Population Health

Population Health Initiative

At the University of Washington, we believe improving population health worldwide is a moral imperative, driven by our public mission of service to all.

That is why President Ana Mari Cauce has brought together the University community and others to create a groundbreaking initiative that will advance the health of people around the world by leveraging capabilities and opportunities at the UW and beyond.

Together, we can create a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Population health defined

We believe population health is defined by three major pillars — human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity — and that our work must address the challenges that arise where these pillars intersect.

Grand challenges

Making significant improvements in population health requires tenacious, disciplined and creative work. We will maximize our impact as a University by initially working to address three grand challenges that we face locally, nationally and around the world.

Image of seaside slumStrengthening community resilience and capacity
Strengthening the interdependent institutions and systems of local, national and international communities in the context of the environment in which they exist, thereby increasing their capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from disruptions to the systems that support thriving human populations.


Image of school children working on a projectBolstering healthy starts for children, adolescents and families
Addressing the health and well-being of children, beginning with a mother’s prenatal health and extending through a child’s adolescence to maximize cognitive, physical, emotional and social development.


Image of a woman shopping in the produce aisleNurturing brain, behavior and capability development
Achieving emotional, psychological, and social well-being by growing opportunity and access, supporting motivation, self-determination and behavior change, and by improving prevention, recovery and cures for mental illnesses.