Population Health

An overview of the Population Health Initiative

Vision: The Population Health Initiative creates a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.

Mission: The Population Health Initiative addresses the most persistent and emerging challenges in human health, environmental resilience and social and economic equity. Through partnerships with local, national and global communities, we develop, implement and disseminate transformative knowledge through our research, service and teaching.

The University of Washington aspires to be the world’s leading university in population health. On May 3, 2016, President Ana Mari Cauce launched a groundbreaking Population Health Initiative by inviting the University community and partners to join in developing a 25-year vision to advance the health of people around the world by leveraging capabilities and opportunities at the UW and beyond.

She noted that the health of an individual or a community involves more than just the absence of disease. Issues from poverty and equity, to health care access, to climate change and governance all combine to affect the health and well-being of populations around the world. To truly and productively address today’s population health challenges requires collaboration with diverse fields and practices across our campuses in groundbreaking ways.

The University of Washington and our partners have clear opportunities in five areas that will be key to improving health and well-being over the next 25 years. These areas are:

  • Education and capacity building: Create the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers by developing collaborative, innovative educational opportunities that address the complexities of population health.
  • Diagnostics and critical assessment: Improve our understanding of the world’s most pressing health needs by strengthening our ability to extract knowledge from data by drawing on data science and field research.
  • Developing and testing innovations: Respond to the challenges of population health by developing, fielding and assessing new interventions, processes and organizational mechanisms.
  • Implementation science: Provide a scientific approach to ask and answer questions about how to deliver effective interventions to people who need them with greater speed, efficiency and quality.
  • Strategy and planning: Empower citizens, governments, industry and donors with evidence, tools and the decision-making support they need to make the choices that benefit the most people, most efficiently.

To respond to the magnitude of today’s challenges requires a community with the breadth, innovation mindset, expertise and commitment of the University of Washington and the Puget Sound region. We have the vision, the data, the convening power and the commitment to action to do this on behalf of the health of people here and around the world. The time for significant advancements is now.