page.

Runstad Center students prevail in design competition
Graduate students with the UW Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies competed from January to March on a hypothetical redesign of a Seattle property, and came away winners. The event was the 11th annual Real Estate Challenge, sponsored by a national commercial real estate development firm.

The UW team consisted of four students from the Master of Urban Planning program and seven from the Master of Science in Real Estate program in the UW College of Built Environments.

They competed against others at the universities of British Columbia and Alberta in creating a sustainable, practical redesign for a property. They chose Mariner Square in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood and called their redevelopment “Gas Works Flats.” You can view the team’s full report and full presentation online. Sponsoring the competition was an association called NAIOP, which is its full name but until 2009 stood for the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks.