Last night the Senate Ways and Means Committee passed both their operating and capital budgets in preparation for floor action on Saturday March 31. Of the more than 70 amendments considered by the committee, one change sponsored by Senator Craig Pridemore (D-Vancouver) increased the appropriation for the UW Department of Global Health from $2.5 million to $6.3 million which is identical to the amount included in the Governor and House proposed budgets. The change was made by shifting $3 million in funding for advanced technology initiatives and adding another $800,000 in state funding.
This level of funding for the Department of Global Health is significant because the University is in the process of recruiting key researchers from Harvard University who will help establish a “health metrics institute” with considerable financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The institute would specialize in measuring and evaluating the health of people in the world’s poorest countries.