UW Retirement Association

October 14, 2019

James LoGerfo, Distinguished Retiree 2019

Jim LoGerfo’s UW career bridged the worlds of public health and clinical medicine. During his career as a  practicing internist and administrator (including as Medical Director of Harborview Medical Center), he received the CDC’s Distinguished Service Award for his work as the principal investigator for the Lead Center of the CDC’s Healthy Aging Research Network. Beginning in 2006 and continuing since his 2012 retirement, LoGerfo has worked as a volunteer promoting improved medical education and medical care services in Southeast Asia. Colleagues cite his work on non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes), on mental health treatment, on elevating the role of social work in medical care, and on medical education all as groundbreaking and essential to the improvement of medical outcomes.

Since 2006, LoGerfo has worked most often in Cambodia, where he collaborates closely with faculty and students at the University of Health Sciences and the National Institute of Public Health and as a Special Advisor to the Ministry of Health on chronic disease prevention and control. In collaboration with Cambodian NGOs, his current work includes management of hypertension, diabetes and common mental illnesses, with an emphasis on community-based programs. Working with UW colleague Dr. Tracy Harachi, he established social work as a professional discipline in Cambodia and is now promoting the integration of social work services into the medical arena there. He has made an especially strong commitment to helping develop mental health treatment capacity, which had previously been highly stigmatized and almost non-existent in Cambodia.

A leader with a gift for encouraging others to invest their time, expertise, and often funds in helping to improve the health of people at home and abroad, LoGerfo is a model example of UW’s worldwide impact and service and of the continuing contributions made by UW retirees. As noted in his Distinguished Retiree award nomination, “His vision of what it means to be a retired member of the UW faculty embraces a substantive and demanding international mission to help others directly and through improving the training and education of future health professionals.”