Office of the President

January 25, 2017

Another vote of confidence in your work to change lives

Ana Mari Cauce

The measure of the University of Washington’s true worth comes in the impact we have on the world. Your impact is broad, emerging through disciplines ranging from poetry to physics, and is truly global, with projects and partnerships in more than 130 countries – and right here in Washington.

Our Population Health Initiative is designed to advance that mission, bringing together faculty, staff and students with local and global partners to improve human health, environmental resilience, and social and economic equity around the world. Population health is also about tackling the growing inequality that has been gnawing at the fabric of what unites us as a civilization, a nation, and even within our own community. This initiative is one of the priorities of our campaign and we’re fortunate to be located in a region that is quickly becoming a focal point for population health efforts thanks to your work and that of the many organizations in the area addressing these issues.

Thanks to our strong partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that initiative has received two major boosts since its launch last May. The first was the Foundation’s funding of a new Population Health facility, which will serve as a home for three UW units and a convening and collaboration space.

The second came today with the announcement of a 10-year grant to continue and expand the groundbreaking efforts of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in UW Medicine. Thanks to this grant, IHME can continue to strengthen the field of health metrics sciences, and policymakers, practitioners and individuals can continue to utilize IHME’s findings to make informed decisions that will lead to longer, healthier and more prosperous lives.

This grant is the latest in a wide-reaching partnership between our University and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We are truly fortunate to have such a far-sighted organization right here in Seattle.  Our long relationship with the Gates family and foundation dates back to Bill Sr.’s time on campus, extends through his, Mary Gates’ and Kristi Blake’s service on the UW Board of Regents, and is demonstrated daily through the countless students and communities their generous leadership and support has benefitted, here and globally. But it’s about more than the relationship or that we’re neighbors — it’s primarily about impact. They have seen first-hand the power of our University and the impact we have, right here and around the world, and we are honored by their support for our efforts.

Their support for the UW is a strong vote of confidence in you and all you do to improve people’s lives and communities. And their imprint on this University and throughout this region is sure to inspire young people to reach for their highest ideals for generations to come.

I’d also like to note that the Department of Global Health will be celebrating its 10th anniversary through an all-day symposium February 8 in the Husky Union Building on the Seattle campus. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the various ways we and our partners are working to improve health and well-being around the world, and how you can join these efforts.

Our University is uniquely positioned to tackle these challenges locally and on a global scale, and for all that you do for Washington and the world, I give you my heartfelt thanks.