Creating a Better Normal: Improving Population Health for Everyone

October 15, 2020 5:00 pm


The pandemic has highlighted the racial, social and economic inequities that shape the health and well-being of all people in the United States and throughout the world. As we look forward to a post-COVID-19 world, how can we create a future in which we are all healthier — as individuals and entire populations? How do we enhance the resilience of the environment we rely on? And how do we address the factors perpetuating the inequities that harm so many?
Join the University of Washington for a discussion with leaders who are envisioning how we will improve population health for everyone. Featuring panelists Cecilia Bitz, Renee Cheng, Pamela Collins, Julio Frenk, and Toni Hoover; moderated by Hanson Hosein.

About the speaker

the UW Population Health Initiative

At the University of Washington, we believe improving population health worldwide is a moral imperative, driven by our public mission of service to all.

That is why President Ana Mari Cauce has brought together the University community and others to create a groundbreaking initiative that will advance the health of people around the world by leveraging capabilities and opportunities at the UW and beyond.

Together, we can create a world where all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives.



  • Pamela Collins, UW Professor of Global Health, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Director of the UW Global Mental Health Program and Executive Director of I-TECHDr. Pamela Collins is a psychiatrist and researcher with 25 years’ experience in global public health and global mental health. Her leadership positions include directing the Office for Research on Disparities and Global Mental Health and the Office of Rural Mental Health Research at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). She has served as a commissioner for the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development and co-lead of the NIMH-President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief initiative on mental health and HIV.


  • Cecilia Bitz, UW Professor and Chair of the Department of Atmospheric SciencesCecilia Bitz studies the role of sea ice in shaping the climate and high-latitude climate and climate change. She is interested not only in our present and future climates but also climates of the past. As a well-known expert in her field, she leads several projects funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and she has testified before the U.S. Senate on Arctic climate change.


  • Renée Cheng, UW Dean of the College of Built Environments: Renée Cheng came to the College of Built Environments in 2019 from the University of Minnesota, where she was a professor, associate dean for research, and head of the School of Architecture. A licensed architect, she worked at Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Richard Meier & Partners before founding Cheng-Olson Design. Cheng has been honored twice by DesignIntelligence as one of the 25 most admired design educators in the U.S. In 2017, she received the Lean Construction Institute Faculty Award and was named to the American Institute of Architects’ College of Fellows.


  • Toni Hoover, Director of Strategy, Planning & Management, Global Health Division, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationBefore joining the Gates Foundation in 2012, Toni Hoover was senior vice president and site director at Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development, overseeing the operations of the company’s largest R&D laboratories. She’s a 25-year veteran of pharmaceutical R&D product development and management, and she serves on the boards of directors for Sonoma Biotherapeutics, the University of Washington Medical Center, the Joyce Theater (NYC), and Pacific Northwest Ballet.


  • Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami and former health minister of MexicoDr. Julio Frenk is president of the University of Miami and a professor there of public health sciences and health sector management and policy. As Mexico’s minister of health, Frenk pursued health system reforms and introduced Seguro Popular, a program of comprehensive universal coverage. He was founding director-general of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health; the World Health Organization’s executive director for evidence and information for policy; and senior fellow in the Global Health Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



  • Hanson Hosein, UW Co-Founder of the Communication Leadership Master’s Program; President of HRH Media Group LLC: Hanson Hosein hosts the UW’s “Co-Existing with COVID-19” public lecture series, and leads conversations on misinformation with the UW Center for an Informed Public. He holds law degrees from McGill University and the University of Paris and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University. He was recognized as one of Seattle’s “Most Influential,” and his work is in a permanent exhibit at the Museum of History & Industry and detailed in his book “Storyteller Uprising: Trust & Persuasion in the Digital Age.”

Event Accessibility

The University is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education, and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodations, contact the UW Disability Services Office at least 10 days in advance at 206-543-6450 (voice), 206-543-6452 (TTY), 206-685-7264 (fax), or