Population Health

David Reyes

David-ReyesDavid Reyes
Assistant professor of nursing & healthcare leadership, UW Tacoma
Visit Dr. Reyes’ faculty page to learn more about his professional background.

What is the area of focus for your work/research?
My scholarly interests and research are focused on working with community members, community-based organizations (CBO), and health system partners to address upstream determinants of health. I use a community-based participation research (CBPR) approach that promotes collaborative and equitable relationships in decision-making, and community capacity building to address community identified problems, priorities and possible solutions. My current research is focused on working with a CBO in Tacoma to address issues related to food equity, security and access. Another focal area is engaging community residents to identify community-level improvement priorities through collective impact.

How do you see your own work/research contributing to better population health outcomes?
The aim of my scholarly work and research is to bring voice to communities and populations that have not been traditionally been asked what is important to them in order to promote and improve overall health and well-being. To improve population health outcomes, I believe it is critical to understand the context of health and well-being of communities and populations of interest by engaging them in this conversation. This is necessary for identifying and developing relevant and appropriate interventions or solutions that reflect their needs, and demonstrates that as academics and researchers that we value their experience and knowledge, and that we are willing to engage communities and populations as equitable partners to improve health outcomes.

What do you hope can be accomplished through this initiative?
First, I hope that through this initiative that there is a greater recognition and understanding that improving population health is not just about access to health services or personal behaviors but also by socio-ecological factors in our everyday living environment. Through this initiative, I hope that we educate all our students to understand, integrate and apply population health principles and knowledge in their personal and professional lives regardless of whether they choose a career in this field. Finally, I hope that as a university we can demonstrate the leadership to address the structural system and institutional barriers that negatively affect population health through collective action with diverse stakeholders that includes communities and populations as equal partners in this work.