Areas of focus
Learn about the five areas of focus for the Population Health Initiative as well as the projects we are currently undertaking.
Education and capacity building
Research, innovation and teaching are central to improving population health.
The UW will foster the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers by developing collaborative and innovative education opportunities that address the complexities of population health.
By engaging broadly across campuses, we will strengthen the impact of a University of Washington education. We will also:
- Recruit and steward the world’s best teachers
- Educate students for the increasingly interdisciplinary workforce in health
- Spur innovation
- Offer more diverse experiences in local, national and global research
Finally, even for those students who do not choose a career in population health, their experience will inspire them to improve lives in new ways.
Diagnostics and critical assessment
To improve our understanding of the world’s most pressing health needs and the diverse determinants shaping health outcomes, we will draw on the leading data science practices and expertise in field research in extracting knowledge from data in multiple forms.
As home to the world’s preeminent health measurement institution, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, we are committed to creating a world where using the best evidence is the basis for informed decision-making and the guide to productive innovations and practices.
This initiative will:
- Strengthen the democratization, dissemination and use of data
- Reveal the complex intersections between human health and its social determinants
- Create the most complete picture possible of the keys to increasing social and economic equity and environmental resilience
Developing and testing innovations
Innovation is at the heart of our university. Our vision brings together the remarkable talents of our faculty and students in problem-focused research to respond to the challenges of population health.
We are positioned to develop, field and assess new interventions, processes and organizational mechanisms. We also have the experience and scale to deliver innovative preventive measures and care.
From laboratory sciences to clinical applications, from engineering to advance diagnostics and therapeutics, and from the humanities to education, UW faculty, staff and students have a wealth of opportunities to develop innovation testing that will lead to meaningful results that improve population health.
In the United States, it takes 17 years on average — almost a generation — to turn less than 15 percent of original research into widespread practice and large-scale policies that benefit population health, such as through community interventions and/or changes in health care programs.
In many low- or middle-income countries, research translation takes much longer.
The UW is a global leader in implementation science, with our cutting-edge education and training programs being complemented by collaborative research activities in a range of programs. We will leverage our expertise in this rapidly changing research paradigm 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
The 21st century has dawned with new patterns of immigration, greater workforce mobility and increased influence from private philanthropy.
Through research and engagement, we are poised to empower 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.
This scale of impact requires timely and well-informed strategy and planning. The UW has a unique set of assets in the strategy and planning space, including the Evans School, the Jackson School, Economics, Computer Science & Engineering, Environmental Studies and big data analysis.
We are committed to inclusive, comprehensive long-range and data-driven planning to ensure the greatest influence and impact over the next 25 years.
The Population Health Initiative is currently working with key constituencies to begin to identify and prioritize potential projects to undertake across the five focus areas.
Recommendations for a preliminary project list and associated timelines will be announced in January 2017.