UW News

May 11, 2017

UW Regents approve central campus site for Population Health building to house collaborative research and teaching

UW News

The University of Washington Board of Regents on Thursday approved the location for construction of a new building to house the UW’s Population Health Initiative. The centrally located site will bring together the work of the UW’s Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and parts of the School of Public Health while creating easy access for collaborators from other departments across campus and guests from around the world.

“This location demonstrates the centrality of this initiative to our University,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “This site will enable students and experts from a full range of disciplines across the UW to more easily collaborate on solutions to the grand challenges we face. Our vision is that the work done in this building will improve the health and well-being of people in our region and throughout the world.”

The roughly 300,000-square-foot building will be located along the east side of 15th Ave. N.E., just south of the intersection with N.E. 40th St. The location is firmly grounded in the heart of the campus while providing a gateway to future development of the west campus and the Innovation District.

The majority of the funding for the $230 million project comes from a transformative $210 million gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with the remaining $20 million coming from state funds.

The new facility will create space for ongoing collaboration among students and faculty from the six schools of Health Sciences and the rest of the University. The goal is to create innovation in Population Health across many disciplines and investigate the biomedical, social behavioral, cultural, environmental and physical factors affecting the health of populations around the world. The building will include rooms for collaborative group work, active learning spaces, technology-rich rooms to accommodate data visualization, offices and online interactive teaching and training for global partners.

Guthrie Annexes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently on or near the site, and programs housed in these buildings will be relocated to other parts of campus.

The UW’s Population Health Initiative builds on the UW’s public mission of service to improve health around the world and recognizes that the health of an individual or a community involves more than just the absence of disease. Issues from poverty and equity, to health care access, to climate change and government policies all combine to affect the health and well-being of populations around the world, creating health disparities between countries and even within communities.

Over the next quarter century, the Population Health Initiative will expand the UW’s ability to turn the diagnosis of patients, populations and the planet into actionable policies, reforms, interventions and innovations.

The University is strengthening its commitment to reducing the diseases, afflictions, and health disparities that detract from and shorten the lives of far too many people both locally and globally. Recognizing that factors such as air pollution and access to clean water contribute to health disparities, the UW is working toward ways to meet the challenge of environmental sustainability, particularly in those communities most likely to be harmed by climate change. And the UW is striving to address the social and economic inequities that often leave communities here and around the world mired in poverty and poor health.