Population Health

Eric King

Eric-KingEric King
Graduate/professional student representative

What do you hope the Population Health Initiative will achieve?
I hope the initiative will raise awareness of the social determinants of health and how those factors influence overall public health. In addition to raising awareness, I’d like to see some of the most disadvantaged local communities benefit from actions designed to improve their health and well-being. I hope the initiative will not completely be driven by members of the Executive Leadership team, but also by the UW students and alumni who share the commitment to not only equality, but also equity. Furthermore, I believe an essential element is having members from the communities at the table to ensure their needs and concerns and heard and met. I’m personally drawn to ethnic minority and LGBTQ populations.

What excites you about the potential of this initiative?
This is a large-scale 25-year initiative drawing on the strengths of the UW and affiliated organizations. The empowerment of disenfranchised communities who have been systematically oppressed and marginalized provides me with a great deal of excitement with the direction this initiative will take. Also, the UW is the first university of focus on population and public health on a large scale. This provides us with a unique opportunity to set the standard for preventative interventions designed to minimize the demand for clinical intervention by increasing the overall health of vulnerable populations. I’m also excited that we are not solely focusing on research and data creation, but also with the education of populations and implementation of improvement strategies.

What role do you see students playing in this initiative?
I see the opportunity for job training, internship development, service learning and professional development with the initiative. I personally would like to see the University provide and encourage students to apply their classroom knowledge to real work dilemmas. The development of multidisciplinary student teams tasked with overcoming real word challenges could provide practical teamwork experience while confronting intersecting and possibility contradictory viewpoints in the path of discovering a solution. Combine the student perspective with the experience, knowledge and resources of the UW will change and improve public and population health. I see students as providing their critical analysis and differing viewpoints to challenges face communities and various techniques to improve the health of populations.