Population Health

June 4, 2019

Winning papers announced for 2019 Population Health Library Research Awards

Image of woman studying in Suzzallo Library Reading RoomThe Population Health Initiative has awarded Population Health Recognition Awards to four students participating in the 2019 Library Research Award for Undergraduates. Award winners were chosen based on the quality of their writing, innovativeness of their research hypothesis and how well they connected their work to the theme of population health.

This award was created in 2017 in partnership with the UW Libraries. It is open to undergraduate applicants from all three campuses. Submitted projects were completed for either UW credit course or for the Undergraduate Research Program.

The four awardees, the titles of their projects and a brief summaries of their projects are described in the following section.

Liam Albright (Political Science), "A novel three-tiered approach to bridging the mental health treatment gap"

One of the most pressing issues in the world is mental illness. Mental illness is a large part of population health and can have large effects on society with many people experiencing it in some form or another. As a part of population health, mental health is a large factor in a country’s economic outlook. For example, a populace with high occurrences of depression is going to be less productive as being depressed can cause decreased work output, or even no work output. Problems with mental health can weigh especially hard on less developed nations as they lack the infrastructure to deal with mental health issues. While mental health is a vast problem, current treatment plans by States, Intergovernmental Organizations, and Non-Governmental organizations are not meeting the needs of populations around the world, particularly in low resources low-income areas. To close the treatment gap in mental health care in low resource low-income areas a novel Intervention model that combines mobile phones, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Lay-Health workers should be implemented.

Aleenah Ansari (HCDE/CHID), "Gentrification, Displacement and the Question of Responsibility"

Someone’s home, or the ability to purchase one and raise their family there, is intimately tied to population health. Gentrification is rooted in social and economic policies like racial restrictive covenants and redlining, and it is perpetuated when communities do not have resources or policies that enable them to feel secure in keeping their home or owning one and it. Understanding this history is integral to responding in a community-based-way, especially in the unique context of the historically Black Central District.

Jazmin Moreno Candia (Microbiology), "Antibiotic Resistance and Mycobacterium tuberculosis"

Multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis is a man-made phenomenon, developed through mutations that happen because of inappropriate or inconsistent treatment. It is a global burden costing thousands of lives every year. Immediate and appropriate treatment is not only important to avoid progression and mortality of the disease, but also to avoid the development of more antibiotic resistance in the microorganism. Advances in understanding the mechanisms by which resistance develops can have a major impact in understanding transmission patterns and the development of new anti-TB drugs.

Caroline Kasman (Economics, Global Health), "Development Assistance for Noncommunicable Diseases: Political, Socioeconomic and Health Indicators of Foreign Aid for an Emerging Global Crisis"

Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) received only 2% of total development assistance for health (DAH) in 2017 despite causing 67% of global deaths. This significant lack of alignment between disease burden and funding is attributed to donor groups, which include nongovernmental organizations and foundations, multilateral organizations, and countries, who lack awareness of the impact of NCDs in low- and middle-income countries and focus on health issues with more evidence-based, cost-effective solutions. However, these explanations of the decision processes of donor groups are anecdotal. Currently, there is limited quantitative research on how organizations and states allocate foreign aid for global health issues, especially for NCDs. This report concentrates on bilateral aid, observing the correlations between economic, political, social, and epidemiological determinants and the level of DAH given to recipient countries for NCDs.

Please visit our funding page to learn more about these awards.