In a major policy address, University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce invited the university community and its partners in the Seattle area to develop a long-range vision for improving health and well-being across the planet.
[Photo: UW President Ana Mari Cauce and Dean Howard Frumkin (left)]
“We have an opportunity to help people live longer, healthier, more productive lives – here and around the world,” Dr. Cauce said in a May 3 address to representatives from the university, PATH, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other global health organizations.
The plan to create a long-term vision would start with the formation of a new Population Health Leadership Council that would develop an initial set of recommendations by January 2017, followed by a full 25-year vision and action plan, she said. The council would consist of deans in the health sciences and members of other colleges and schools at the UW. An external advisory board will be essential to the process, she said.
The ultimate goal is to reduce health disparities, tackle the challenges of sustainability, and inspire the next generation of decision-makers. “Our aspiration is nothing less than to change the world,” Dr. Cauce said.
Key players in the initiative will be the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine, including the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. But it would also include colleges, schools and departments across the university.
“This phenomenal opportunity will allow SPH to ‘up its game’ in protecting population health, from the local to the global,” said Dr. Howard Frumkin, dean of the School of Public Health. “I’m especially excited that it will facilitate partnerships across campus, linking the health sciences with engineering, business, law, policy, social sciences, the built and natural environments, and more.”
Dr. Frumkin added, “A university as large and diverse as ours is perfectly positioned to advance health and well-being — from understanding upstream causes all the way to designing and testing effective, innovative solutions.”
Dr. Cauce identified opportunities in five key areas: