State Relations

September 4, 2019

Legislative Interim Update: August 2019

“Topping Out” ceremony for new Population Health Sciences building

Senator David Frockt helped celebrate the placing of the final beam in the UW’s new center for population health sciences – a significant milestone in a project that has consistently been on time and on budget. At the UW, we believe improving population health worldwide is a moral imperative, driven by our public mission of service to all. Scheduled for completion in 2020, this buildingwill create space for interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation to better understand and improve the factors that influence the health and well-being of Washingtonians and people around the globe.

Thank you to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sen. Frockt, and the Washington State Legislature for providing the funding to make this center a reality.

The Healthy Energy Workers Group participates in a tour of Hanford

On August 20th, the UW’s Department of Environmental & Educational Health Sciences convened a workgroup comprised of stakeholders from the WA State Department of Labor & Industries, WA State Department of Health, multiple labor union representatives, and Harborview’s Center of Excellence for Chemical Exposures to tackle the difficult problem of Hanford workers’ exposure to chemicals and their subsequent health issues.

The day began with a tour of the Hanford site, including visiting tank farms where nuclear waste is stored, and ended with a meeting discussing barriers to appropriate health care and how to address the gap between healthcare specialists and the workers that need services. The workgroup will meet four more times in 2019 before presenting a report to the legislature on how to best create a Healthy Energy Workers Board.

Rep. Chopp and the King County Council visit Harborview

Representative Frank Chopp visited Harborview Medical Center to discuss the future of Harborview’s capital infrastructure with the King County Council. Harborview’s primary mission is to provide care to the most vulnerable residents in our state and they continue to exemplify that mission as the leading provider of healthcare to Medicaid, Medicare, and uninsured patients in Washington. They work at or above capacity and never turn away a patient, hence the critical capital infrastructure needs. While at Harborview, Rep. Chopp and the King County Council had the opportunity to tour and see firsthand the needs of the emergency department, trauma center, psychiatry emergency services and burn unit.

They also discussed King County and Washington’s behavioral health challenges and the hope for a new behavioral health institute to help address these challenges.

Gov. Inslee visits the R/V Russell Davis Light

Governor Jay Inslee participated in a ride-along on the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC) and the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory’s (APL) newest research vessel, the Russell Davis Light, to learn more about marine renewable energy technologies. Named after a late longtime APL researcher, the R/V Light is specially designed to test marine renewable energy instrumentation, robotics and other technologies in real-world conditions. Driving the vessel at various speeds simulates tides and ocean currents in order to test marine energy turbines in preparation for a turbine being placed in the Puget Sound. The turbine tested on the brief ride-along generated 1 kilowatt of energy – enough to power a space heater for one hour!

Thank you Gov. Inslee for your interest in and support of the UW’s research on marine renewable energy.